I find myself getting sucked into a doom-scrolling spiral, spending entirely too much time reading about how the world is on fire and everything sucks and we’re all going to die. The bombardment of bad news just makes it all the harder to have hope for the future when it seems like nothing is good. Thankfully, not all hope is lost.
It took some time, but I was finally able to break out of this echo chamber of misery and find some good in the world. There are millions of people out there who are fighting to make our world a better place environmentally and combat climate change. Their ardent work to clean up our oceans, protect endangered species, advocate for greener solutions and so much more is incredibly important. I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight five different organizations that go above and beyond to fight the climate crisis, the progress they’ve made and what all of us here at CollegeFashionista can do to make sure their work continues.
A registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Remake is a global advocacy organization fighting for fair pay and climate justice in the overall garment industry. Their goal is to end unfairly low wages, unsafe conditions and gender-based violence prevalent in the garment industry today. Remake believes in a specific theory of change that states that by paying garment workers a living wage, both the social harm and the environmental damages caused by the fashion industry are reduced.
Higher wages would change the entire overarching business model in fashion, leading companies to slow down and make less. Remake works to educate through published articles, classroom and peer-to-peer engagement and social media as well as organizing and engaging brands, unions, press and policy makers to reshape the industry. Remake releases an annual Fashion Accountability Report which evaluates fashion brands and releases public reports on the environmental, social, and labor conditions occurring within their supply chains.
02. Only One
Like Remake, Only One is also a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization however their focus is on fighting the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems. They aim to put the power to restore the ocean into the hands of individuals all over the world. As stated on their website, “though none of us can solve all of the ocean’s challenges on our own, we are united in the belief that together, our collective action can deliver meaningful progress for the planet.”
Only One features monthly membership plans that donate 100% of proceeds towards initiatives such as planting ocean forests and coral reefs, directly removing plastic pollution from marine ecosystems and much more. They also offer alternate forms of taking action through advocacy campaigns and petitions that anyone can sign and share through social media. Only One also posts important updates about the progress of various forms of legislation meant to protect our oceans as well as positive climate news every Monday, something absolutely integral to staying upbeat and hopeful about the importance of our mission to protect the seas.
Founded in 2014 by wildlife photographer and conservationist, Cristina Mittermeier and National Geographic polar photographer, Paul Nicklen, SeaLegacy’s goal is to educate and inspire people from all around the world in the importance of conserving marine environments and the millions of species that call these waters home. They employ a team of world-renowned scientists, conservationists, and photographers to lead a bold movement and new approach to fighting climate change’s disruption of the seas. The SeaLegacy approach has 3 key steps, composed of Expeditions: the world’s best photographers and filmmakers capture the beauty and the threats below the surface of our oceans. Campaigns: With the help of social media and using the incredible media captured out on expedition, SeaLegacy creates global campaigns that trigger lasting and sustainable change. Solutions: Both public and private donations are used effectively to fund projects that create healthier oceans.
04. The Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is the oldest conservation organization in the United States and one of the first large-scale environmental preservation organizations in the world, founded 130 years ago by leading American conservationist John Muir (of the California Redwoods Muir Woods fame). The organization is active in all 50 states as well as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico and primarily engages in lobbying politicians to promote environmentalist policies. In recent years, focuses of the club include promoting sustainable energy and mitigating global warming, as well as opposition to the use of coal, hydropower and nuclear power. Known for its political endorsements, which are often sought after by candidates in local elections; it generally supports liberal and progressive candidates in elections.The Sierra Club also has a Canadian equivalent known as The Sierra Club Canada.
05. Communities For a Better Environment
In the mid 1970s, public concern towards the amount of smog and air pollution present in American cities, particularly in California, began to grow. Created in 1978, the initial goal of CBE was to enact legislation that would curb emissions from local factories and from car exhaust to make the air cleaner and safer for everyone. Today, CBE is one of the preeminent environmental justice organizations in the nation. The mission of CBE is to build people’s power in California’s communities of color and low income communities to achieve environmental health and justice by preventing and reducing pollution and building green, healthy and sustainable communities and environments. CBE provides residents in heavily polluted urban communities in California with organizing skills, leadership training and legal, scientific and technical assistance, so that they can successfully confront threats to their health and well-being.
Find out more about Communities For A Better Environment on their website https://www.cbecal.org/
Humankind’s ability to have hope is one of our most powerful assets. It gets us through the worst of times and carries us through to the light at the end of the tunnel, the thing that grants us the ability to follow our dreams and achieve the impossible. All hope is not lost in this great fight against climate change. There are amazing organizations that do such incredible work and these five are only the barest fraction of them that exist.
I urge you to put despair and fear aside and get out there to make a difference. Whether it’s making a small donation to one of these organizations or another dear to your heart, picking up trash in a public park, doing your part to recycle or creating a home garden, there are so many things we can do as individuals to make an impact in order to save this incredible planet we all call home.