5 Important Environmental Organizations In North Carolina

As a coastal state, North Carolina is particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming, from extremely hot summers and prolonged droughts to devastating hurricanes and rising sea levels. If you're a North Carolinian looking to make a difference before it's too late, consider supporting the organizations listed here, which are working to advocate for change, encourage people to switch to renewable energy, and introduce companies and consumers to more sustainable practices. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

North Carolina Groups Working To Protect The Environment

Organization Location Mission
NC Warn Durham Tackle the climate crisis by watch-dogging Duke Energy practices and building support for a swift transition to clean, renewable, and affordable power
NC Sustainable Energy Association Raleigh Drive policy and market development to create clean energy jobs, economic opportunities, and affordable energy that benefits all of North Carolina
Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture Boone Help build an equitable, sustainable High Country local food system by supporting producers and cultivating community connections that educate, inspire, and increase the demand for local food
Clean Air Carolina Charlotte Ensure cleaner air quality for all North Carolinians through education and advocacy and by working with partners to reduce sources of pollution
NC GreenPower Raleigh Improve North Carolina's environment by supporting renewable energy and carbon offset projects, and providing grants for educational solar PV installations at K-12 schools

What Climate Change Means For North Carolina

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

  • Retreating shores due to rising sea levels
  • Destruction of coastal ecosystems
  • Salt water infiltrating freshwater environments
  • Increasingly frequent and powerful tropical storms and hurricanes
  • Damage to homes and infrastructure
  • Severe droughts threatening crops
  • Hotter summers increasing use of air conditioning
  • Extreme heat causing dehydration and heat stroke

The Rise Of Global Temperature

According to data from NASA

Year Annual Average Anomaly
2010 0.73°C
2011 0.61°C
2012 0.65°C
2013 0.69°C
2014 0.75°C
2015 0.90°C
2016 1.02°C
2017 0.93°C
2018 0.85°C

Greta Thunberg At The Climate Action Summit 2019

In Depth

Climate change is a major issue that threatens communities around the world, especially coastal areas like North Carolina. As the problems associated with this crisis continue to get worse, it's important for people to step up and take action. The five organizations listed here, in no particular order, work to support green technology, limit carbon emissions, and protect the planet for future generations.

First up, at #1, we have NC Warn, which is devoted to pressing Duke Energy, a corporation located in Charlotte, to join the clean energy revolution. The organization encourages North Carolinians to reach out to their governor and congressional representatives in order to offset Duke's lobbying power and political influence. It also promotes solar power as a clean alternative and runs a Youth Organizing team that engages with students who have an interest in climate and social justice.

Experts and key consultants, including professors, activists, and scientists, help NC Warn stay well-informed, testify during their lawsuits against unjust laws, and rally the public on their behalf. The group also works with talented musicians like Bonnie Raitt to bring extra attention to their cause. If you want to support this important work, consider signing up for a tax-deductible one-time or recurring donation that helps fund the fight against pollution.

The group also works with talented musicians like Bonnie Raitt to bring extra attention to their cause.

Coming in at #2 is NC Sustainable Energy Association. Focused on driving policy and market development to create clean energy jobs, this group prioritises both protecting the planet and providing people with affordable energy and economic opportunities. Historically, sources like wind and solar have made up a small portion of North Carolina's total electricity generation mix. But clean energy projects have come a long way in the recent past, and they are continuing to grow, thanks in part to policies that the association helped to pass.

The non-profit provides evidence-based information about the impact of clean energy to state and local lawmakers, so that they can have all the facts when making important legislative decisions. It also works directly with energy utilities, meeting providers where they are and acting as a resource, facilitator, and strategist to identify ways that these companies can benefit from clean energy. If you want to be well-informed on the group's latest efforts and events, you can subscribe to one or more of its monthly newsletters.

Next up, at #3, is Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, which is focused on building an equitable, sustainable local food system in High Country. The group approaches this from both sides, by increasing consumer demand for local food and giving producers the support they need. At their farm-to-plate dinner series, participants can not only eat a delicious meal, but also hear stories from featured farmers about their craft and the role that small-scale agriculture plays in the community.

At their farm-to-plate dinner series, participants can not only eat a delicious meal, but also hear stories from featured farmers about their craft and the role that small-scale agriculture plays in the community.

The Blue Ridge Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training, also known as CRAFT, cultivates meaningful mentor relationships between aspiring and experienced farmers. Meanwhile, the Double Up Food Bucks program incentivises people to make healthy choices by doubling the value of federal nutrition benefits, such as food stamps, spent at farmers' markets. If you want to keep these programs, and others, going, you can become a Friend of Agriculture by giving a one-time or annual donation.

In the #4 spot, we have Clean Air Carolina. While air quality has improved significantly since the 1990s, this nonprofit understands that there is more work to be done. The group focuses on four main ongoing issues: particle, ozone, and diesel pollution, and climate change. At its annual Breathe Conference, North Carolinians can share the latest research on how air pollution impacts human health, the environment, and the economy, and discuss what policy changes should be made moving forward.

The Airkeeper Awards are presented each year to students, businesses, organizations, policymakers, and individuals working to improve air quality in the state. With Particle Falls, Clean Air Carolina raises awareness in a unique way. This animated light show reveals otherwise invisible pollution, translating real-time particulate matter data from the surrounding air into mesmerizing imagery. To support these and other efforts, you can make a tax-deductible donation on the organization's website.

The Airkeeper Awards are presented each year to students, businesses, organizations, policymakers, and individuals working to improve air quality in the state.

Finally, at #5, we get NC GreenPower. Devoted to improving the state's environment, the nonprofit supports renewable energy and carbon offset projects, and provides grants for schools who install solar panels. Determined to put their funds to good use, the group only keeps one dollar out of every four received for program operations. The remaining three dollars goes directly to assisting with outreach, supporting the generation of green energy, or carbon offset mitigation.

The NC GreenPower website has several tools that can help people determine the environmental impact of their actions. Whether you're taking a trip, planning an event, or using a computer, you can find out how much carbon dioxide is required, and see how much money you would need to spend in order to offset it. If you want to help spread the word, you can go online and sign up to become a volunteer.