By Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet

Currency is something we normally think of in narrow terms: the bills or coins we fish out of wallets and pockets to pay for our morning cuppa. But we can also think of it in broader terms: the influence we have on the people and world around us through our actions and choices. Our planet needs us to be thinking about how we can deploy our currency — in the broadest sense of the word — to address the urgent and often overwhelming slate of environmental challenges we face.

When we are reading about the health of the Great Barrier Reef, listening to a news update about the rate of deforestation in the Amazon or watching a documentary about the impact of our food systems closer to home, it can be easy to focus on our fears instead of the positive actions we can take. How can we get beyond the fears and obstacles to unleash our passion and take meaningful action?

At 1% for the Planet, we believe that it’s all about the power of simple, thoughtful action. Giving to credible environmental nonprofits, no matter how small a contribution, is a particularly powerful strategy for connecting your passion with real impact.

Passion is an incredible fuel source. Thinking about nonprofits in terms of critical areas of environmental impact most important to you can be a helpful framework to get you started. Areas of interest may include:


Renewable energy options are expanding — from sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat — and nonprofits are making great impact in this and other climate-related areas.


Are you passionate about local agriculture or sustainable food systems? Nonprofits around the world are working to make sure our food systems are not only healthy but are also driving widely positive gains for the planet.


From open space in your local community for a family walk to habitat that conserves biodiversity, protected or conserved land is a fundamental building block of environmental concern. This issue area can include not only physical places but also the activities that connect us to these places and grow in us the affection that can inform our activism.


It really stinks, so to speak, to learn that your water is actually not clean, that the food you buy might contain toxins that no one is obligated to tell you about or to know that the air you breathe is contaminated….