It’s time for our annual environmental charity donation. Where should we donate?

Edit: Thanks everyone! Based on your feedback, I just made our donations to The Bee Conservancy, Alliance for the Great Lakes, and One Tree Planted.

TP is part of 1% For The Planet, a program where 1% of every dollar that comes into TP is donated to fixing our biggest long-term threat: climate change and the destruction of the planet.

It’s time to make our modest 2021 donations. I’ve gone through the searchable database of possible charities and picked out the ones below that I’d suggest we donate to.

Wanted to open this up to the community for feedback. Which of the list below do you like most? Any others from the database you want to propose?

Alliance for the Great Lakes. When you look at climate change projections, the great lakes region is one of the best (maybe the best) places to move as preppers within the US. That region, thanks in large part to the lakes, is expected to ‘weather the storm’ of the climate crisis. Those lakes hold ~20% of the world’s fresh water, so it makes sense to protect that precious asset as we move towards a water-scarce future.

This picture is from the annual event where the Alliance organizes 15,000 volunteers to remove plastic waste from the lakes. Last year they removed 18 tons.


The Bee Conservancy. You probably know that bees/pollinators are crucial for ecosystems, yet their colonies have been collapsing in recent years. This decade-old group has a few programs, one of which is running hives in urban gardens throughout New York City.


One Tree Planted has actually planted over 40 million trees in over 40 countries. Trees are one of the best chances we have of reducing the harmful carbon building up in our atmosphere, since trees inhale the bad stuff and exhale clean oxygen. You can read more about this topic in our recent interview with the former Reddit CEO who’s trying to enable a trillion new trees.

Water.org, founded by Matt Damon, gives microloans to impoverished people who need help getting access to clean water and sanitation. They’ve helped 40 million people so far.

Conservation.org (Conservation International) has been around 30 years and has a wide range of initiatives, including ocean protection.

Earth Guardians is a 30-year-old charity that runs climate programs for young people. Some of it is on the advocacy side, such as getting underrepresented youth more involved in voting and civic duty. Other programs work directly in the environment, such as planting trees or running a class in Africa to teach farmers how to reuse farm waste for new products.



  • Comments (20)

    • 6

      They are all great choices! I like the idea of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, maybe because I’ve been talking about drought and wildfires and now it’s in the back of my mind as one of the most urgent issues.

    • 7

      Save the bees! We need those pollinators.

      • 2

        Agreed, bees are my top choice as well.

    • 5


    • 4

      All of the choices are great; like several others, I too vote for the bees!  I attended a talk about bee decline just prior to the pandemic and it was very eye opening.  I did not realize that a huge stressor on the bees is the lack of nutrition in suburbia. What many people view as a beautiful lawn (grass and nonflowering shrubs) is actually a desert of starvation for bees.  

      There are numerous pollinators that can be easily planted in every yard (or rooftop or balcony) to provide food for the bees, which in turn provides food for us.  I’ve planted several in my yard and have been rewarded not only with happy bees but also butterflies and hummingbirds!  


      • 5

        >There are numerous pollinators that can be easily planted in every yard (or rooftop or balcony) to provide food for the bees, which in turn provides food for us.

        Fantastic. This sounds like an excellent potential post on how to create quality habitat.

        I did some searching on “How to plant for bees”, and quickly discovered there is a wealth of information. It is a lot to process.

        I found this collection of pollinator-friendly planting guides: https://pollinator.org/guides

        In the US and Canada, you can search based on your area. They also have detailed PDFs for each type of region.

        Thank you for the prompting. We are working to do our part – for the past several years we have been converting sections of our lawn to plants that use less water, are more drought-hardy, and more friendly to bees and pollitanors – e.g. micro clover; creeping thyme. We have also been trying to identify and plant flowering and pollinator-friendly species. It feels like a life-long project that is worth always continuing.

    • 4

      Alliance for the Great Lakes gets my vote. 

    • 3

      bees / bugs

    • 3


    • 4

      I Like One Tree Planted. Climate change is a world wide issue and this seems like a world wide program that will help everyone, not just a specific few. 

    • 6

      I vote to support the bees. 

      Did you know that one bee produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in their lifetime? It’s just mind boggling how many bees it takes to produce the big tub we get from the store. Since learning of this fact I don’t let a single drop of honey go to waste because that may be an entire bee’s lifetime of work that I am throwing out. 

      Plus so much of our food is reliant on bees pollinating them. We owe a lot to those little guys.

      Another tip… If bees set up a nest in your yard and you are allergic to them and can’t have them around or they are just a danger to you or your kids, don’t pull out the bug spray and kill them, try contacting a local bee keeper and see if they could help re-home them.

      • 6

        Applause on the re-homing recommendation. A friend of mine got a swarm of bees in her attic and a local beekeeper was not only thrilled to rehome them at no charge (when she asked how much it would cost he just stared at her and said, “Well it won’t cost nothin’, but I get to keep the bees”), he also brings her a jar of honey from “her” hive every season. Everybody lived happily ever after.  

    • 8

      I would just like to say: kudos John and staff on working with what you have and taking positive action to make a difference in the world. Thank you for creating something great and being a force for good.

      • 4

        Thanks mate 🙂 But it’s yall’s money, so none of this can happen without the community! 

    • 2

      Bee’s please.

    • 2

      All good choices here.  Nice that you are doing this. I spent time on the board of directors for a state environmental group, Not all envrio groups are supportive of the local energy policy that would be beneficial to preppers. It takes some time to sort out which ones, but worth it. I’d be happy to visit with staff about some of my experiences if there is interest.  

    • 2

      FWIW, I will always vote for bees and trees.

    • 2

      I vote for One Tree Planted; it looks like it would have an impact over a broader geographical area.

    • 8

      Thanks everyone! Based on your feedback, I just made our donations to The Bee Conservancy, Alliance for the Great Lakes, and One Tree Planted.