At Kiva, we don’t wait for Earth Day to examine and address the undeniable truth; namely, that climate change is a defining issue of our time.
For us and many of our lender community, climate has been – and continues to be – a main focus area. Last year Kiva reached almost 100,000 people with climate-smart loans*. That's nearly one person every five minutes.
These are loans that support climate change-impacted people. Loans that promote environmental justice. Loans that facilitate the mitigation of, adaptation to, and resilience in the face of climate change.
Since the start of the Kiva US program in 2011, we’ve made possible the crowdfunding of 550+ such loans within the U.S. That’s more than $4.3MM in capital.
Hundreds of Kiva US borrowers have crowdfunded climate-friendly loans, and they’ve used these (0%-interest, zero-fee, zero-collateral) loans to continue taking ambitious action toward creating positive environmental outcomes needed to tackle the climate crisis.
Below we’re highlighting a few of these individuals who know that no act is too small in the fight to curb climate change, who prioritize people and planet over profit, and who have been able to foster increased awareness of the importance of sustainability in their communities.
Read more: 5 Ways to Help the Earth
Rachel in Bayfield, Wisconsin
Rachel's Kiva loans helped expand offerings of eco-friendly wellness and goods for her community.
Rachel just crowdfunded her third Kiva loan. An entrepreneur with a deep interest in and passion for sustainable living, Rachel is proud of the small, woman-owned, organically-operated body care brand she’s been able to build over the past decade, Good Flower Farm; and she’s thankful to be able to weave her passion for sustainability into her business:
"We’ve been committed since the beginning to sourcing the most ethical and sustainable ingredients we can - even growing some ourselves! - and continue to improve our packaging and production & shipping methods to move toward zero waste.”
“From the inception of my business, the focus was always around environmental sustainability. With a background in environmental education, I couldn’t imagine building a business that doesn’t educate consumers on sustainability, which we do as much as possible. We’ve been committed since the beginning to sourcing the most ethical and sustainable ingredients we can - even growing some ourselves! - and continue to improve our packaging and production & shipping methods to move toward zero waste.”
Good Flower Farm funnels 1% of all sales to environmental organizations through their partnership with 1% for the Planet, and they are also certified cruelty-free through Leaping Bunny.
“This [third Kiva] loan will help us fulfill our dream of bringing more consciously-sourced good-for-us-good-for-the-earth offerings to our town that currently has to travel at least 30 minutes for things like this.”
Ian in Iowa City, Iowa
Ian’s Kiva loan helped his sustainability-focused coffee shop reach new customers in the community.
"I like the idea that you can build a sustainability-focused company in the middle of Iowa and still make a global impact."
“I like the idea that you can build a sustainability-focused company in the middle of Iowa and still make a global impact. Since Daydrink has only used glass jars for to-go and retail containers, we've been able to help reduce single-use plastic in our community. We've also turned the local conversation around sustainability towards single-use, and we've proven that you can build an incredible, thoughtful company here in the Midwest.”
He used a Kiva loan to purchase a fridge large enough to begin selling cold brew bottles at scale, source more green coffee for retail, upgrade equipment in-house, and invest in product marketing efforts.
In addition to the focus on ethical sourcing and high quality coffee, Daydrink prides itself on creating an inclusive community – in their words, “a community that is bigger than coffee, and one that encourages people to be themselves.”
Check out this video in which Ian himself makes an appearance, demonstrating sustainable production and consumption in action.
Gida in Kaua'i, Hawaii
A Kiva loan helped Gida's small regenerative poultry and egg farm provide food for the island of Kaua'i.
With a shared desire to create sustainable, high-quality food to feed an island that primarily depends on imported goods, Gida and her co-owners – who all bring years of experience in related fields, including organic and biodynamic farming – started Next Wave Island Poultry.
They strive to continue scaling their chicken and egg operation using the cleanest and most regenerative methods available, so that they may reach even more individuals on the island with pasture-raised, organically-managed poultry and eggs:
We are... thrilled to hear the feedback from people who are excited to have locally, organically raised meat and eggs again available to them.
“We are proud already of the innovations we've made to our pastured chicken tractors, our expansion of the egg-laying flock and the move towards expanding our pasture operations to include other small farms that would benefit from chickens on their fallow fields. We are also thrilled to hear the feedback from people who are excited to have locally, organically raised meat and eggs again available to them.”
Next Wave Island Poultry has an objective of streamlining the processing of their meat birds and chicken eggs to ensure that, as they grow, they are working as efficiently as possible while providing the safest and highest quality products to their customers. They used the Kiva loan to purchase key equipment, including a commercial egg-washer, a scalding tank for the cleanest and most efficient chicken processing, and a commercial refrigerator for the safe storage of meat and eggs.
Protecting food sources and agricultural livelihoods is foremost in the effort to build climate resilience around the world. Climate change will reduce agriculture yields by up to 30% by 2050 and increase food prices by 20% for billions of people, according to the UN’s committee on global climate change.
Gida’s contribution to sustainable food production systems on her island once again underscores how small businesses can make a big difference.
Invest in an eco-friendly business
These are just a few examples of Kiva borrowers who are doing what they can to mitigate climate change; hundreds of thousands of other Kiva borrowers are similarly using their business ventures as a way to positively impact the environment.
At Kiva, we envision a financially inclusive world where all people hold the power to improve their lives. Through our unique crowdfunding platform, anyone anywhere may contribute to a loan that resonates with them and support small-scale entrepreneurs around the world – including those who are either disproportionately impacted by climate change and those who are leading impactful initiatives in the fight against climate change.
By facilitating access to capital for these individuals, you, too, are making a difference in this fight.
Contribute to an eco-friendly loan today.