Earth Day is a double-edged sword in the philanthropy space. On the one hand, it’s a time to celebrate and honor our planet and the incredible ecosystems it houses. On the other hand, it’s a sobering time to reflect on the continuously mounting work we all need to do – collectively – to save our environment. Each one of us has a unique role to play and we may find ourselves drawn to one struggle (renewable energy, clean water, endangered species, etc.) more than another. At Fluxx, we enable a variety of giving strategies through our Grantmaker solution, two of which we will examine today. But no matter what the focus, Earth Day is about coming together to spread awareness and help save our planet!
Fighting Our Dependence On Oil
Since the first Earth Day in 1970, our population has more than doubled, from 3.7 to 7.7 billion. Today in the US alone 20.5 million barrels of oil are consumed daily versus a daily average of 14.70 million barrels in 1970. Worldwide it's estimated that we consume approximately 100.6 million barrels of oil per day. One organization working to tackle our overwhelming dependence on petrol is the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP). Their teams work worldwide to strengthen markets for clean energy services in low and middle-income countries – important work that simultaneously helps both vulnerable communities that struggle to find reliable energy and our climate.
“The Private Financing Advisory Network, which REEEP hosts together with UNIDO, uses its Fluxx-based workflow management system Climate Invest to connect promising clean energy and climate adaptation entrepreneurs from developing countries all over the world with business coaches and, when they are ready, investors. In the past year, we’ve helped 11 projects raise $215 million in investment, to expand a business producing ultra-efficient stoves in India, build solar mini-grids in Bangladesh, develop a small hydro project in Côte d’Ivoire, and much more. Our passion is to help entrepreneurs succeed, to build markets for clean energy one business at a time and ultimately support the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Martin Hiller, Director General of REEEP.
With such a critical mission framed by the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, it’s our goal to continuously enable REEEP to expand their mission so that every Earth Day moving forward is a time to celebrate the progress we’ve made toward a healthier planet.
Bringing Conservation To Cities
Our world is vast. It’s easy for individuals to feel overwhelmed and not necessarily know where to begin with their conservation or sustainability efforts. That’s why each Earth Day is narrowed down to a specific theme; with this year’s theme being Protect Our Species. Much of the round-the-clock work that goes into preserving our flora, fauna, animals, and their habitats, stems from critical education efforts spearheaded by sustainably-focused nonprofits and the foundations who fund their work.
This work doesn’t need to be siloed within national parks or nature preserves – which are often hundreds of miles from the nearest city. Local education and local awareness campaigns can bring these topics into our backyards, where they matter most. After all, it can be challenging to convey the importance of preserving the thousands of lakes scattered across our planet – it’s much easier to convince communities to preserve the local lakes and rivers they enjoy each summer.
“Our conservation investments are rooted in the belief that our natural surroundings provide vital benefits that support our health. In New York City, Helmsley is focused on making green space more accessible and usable with a particular focus on underserved areas. We are honored to support grantees who exemplify that belief such as the Natural Areas Conservancy, the Fund for Public Housing, and The Nature Conservancy,” said Charlotte Gauthier, Associate Program Officer for the New York City Program at The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
Bringing the topic of conservation to cities opens a dialogue and provides education for those who may not have the opportunity to explore our great planet. It brings nature to citizens, inviting anyone and everyone to appreciate natural beauty.
At Fluxx, we are taking a moment this Earth Day to acknowledge the great work of our clients. Thanks to the continuous work from REEEP, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, The Kresge Foundation, and more, our Earth stands a chance to be cleaner and safer for future generations.