*While this list is not comprehensive, it does include many of the largest and most influential environmental activist groups and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in the United States. Feel free to check these out along with the links at the bottom of the page, and also to do some research on your own to see what groups exist near you that pique your interests.
The Sierra Club is now the nation's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization -- with three million members and supporters. Our successes range from protecting millions of acres of wilderness to helping pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. More recently, we've made history by leading the charge to move away from the dirty fossil fuels that cause climate disruption and toward a clean energy economy.
350 uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to oppose new coal, oil and gas projects, take money out of the companies that are heating up the planet, and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all. 350's network extends to 188 countries. We believe in a safe climate and a better future — a just, prosperous, and equitable world built with the power of ordinary people.
In 2006, Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore got the world talking about climate change with the Academy Award-winning film An Inconvenient Truth.
It was just the beginning of a climate revolution, and later that year, he founded The Climate Reality Project to move the conversation forward and turn awareness into action.
Our mission: Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.
Millions of people around the world could get access to safe water in their homes with the help of small, affordable loans.
That's where Water.org comes in. We are here to bring safe water and sanitation to the world through access to small, affordable loans. There is both a need and demand for these loans, because when people have access to safe water, they get time back to go to school, earn an income and take care of their family. It changes their world.
WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by more than one million members in the United States and close to five million globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.
NASA is an expert in climate and Earth science. While its role is not to set climate policy or prescribe particular responses or solutions to climate change, its purview does include providing the robust scientific data needed to understand climate change and evaluating the impact of efforts to combat it. NASA then makes this information available to the global community – the public, policy- and decision-makers and scientific and planning agencies around the world.
NRDC is tackling the climate crisis at its source: pollution from fossil fuels. We work to reduce our dependence on these dirty sources by expanding clean energy across cities, states, and nations. We win court cases that allow the federal government to limit carbon pollution from cars and power plants. We help implement practical clean energy solutions. And we fight oil and gas projects that would pump out even more pollution.
Our leadership in the world of ocean conservation is built on pillars of strong science, smart policies and engaged partners. That includes ocean advocates like you that help us push for effective ocean policies, international groups that work with us to reduce plastics in the ocean and over 600,000 volunteers who are part of the International Coastal Cleanup.
We are optimists about Earth’s future. Guided by our science-based approach—Conservation by Design—The Nature Conservancy is focused on finding win-win solutions that promote both economic development and environmental protection. And our science tells us that it is possible to meet global challenges such as climate change, food and water security, and city growth while creating a future in which people and nature thrive together.
Rainforest Action Network preserves forests, protects the climate and upholds human rights by challenging corporate power and systemic injustice through frontline partnerships and strategic campaigns.
We are committed to doing what is necessary, not only what is considered politically feasible, to preserve rainforests, protect the climate, and uphold human rights.
The National Geographic Society is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization that pushes the boundaries of exploration to further our understanding of our planet and empower us all to generate solutions for a more sustainable future.
Again, the above list is just a quick snapshot of available NGOs and activist networks. Feel free to check out these additional resources to research more thoroughly the available groups focused on climate change, environmental protection or related cause advocacy groups.
United Nations Development Programme - Sustainable Development Goals
Mother Jones - A Guide to Environmental Nonprofits
Sustainability Degrees - The 14 Most Influential Sustainability NGOs
Momtastic - 25 Environmental Agencies and Organizations
World Resources Institute - Climate
GlobalChange.gov - Understand Climate Change
Climate Reality Project - Celebrities doing something
Alan Alda - Center for Communicating Science
Also consider becoming a member of civic engagement websites. Your email address will be added to petition listservs calling for signatures on topics related to climate change, environmentalism, animal rights, etc. By signing up, you can add your voice to grassroots movements calling for accountability from elected officials and for-profit industries that are destroying our natural resources. You can even start your own petitions for any causes that you care about. Make sure that the sites you do sign with are being careful with your email address, but the ones in the first link should already be vetted and you can unsubscribe from their emails at any time.
These sites will often times also ask for you to donate money or share a link on your own social media pages, however you do not have to do either and just signing electronically (it takes 10 seconds and a couple clicks) will be helpful to show the just how much the citizenry cares about these causes. Research also shows that even if the business(es) or politician(s) that the petitions are directed at do not comply with an ask, recruitment levels are boosted by these online tools.