I have to give a plug for Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo! I am the Senior Rose Gardener there, so I have personal experience of the work they do. It is a VERY sustainability-driven organization–the amount of research and development of programs that go into how to best conserve on waste of all kinds is phenomenal for such a sizable organization. We recycle EVERYTHING, we compost, we have green roofs, solar energy, electric vehicles, low-water use toilets, zero pesticide use–and, of course, the bulk of its mission is to protect endangered species and habitats. It is a very globally conscious and concerned company and, both as a whole and individually, all of us there make daily efforts to do things that will have a positive impact on our world.
I am a fan of The Nature Conservancy, for a simple reason: they are buying land and putting Conservation Easements on it. This is helping preserve land and forcing responsible development on this land. While I may disagree with some of the management decisions made by TNC or anyone else on the land, at least it isn’t being turned into strip malls and parking lots.
My personal favorite green non-profit is Hoyt Arboretum Friends, a group that helps to support the efforts of Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, Oregon. I do volunteer work out there, and get to enjoy the many projects HAF has helped to implement in the arboretum such as free walking maps and educational brochures, a beautiful landing and bench area constructed along one of the paths, and supporting the plants and trees that live in the arboretum. They do great work, including organizing volunteers, education, and recruiting donors to help maintain the arboretum for all to enjoy.
The World Wildlife Fund has been my favourite since I was a child. I was first interested in forest conservation, and used to spend an absurd amount of time on their website, reading up about their tireless efforts in the Amazon. I think they achieve a phenomenal amount, and are very effective in what they do.
I really like the work that the Portland Community Cycling Center does, they support green and healthy living. It is a bike shop and community center where people can learn about bicycle repair, take other classes for kids and adults, and donate and receive used bikes. They also host lots of community events.
My favorite green non-profit is called Build it Green. Its located in San Francisco and aims to build energy and resource efficient homes in California. They provide local government support, professional training, collaboration forums, consumer education, and green product marketing anyone in need of guidance or assistance. They work together with a number of policy makers and green builders to help drive the increase of green homes.
The Nature Conservancy is one of my favorite green non-profit. I think its mission to preserve the natural places is really important. Too often we focus on narrow areas like protection of a particular species or aspect of pollution and neglect to protect the larger picture. I think when a particular place is protected, everything found within the boundaries and associated with that place is also protected, so its an effective conservation method. Its focus on ecological services is also important to sustainability. I like how the organization focuses more on the science and less on the lobbying, political activism we see in other groups like Greenpeace. It gives them more credibility. I will gladly pay 10-15 bucks every year to fund its efforts.
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