9 Top Green Initiatives I’d Contribute to If I Won the Powerball in 2024

Imagine you check the news for Powerball numbers and recognize a few numbers. You pull out your ticket and start smiling because you’re suddenly, inexplicably rich.

If you hit the jackpot and become super wealthy, you might not have to work anymore. This means you could indulge in luxuries and also have the chance to give back through philanthropy.

There’s such a thing as too much money. Donating your funds to non-profit organizations and charities is a fantastic way to spend them. Global warming is a pressing issue, so find organizations with green initiatives worth fighting for.

If I won the Powerball, here are the top nine green initiatives to contribute to:

9 Best Green Initiatives to Support for a Better Future

1. World Wildlife Fund

Humans aren’t the only animals on Earth. The planet has about 8.7 million species, so caring for their needs is essential. Who watches the environment and ensures humans take care of it? That job belongs to organizations like the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).

WWF Logo

The WWF has headquarters in Switzerland but has workers in over 100 countries. It’s the world’s largest and most prominent conservation group, with most funding from individuals.

Some WWF projects include Thirty Hills and Oceans X Labs. Thirty Hills aims to save Indonesian rain forests from logging, while the latter focuses on marine conservation, pollution and sustainability.

Take a look at this video by WWF UK for more on the incredible work they do and the green initiatives they support:

2. Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is a terrific organization if you want to focus on American conservation.

This club dates back to 1892, making it one of the oldest environmental groups in the world. In the late 19th century, the Sierra Club organized green initiatives to conserve forests of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It became nationally known after successfully lobbying for Yosemite National Park in 1903.

Sierra Club Logo

Over a century later, the Sierra Club still fights for environmental justice. Members fight to protect public land from logging and exploitation and establish a more equitable ecological movement.

For example, the Sierra Club is a leading reason why the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge remains intact despite efforts to drill for oil.

3. Plug in America

Cars are integral to American culture. Many people nationwide love fixing, collecting and racing new and old cars.

However, the automotive fascination has its downfalls. For example, the average passenger vehicle emits nearly 5 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually.

How can we lower transportation emissions? One way is to shift to electric vehicles (EVs).

Plug In America (PIA) is an educational organization aiming to teach people about EVs. PIA’s goal is to convert more owners into drivers into EV owners and reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

Plug In America Logo

 

After all, EVs have zero emissions, making their environmental impact much lower than gas-powered cars. PIA’s work is essential for moving the country forward.

4. Transit-Oriented Development Institute

The U.S. is a large country, so cars have become helpful for road trips. How do we get around individual cities?

Many metropolitan areas have public transit but are still car-dependent. Car emissions lead to pollution and decreased air quality in the city. So, how can we solve this issue? The Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Institute says to focus on public transportation.

ToD Logo

Public transit vehicles like buses and trains are large but more efficient than cars. Research shows public transportation reduces CO2 emissions by 45% compared to passenger vehicles.

The Transit-Oriented Development Institute aims to transform cities around metro lines and bus routes. With TOD, you get more walkability and leisure within cities. This design lessens a city’s environmental impact and for those with disabilities.

The TOD Institute’s role is to assist communities with developing projects. Representatives from the organization may lobby the city council for tax breaks or zoning changes to make room for TOD.

They also educate the public by hosting events, researching and publishing reports. If you want to learn more, check out this City Beautiful video explaining TOD.

5. Solar Electric Light Fund

Solar power is one of the most available renewable energy sources we have. Photovoltaic (PV) panels have become cheaper, allowing homeowners and businesses to install them on roofs.

However, purchasing solar panels isn’t as easy as going to the grocery store. These solar panels require a significant investment — something impoverished areas may be unable to do.

The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) aims to bring solar energy to every corner of the globe. Some locations are remote and impoverished, restricting their access to electricity.

Solar Electric Light Fund Logo

SELF brings solar power to these areas and makes them self-sustainable. This non-profit has brought solar power to countries like Rwanda, Indonesia and the Solomon Islands.

Renewable energy is an excellent way to make our world more sustainable.

However, it will only make a difference if we ensure everybody can access it. Non-profits like SELF help others because a rising tide lifts all boats.

6. Grid Alternatives

Another excellent solar power initiative to support is Grid Alternatives from Oakland, California. A pair of engineering professionals founded the non-profit during California’s energy crisis of 2001.

Grid Alternatives’ goal is to install solar power systems in impoverished communities and give them an alternative to conventional electrical grids. The organization primarily works in the U.S. but has expanded to Nepal, Nicaragua and Mexico.

GRID Alternatives Logo

Grid Alternatives is similar to SELF but sets itself apart through job training. The organization teaches community members about solar power and how to install solar panels.

With this knowledge, they can start careers in renewable energy and influence others to install solar panels on their rooftops.

Solar panels aren’t affected by typical grid outages, making them a solid grid alternative.

Impoverished communities might not have the resources to evacuate, forcing them to shelter in place. With solar power, they have a more reliable source of energy for heating and cooling.

7. National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

Fossil fuels may be the most clear danger to the planet due to their emissions. However, some factors hit closer to home. For example, look at the food on your plate at dinnertime. Did you sustainably source your meat and vegetables?

Agriculture significantly contributes to climate change through livestock, deforestation, greenhouse gases (GHGs) and more.

Luckily, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) leads the way for more environmentally conscious agriculture.

NSAC Logo

The organization mainly works in Washington, D.C., to advocate for sustainable policies. However, NSAC has grassroots campaigns nationwide.

NSAC starts locally by reaching out to farmers and other food producers and addressing their needs. The organization’s goal is to ensure every community has sustainable and nutritious food at affordable prices.

8. Slow Food

Sustainably sourcing food is crucial to our planet’s health, so let’s talk about another organization advocating for better practices.

Slow Food is an Italian non-profit organization with green initiatives in 160 countries worldwide.

Their headquarters are in Bra, Italy, near the French border. However, Slow Food has American headquarters in Brooklyn, New York.

 

Slow Food Logo

Slow Food advocates for local food and traditional cooking instead of relying on fast food.

Cooking regionally sourced meats and vegetables has a much lower environmental impact than restaurant meals. Chain restaurants may serve you food requiring shipment from across the country.

Slow Food’s primary concentrations are combating food waste and overproduction.

Joining the slow food movement helps the organization educate communities about sustainable sourcing. Assisting people with gardens and cooking at home leads to healthier food choices and a better planet.

9. Climate Action Network

The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a collection of green infinitives with the ultimate goal of these charitable organizations is to mitigate climate change.

Getting every country on board to fight this problem is essential for the planet’s sustainability. One of the best organizing networks for fighting change is the CAN.

Climate Action Network Logo

CAN is a German-based non-governmental organization advocating for government action on climate change.

Some governments have limited power or turn a blind eye to problematic practices, such as deforestation.

CAN has worldwide grassroots campaigns to mobilize members and promote action on climate emergencies.

Do you recall the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015? CAN was instrumental in organizing these efforts. The organization has demonstrated its ability to affect genuine change on Earth.

Green Initiatives: Making a Difference for the Planet

If I played the Powerball, which is admittedly pretty easy, and I won, I’d first scan my lottery ticket 100 times to ensure what I was seeing was real.

Then, I’d ensure all nine organizations and others received financial support.

However, we don’t have to wait for the lottery numbers to show your support. Find your favorite environmental organization and search for ways to contribute.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does environmental advocacy include?

Environmental advocacy is wide-ranging, with countless initiatives worldwide. Most organizations focus on education, governmental policy and legal action. Green initiatives increase environmental equity and give power to the people on climate issues.

How can you tell what charities are reputable?

Unfortunately, some non-profit organizations are shady and untrustworthy. For example, a fraudulent charity could suppress financial records, disallowing you from seeing where your donations go. Use watchdog websites like Charity Navigator,GuideStar, or the Better Business Bureau for research. 

What green initiatives should you donate to?

First, determine what environmental causes are most important to you. Do you lie in bed thinking about EVs, endangered animals or solar panels? Listen to your heart and decide how you’ll feel about donating money to particular organizations.

References and Useful Resources

Wonderopolis: How Many Animals Are There in the World?

US EPA: Tailpipe Greenhouse Gas Emissions from a Typical Passenger Vehicle

University of California, Los Angeles: 5 Environmental Benefits of Sustainable Transportation

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