Environmental sustainability refers to interacting with the natural environment in a responsible way, such that our actions do not put excessive pressure on the ecosystems. Unfortunately, humanity’s actions over the past century put a huge strain on this idea, resulting in severe consequences such as climate change, pollution, loss of biodiversity, and excessive waste.
Sustainability means finding a way to meet the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. However, since the industrial revolution, excessive use of resources has put a huge strain on our planet and the number of resources available for the next generations. It is estimated that to provide natural resources necessary to sustain current lifestyles in the next 30 years, the equivalent of almost three planets would be required.
People produce and use more than they actually need. To accommodate their demand, ever-increasing amounts of finite resources are being used. Inefficient use of resources leads to a series of long-lasting consequences, such as pollution, loss of biodiversity, and climate change. In fact, our consumption patterns caused a so-called overshoot - since 1970, each year humanity uses more resources than the Earth can regenerate.
With everything being interconnected in the natural world, one negative consequence of our actions results in a ‘positive feedback’ and fuels another adverse change. Without one species, the other gets impacted, leading to loss of biodiversity and long-term changes in how organisms interact with each other. Excessive use of fossil fuels increases pollution causing large greenhouse gas emissions and hence, resulting in global warming, as well as affecting people’s health by making life-threatening diseases such as cancer more common. Further, migration due to climate change is becoming more frequent as certain places are no longer inhabitable.
The web of interdependencies seems to be endless - everyone and everything is affected by humans’ unsustainable practices and interactions with the natural environment.
Sustainability is becoming a more prominent part of social and political debate, and the majority of governments and businesses have started implementing sustainable strategies. However, the changes are not fast enough and there is a reluctance to introduce eco-friendly practices for fear of economic loss. Charities thus work on changing traditional value chains, making them more eco, and people-friendly.
Tackling sustainability-related issues begins with education and raising awareness about the reality that we’re facing and contributing to. Through increasing social and environmental awareness, people can recognize small ways in which they can act and consume more responsibly.
The awareness about environmental problems and education on that matter is, however, still insufficient. That is why many charities focus on increasing the level of environmental education among the generations who will soon become the decision-makers. Through conferences, workshops with experts, and projects that allow young people to put the acquired knowledge into practice, charities work hard to provide the world with the necessary education.
Education is the first step, but the topic of sustainability is very broad and requires actions in different sectors. Only by combining the efforts of different actors will we be able to ensure a safe future for future generations.
Donate to this United Action to make your money as effective as possible. Our research team rigorously evaluates each charity, and curates collections of the top performing among them, so you can tackle the same urgent problem with different solutions.
Help us create a world that is good for all.
ProVeg is dedicated to raising awareness of how we can tackle the problem of overproduction and overconsumption of animal-based products, which contribute to climate change. ProVeg aims to create a world in which plant-based food is as accessible and attractive as possible. They also support and facilitate a range of vegan events throughout the year. In their political work, they advocate and communicate the potential of plant-based foods and lifestyles for tackling various problem areas such as animal welfare, environmental protection, climate protection and resource conservation.
Help us advocate for those who can't.
The Humane League UK holds corporations accountable, educates and empowers activists, and campaigns to create change. Further, being aware of the importance of individual effort, they work to empower people with knowledge and encourage them to become activists and leave animals off our plates, advocating for plant-based options. All their work is rooted in sound research and a commitment to effective animal protection.
Promoting Development in a Sustainable Way.
CERATH is a developmental organisation focused on rural and urban poor development in Africa. CDO has five main intervention areas for empowerment- Agriculture, Fisheries, Renewable Energy, Inclusive Finance and Water, Sanitation & Hygiene as the pathways to rural and urban development. Their projects include delivering trainings on employability and entrepreneurship to empower local communities and promote sustainable production; contributing to green circular economy through value-addition to coconut husks waste; and improving agricultural practices.
Working together towards a clean and healthy North Sea!
The North Sea Foundation operates with science-based, independent, together and solution-oriented core values. Together with many stakeholders, they strive for a clean and healthy North Sea where economy and ecology go hand in hand. The projects they focus on involve cleaning the beaches, protecting endangered species, research and raising awareness by the means of their informative articles.
For change that matters.
Together with all relevant stakeholders from farmers to multinationals, Solidaridad is working with fair trade products that are profitable for all relevant stakeholders and do not harm the environment. They work in over 40 countries to make sustainability the norm and enable farmers and workers around the globe to earn a decent income, produce in balance with nature, and shape their own future.
Committed to delivering access to energy.
Power for All is a global campaign committed to ending energy poverty while addressing the pressing threat of climate change throughout Africa and Asia. They aim to end the path dependency of fossil fuels and diesel-powered generators, and instead accelerate the use of decentralized renewable energy solutions. Further, they mobilize networks of partners across the energy access ecosystem that together can accelerate the adoption of decentralized renewable energy. Collectively with partners, Power for All drives awareness, activates markets, and catalyzes advocacy that will help transform the way energy is used, generated, and paid for in order to end poverty faster.
Sail with science. Discover your footprint.
The Ocean Movement educates and activates people, organisations and governments through the organisation of a variety of activities – sailing expeditions and citizen science projects, lectures, and documentaries. As they believe it is crucial to actively involve young people in the subject of litter and plastic pollution, they developed a program in which students work as researchers and advisors for their municipality.
No plastic in our water or our bodies
To tackle plastic pollution, the Plastic Soup Foundation continually demands attention to their work via campaigns, news and social media. In addition, they focus on educating the youngest generations through developing learning packages for primary and secondary schools. They work together with experts, politicians, organisations, universities and companies that have a related mission or vision and explore measures to prevent plastic from entering the environment, water and ultimately the oceans.
In each of the United Actions below, you’ll find curated collections of top-performing charities, all tackling the same urgent problem from different angles.
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The war in Ukraine first erupted in early 2014. It continued as never-ending shellings and skirmishes along the front line that separates Russian- and Ukrainian-controlled border regions in thSupport this United Action
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