The Future Is Now | 11 Environmental Charities to Give to in Lieu of Holiday Gifts

Photo: Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Council Grove, Kansas, is a partnership of the National Parks system, the Nature Conservancy and a private trust.  (Photo by Jane Wooldridge/Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)

“To see things in the seed, that is genius,” Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu observed, understanding the importance of foresight and the wisdom of acting accordingly. As 2016 draws to a close, we may take a moment to reflect on the lessons of the past so that we can better understand where we are heading.

Also: Leonardo DiCaprio Reveals the Truth About Climate Change in “Before the Flood

Crave introduces a new weekly column, The Future Is Now, spotlighting contemporary issues playing out in real time centered around issues affecting the global environment including climate change, sustainability, endangered species, and conservation so that we can work together to raise awareness and create solutions that will preserve our planet not only for ourselves but for generation to come.

February 2013, Farm of Sao Roque Curitiba Mariano, Pocos de Caldas, Minas Gerais, Brazil. A day of celebration on Sao Roque Curitiba Marianos plantation. The Rainforest Alliance certificate, obtained through the AAA program, which guarantees quality of coffee and income, had just been granted to the farm. This certificate attests to the sustainable social, economic and ecological character of the exploitation and therefore ensures that the farms products come from sustainable agriculture. (Photo by Reza/Getty Images)

For Giving Tuesday, we highlight a selection of reputable environmental charities to give to this year in lieu of holiday gifts, whether for friends, family, colleagues, or in memory of those we’ve lost. The ten organizations selected here have been cross-checked with Charity Navigator to ensure their reputation and credibility. Tis the season to give to causes greater than ourselves.


Coral Reef Alliance: As Crave reported in late October the Great Barrier Reef now teeters on the brink of death as climate change has caused a dramatic underwater heatwave that has resulted in a massive death toll across one of the earth’s greatest natural wonders. Founded in 1994, Coral Reef Alliance works with people from around the world, from fishermen to scientists, to protect these valuable and threatened ecosystems, helping the environment and the communities they serve.

Environmental Defense Fund: Since 1967, the Environmental Defense Fund has been guided by science and economics to employ a multidisciplinary approach towards solving the most critical problems facing the planet today. Working with businesses, governments, and local communities to address issues across the biosphere the EDF focuses issues affecting the climate, oceans, ecosystems, and health while carefully avoiding duplicating efforts being made by other organizations.

League of Conservation Voters Education Fund: Founded in 1985 the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund works to turn environmental values into national, state and local priorities by educating the public, media and elected officials about key issues affecting the environment, spotlighting non-partisan issues through civic engagements campaigns.

Rainforest Alliance: Working to conserve biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods, the Rainforest Alliance addresses the most critical issues facing the these regions including deforestation, the protection of wildlife, the rights of indigenous people, food and farming, and local communities in order to preserve some of the most vital natural environments on earth.

The Nature Conservancy: Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy is the world’s leading conservation organization, leading major initiatives around the planet. With a staff or more than 600 scientists working on conservation in 69 countries, TNC employs a non-confrontational approach to create tangible lasting results.

Sierra Club Foundation: Founded in 1960, the Sierra Club Foundation works to align financial resources with strategically focused campaigns that help to find solutions to climate change, promote conservation, and fight for environmental justice across the United States.

Veterinarian technician Cara Field carries a sick and malnourished Northern Fur Seal pup during a medical evaluation at the Marine Mammal Center on November 24, 2015 in Sausalito, California. A record number of emaciated Northern Fur Seal pups have been found stranded on California beaches and are being cared for at the Marine Mammal Center. Scientists believe that warmer waters are affecting the distribution of fish that Fur Seals and other marine life depend on. The Marine Mammal Center has rescued 1,747 seals and sea lions so far this year, more than any time in their 40 year history. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Animal Protection

African Wildlife Foundation: For more than 50 years, the African Wildlife Foundation has worked to protect the wildlife and their habitats across Africa, focusing on anti-poaching efforts, anti-trafficking law enforcement, and public awareness to protect at-risk, endangered and nearly-extinct animals including elephants rhinoceroses, gorillas, and lions, among others.

The Marine Mammal Center: Since 1975, the Marine Mammal Center has worked to rescue and rehabilitate more than 20,000 ill and injured marine mammals including elephant seals, harbor seals and California sea lions in northern California. Since 2009 it has operated one of the largest marine mammal hospitals in the world, caring for some 600 animals every year.

Snow Leopard Trust: Founded in 1981, the Snow Leopard Trust is the largest and oldest organization dedicated to protecting this endangered species and its habitat in 12 countries across Central Asia. SLT focuses on working with local communities to create on-the-ground conservation work that can become self-sufficient and independent of donor dollars.

WildAid: WildAid’s mission is to end the illegal wildlife trade in out lifetimes, making it impossible for people to buy shark fin elephant ivory, and rhino horn. While many conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching WildAid works to reduce the global consumption of wildlife products by strengthening enforcement.

Marlon, one of the newly arrived males photograph courtesy of Project Chimps

Plus an Update on a Crave Fave

Project Chimps: Back in September, Crave featured the newly-opened Project Chimps, a 236-acre sanctuary for chimpanzees liberated from a biomedical laboratory. At that time, nine females had been transported to their new homes. On November 30, seven males moved into their own villa, sponsored by Kat Von D. The sanctuary has been designed to rehabilitate chimps who have only ever known a life behind bars where they were subject to a constant barrage of invasive experiments.

Miss Rosen is a New York-based writer, curator, and brand strategist. There is nothing she adores so much as photography and books. A small part of her wishes she had a proper library, like in the game of Clue. Then she could blaze and write soliloquies to her in and out of print loves.