In honor of Earth Day 2011, I am going to share with you my Top 5 Favorite Environmental Organizations (in no particular order). Please take some time to learn about these great groups and their amazing work. There is LOTS we can all do to help protect the Earth and make it safer and healthier for generations to come.
This group preserves for public use and enjoyment beautiful and scenic properties throughout Massachusetts. They are doing the hard work to conserve precious open space and keep it available for us all to enjoy. The Trustees currently maintain nearly 25,000 acres of open space in Massachusetts, and I can assure you they are all beautiful and pristine – when we go camping we only stay at Trustees’ land! Visit their website to learn more about these spaces, and how you can help.
It may not sound like an environmental group, but since 1989, the Breast Cancer Fund has been leading the way in identifying and eliminating environmental causes of breast cancer. No one knows for sure what causes breast cancer, but we do know that genetics and family history play a role in only 5% of cases. So what causes the remaining 95%? Could it be the constant daily exposure to toxins in our air, water, cosmetics and consumer products? Breast Cancer Fund is unapologetic in their work pressuring national companies to use safer alternatives to toxic chemicals and protect our health and safety.
For those of you who like to see stuff get done, RAN is the group for you. Their tagline, “Environmentalism with Teeth” says it all. RAN uses hard-hitting tactics to pressure huge, multinational corporations to change their policies towards those that favor environmental protection. They are masters of the “market campaign” in which consumers use their power, and the power of their spending money, to force big companies to change their ways. With a long list of successes and a take-no-prisoners attitude, RAN is making some big time change for the better.
While paper companies are cutting down the rainforests and the coral reef is being depleted halfway around the world, communities like yours and mine are struggling with our own environmental fights – and we need help. Toxics Action Center works side-by-side with communities to provide the skills and resources they need to prevent and clean up pollution at the local level. According to their website, since 1987, Toxics Action has helped over 625 communities across New England put together the plans and strategies to effectively solve the problems they face.
The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest grassroots environmental organization with staying power and winning power. Founded in 1892 by conservationist John Muir, the Sierra Club has grown from a group of committed hikers to a huge powerhouse of attorneys, researchers, lobbyists, organizers, volunteers, conservationists and activists. I am not sure any other group has its fingers in as many issues as the Sierra Club does – they are tireless in their advocacy and, with over 1 million members, are a grassroots force to be reckoned with.