On #GivingTuesday (and every month after), I want to make sure my donated money counts toward addressing climate change. The easiest route might be to donate to large international climate policy advocacy groups like 350.org, or land conservation organizations like The Nature Conservancy. In doing research on these organizations, I can see clearly they are working to address climate change, the breadth of their work is so impressive. But I decided they don’t really need my money; I’d rather start at home.
But where to start? There are a lot of actions that fall into the rubric of “climate change action.” So I’m using Biomimicry Chicago’s Deep Roots Initiative (DRI) conceptual framework to make sure my donations fall into different categories of action that both regulate climate and support resilient communities (which in turn do a better job regulating climate). Each of these six categories is important to creating a stable climate.
Next, I’m starting at the top of Project Drawdown’s ranked list of climate change solutions to make sure the organizations I’m donating to are implementing programs that will have the biggest impact on climate change (and which make sense for my region). I added these solutions into my DRI framework categories and came up with a list of organizations implementing relevant local solutions. These are the local organizations I can support to make an impact on climate change!
As you’ll notice, Project Drawdown solutions are focused specifically on carbon sequestration, so solutions in water and biodiversity are not specifically mentioned in their list. But as we learned from ecosystems through our DRI process, all six categories of system functions – carbon, water, energy, materials, biodiversity and social organization – are critical for maintaining a stable climate.
You can use this approach to create your own list of local organizations that will give you the biggest bang for your buck in addressing climate change on #Giving Tuesday – and everyday thereafter! Have fun!
Links to organizations listed above:
- Morton Arboretum
- Friends of the Forest Preserves
- National Forest Foundation (Midewin)
- The Resiliency Institute
- RainReadySM (Center for Neighborhood Technology – Choose Water + Climate Resilience during donation)
- Alliance for the Great Lakes
- Illinois Solar Energy Association•Illinois Food Scrap Association
- Family Farmed
- West Cook Wild Ones
- Girls Supporting Girls
- In Her Shoes Foundation
- Green Community Connections/One Earth Film Festival