Everybody enjoys a bit of retail therapy now and then. What if your mini-spending spree did more than line your closets and cabinets, but also gave back to the planet?

Millennials cite corporate consciousness as one of the primary factors they consider when deciding where to spend their hard-earned dimes, and for good reason. Many top scientists believe humankind now stands on the brink of environmental catastrophe, as illustrated by severe hurricanes and wildfires in recent years.

By choosing to patronize small businesses that set aside a portion of all proceeds to protect the world we share, we can all take pride in doing our part to help preserve planet Earth.

1. Patagonia

Patagonia, an outdoor outfitting company, instituted the Patagonia Action Works campaign to connect people with environmental causes near them, even if they haven’t made a purchase. The company’s mission statement says protecting the planet is the No. 1 driving force behind its sales.

In November of 2018, Patagonia announced a $10 million gift to environmental causes. The company prioritized the additional funds as a result of the tax cuts signed into law by President Donald Trump, a bill that also opened up 19 million acres of Alaska’s wildlife refuge to fossil fuel drilling.

Because Patagonia’s Action Works program focuses on supporting local environmental action groups, its stores and outlets provide shoppers with information about organizations in need of support. Grassroots community conservation groups are invited to partner with the brand to raise funds. Patagonia donates 1 percent of all proceeds to ecological charities.

2. Greater Good

Greater Good allows consumers to support a number of causes, from literacy to combating hunger to protecting Mother Earth and the animals who dwell here with us. Like Patagonia, conscientious individuals can take action through its site without necessarily breaking out their debit cards. The website features daily clicks that raise money through advertising partners to donate to the causes they espouse.

The site sells environmentally conscious goods ranging from clothing and fashion to one-of-a-kind gifts hand-crafted by indigenous peoples in poverty-stricken areas of the globe. Animal lovers will adore the paw print pajamas perfect for curling up on the couch and celebrating “Caturday” with their favorite furry buddy. The extensive jewelry line will delight fashionistas who accessorize every outfit perfectly.

3. Daniel Glass

Americans guzzle over 8 million gallons of bottled water each year, and the plastic waste generated may clutter beaches and destroy sea life for years to come. This inspired Daniel Glass to create its Sips for a Cause campaign, designed to reduce plastic bottle waste by providing consumers with convenient, reusable water bottles free of dangerous toxins. It donates a portion of each purchase to charities that protect the world’s oceans.

This innovative idea lets customers help keep the Pacific garbage patch from growing in two ways: by reusing their drinking container and by donating to cleanup organizations. The reusable bottles come in a variety of hot fashion colors, so buy more than one to complement the items in your favorite workout gear and look mad coordinated while doing good.

4. Yards Brewing Co.

What’s wrong with enjoying a cold one now and again? Why not enjoy your pub crawl while also doing good?

Yards Brewing Co., based in Philadelphia, doesn’t only make great beer — it raises money for several causes as well. It hosts numerous events where a portion of the proceeds goes to make the world a better place.

Recently, Yards crafted a special ale for the Sons of Ben, a philanthropic organization dedicated to preserving Philly’s nickname as the City of Brotherly Love by supporting local causes. During the Super Bowl, Yards donated a dollar of each pint sold to Prevention Point, an organization fighting the opioid epidemic. Discarded opiates often end up in streams and even underwater aquifers, damaging the water supply.

5. The Elephant Pants

Elephants are remarkable, intelligent creatures sadly facing threats from unscrupulous tourism companies and poachers. The Elephant Pants, a retail clothing chain, hopes to save these beautiful behemoths through its unique clothing line.

The Elephant Pants line is made in accordance with fair trade in Thailand. TV’s “Shark Tank” has featured the products, which consist of comfortable work pants, workout gear and casual wear.

The Elephant Pants contributes 10 percent of all proceeds to anti-poaching and conservation groups. Customers and bloggers can go a step further by posting selfies featuring its heavenly soft designs and by promoting its causes at a grassroots level on their websites.

Shop Smart, Do Good

Smart shoppers put their money where their values lie, and those who support saving the planet we all share can do their part by helping small businesses that share their eco-consciousness. Together, we can help save the Earth, one shopping spree at a time!

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About Author

Kate Harveston covers social justice and human rights issues. She graduated with a Bachelors in English and minored in Criminal Justice, so she enjoys writing about anything related to the intersections of law, politics and culture. For more of her writing, you can visit her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

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