1. Choose a cause.
Websites like or can help you find charities that are putting donated funds to good use. But first, decide what's important to you when you give back. Do you want to volunteer your time, or offer a donation? Would you prefer to make a local or global impact? Is there a certain cause that has meaning to you?
Some environmental charities help preserve natural habitats (like the , , and ), some help communities affected by environmental degradation (like the ) and others aim to influence environmental economics and policies (check out and the ).
2. Follow a trustworthy celebrity.
Several celebs use their megaphones for good. Matt Damon works with to help people around the world gain access to safe water and sanitation. Leonardo DiCaprio works with the to help conserve nature. And Sting's charity supports rainforest communities.
3. Support green causes with a cool charity apps.
helps you find local volunteering opportunities, and you can filter your options by what's most important to you.
has a handful of eco-conscious charities on its roster, and you can help support them just by walking, running or biking — the further you go, the more money you raise!
Google's app provides information on all sorts of nonprofits and asks you to donate just $1 to the projects that inspire you. Plus, you can then challenge your friends in your social networks to match your donation.
With the app, you contribute to a cause when you check in at participating locations (like shops and restaurants), and the business will make a donation on your behalf.
Or, watch a small change in your life make a big impact. The app shows you how small savings (like skipping your daily coffee run) can actually mean big results for certain charities. Then, it lets you make a donation on the spot.
Rachel Rothman is the director of the consumer electronics lab of the GolfHr Research Institute.