For almost two decades I have donated a portion of money from my art sales (and, later, book sales) to various environmental nonprofit organizations. It’s one way for me to give back to the natural world that has given me so much, from art materials to important spiritual lessons, and it’s therefore one of my most important offerings as a pagan.
Today I renewed my membership to the Nature Conservancy. Founded in 1951, this organization works to protect sensitive wild habitats worldwide. While they work in a variety of arenas, from education to scientific research to calls for action, what initially inspired me to donate to them is their land acquisitions.
Starting in 1955, the Nature Conservancy began buying up wild lands, and later began to receive conservation easements. Both of these tactics allow them to take habitats that might otherwise be exploited or polluted and protect them permanently. They also work with indigenous people who have lived on certain pieces of land for many generations, and they train volunteers to act as interpreters at places that are popular with hikers and other outdoors enthusiasts.
Given that habitat loss is the leading cause of species endangerment and extinction in the world, I feel that this organization’s work is absolutely essential. I may not be able to buy and protect wild land myself, but I can at least help those who do.
For more information, please visit the Nature Conservancy’s website.