Skip the hassle of the malls and stores, and make a charitable donation in lieu of presents.
Researching various charities and companies is a simple way to know every dollar you spend aligns with your belief system.
Websites like Charity Navigator (https://www.charitynavigator.org/) are incredibly valuable when deciding which organization to make a donation. Charity Navigator rates each non profit organization on several criteria. For example some of the categories are financial performance metrics, accountability and transparency, revenue and expenses, as well as compensation of leaders. A copy of their IRS statement can be viewed also.
Here is a list of environmental non profit charities that received a perfect score on Charity Navigator:
Appalachian Voices (appvoices.org) MISSION: Appalachian Voices brings people together to solve the environmental problems having the greatest impact on the central and southern Appalachian Mountains. Our mission is to empower people to defend our region’s rich natural and cultural heritage by providing them with tools and strategies for successful grassroots campaigns. Because the threats to our mountains do not respect state boundaries or political ideologies, we tackle them by reaching out to a broad spectrum of people from across the region. We believe that success is most likely when a diversity of people are involved and empowered to work together for change, and all our programs are guided by this commitment to build a broad base of public support for environmental protection in the southern mountains.
Amazon Conservation Association (http://www.amazonconservation.org/) MISSION: Founded in 1999, the Amazon Conservation Association (ACA) works to conserve the biological diversity of the Amazon. We work to protect biodiversity by studying ecosystems and developing innovative conservation tools to protect land in the region while supporting the livelihoods of local communities. We work by forging ties with governments, nonprofits and people who depend on the rainforests for their livelihood, with the goal of saving rare species and habitats and learning from the land. Scientific research guides our approach, which strives for concrete, measurable achievements. ACA has offices in Washington, DC.
The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (https://chattahoochee.org/) MISSION: The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s (CRK) works to advocate and secure the protection and stewardship of the Chattahoochee River, its tributaries and watershed, in order to restore and preserve their ecological health for the people, fish and wildlife that depend on the River system. Established in 1994, CRK is an environmental advocacy organization with more than 6,000 members dedicated solely to protecting and restoring the Chattahoochee River Basin – drinking water source for 4 million people. CRK actively uses advocacy, education, research, communication, cooperation, monitoring and legal actions to protect and preserve the Chattahoochee and its watershed.
Environmental and Energy Study Institute (https://www.eesi.org/) MISSION: EESI is dedicated to promoting environmentally sustainable societies. EESI advances innovative policy solutions that set us on a cleaner, more secure and sustainable energy path. The climate crisis is urgent. The solution is achievable. A healthy climate and a healthy economy go hand-in-hand. Energy prices must reflect their true costs. U.S. leadership is essential. EESI was founded by a bipartisan Congressional caucus in 1984. EESI serves as a trusted source of credible, non-partisan information on energy and environment solutions. Transforming energy infrastructures, transportation systems, land use management practices, and community designs creates new opportunities for American entrepreneurs and creates good jobs.
The PATH Foundation (https://pathfoundation.org/) MISSION: Founded in 1991, The PATH Foundation is an organization with a mission to develop a system of interlinking greenway trails through metro Atlanta for commuting and recreating. In just fifteen years, PATH has developed more than 100 miles of trails throughout northern Georgia and has become a nationally recognized model for trail-building success. PATH’s linear parks have become part of the landscape in urban and rural areas, in affluent and impoverished communities. PATH trails are bringing people together from all races, ages, income levels and cultural backgrounds.
The Southern Environmental Law Center (https://www.southernenvironment.org/) MISSION: The Southern Environmental Law Center uses the power of law and policy to protect the environment in six states: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. SELC’s attorneys work in all branches and at all levels of government to defend healthy air and clean water; to protect the region’s forests, coasts, wetlands, and other native landscapes; and to promote vibrant and livable communities across the Southeast.