Apr 19, 2013 KV Kiva HQ
By Emily Wakefield
This Earth Day: Green loans for a green planet
Earth Day is this Monday! What will you be doing to celebrate and protect the earth?

Did you know you can use Kiva to do your part for the planet? By lending to help people afford clean energy, switch to organic farming practices and more, you can make the world a better place in several ways at once!

Developing countries are industrializing fast -- but we don’t have to choose between creating opportunity and preserving the environment. By financing the right technology for the people who need it most, we can do both.

On Monday, 192 countries will demonstrate their support for environmental protection. This is something we strive to do every day at Kiva by providing green loans



The environment is core to most Kiva borrowers' livelihoods.

Green loans aren’t just about the environment. They empower people financially and socially too. Loans provide solar lanterns that extend store hours and studying time. They fund home improvements that keep families warm and dry. They replace dirty and toxic sources of energy like wood and kerosene so households can breathe easy. And they transform farming to maximize crops and health. The opportunities are endless.

Best of all, green loans make these solutions and success stories sustainable. When you make a green loan, you help a borrower generate income while bringing green technologies and practices to their local communities and beyond.

Take for example, Kiva borrower Catherine. She used her $300 loan to buy solar lanterns from Solar Sister to sell in her village. But this is just one of her many jobs. She’s also the mother of two girls -- Fortunate, 3, and Abigail, 5 -- teaches primary school full time and supports her husband as he goes back to school. With the money from solar product sales, she buys school supplies for her daughters -- giving them a good start!



Solar Sister borrower and seller Catherine consults with customers about solar lamp purchases. 

Solar Sister is one of our many field partners that provide solutions for their borrowers as well as the environment. Through its rapidly growing network of women sales agents, it’s delivering solar lights, phone chargers, and other devices in some of the most rural parts of Uganda. This enables rural inhabitants access to electricity who may not have it otherwise. At the same time, it’s empowering women with the tools and start-up capital they need to run their own businesses and jumpstart their incomes.

Another new Kiva partner, UpEnergy is helping put clean energy within reach of Uganda’s rural poor. Kiva borrowers are lent the capital to purchase clean and energy-efficient cookstoves to sell in their rural communities. These replace wood burning stoves that are extremely inefficient -- emitting harmful gasses and contributing to Uganda’s critical deforestation problem. By lending to an UpEnergy borrower, you are helping someone grow a business, supporting the expansion of clean energy, and saving trees in Uganda. 



UpEnergy borrower Aaron used his $375 Kiva loan to buy an inventory of cookstoves to sell in his village, helping him support his family of 5 and 10 orphans who he cares for and sends to school.

So in celebration of Earth Day, promote the use of environmentally friendly practices and support an aspiring entrepreneur at the same time. Click here to make a green loan today!

Have questions about green loans? Email us at blog@kiva.org.



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Emily Wakefield A native of southern California, Emily is a recent graduate from Santa Clara University where she studied Economics and Spanish Studies. The highlight of her college experience was the semester she spent abroad in Granada, Spain. She knew she wanted to pursue a career in economic development after reading Half the Sky. Emily will be joining the Marketing and Communications team as a Blog and Social Media Intern and is especially excited to find new and creative ways to spread Kiva’s work to more people. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, listening to country music, and re-watching Friends episodes for the millionth time. 

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