We’ve long ago replaced our lightbulbs, started buying organic, perhaps even invested in double-paned windows or bought a hybrid or electric car. It can feel like there’s little more we can do for the environment. Fortunately, there’s one more way to make a small investment with a big environmental impact.

 

For as little as $25 — no more than the cost of a night at the movies — you can help others around the world make their homes and businesses green.

The Beauty of Green Loans

Meet Yve-Car Momperousse, founder of Kreyól Essence, a line of eco-luxury beauty products made with Haitian black castor oil. She started her business to help both the economy and the environment in Haiti recover after the 2010 earthquake.

By making products from the native castor plant, which repairs depleted soils, Kreyól Essence is helping to counteract the effects of deforestation. Plus, the company has created 100 quality jobs, with a focus on hiring women, and contracted with nearly 300 small farmers to cultivate castor.

But she would never have been able to get started without the loan she received through Kiva, a crowdfunding site that helps people build small businesses that transform their lives and communities.

It All Adds Up

If you’re not sure how your 25 bucks is going to start a business or change someone’s life, don’t worry — the idea behind crowdfunding is that if everyone chips in what they can, it all adds up. In fact, Yve-Car’s loan was funded in just three days, thanks to contributions from more than 2,800 people.

And the opportunities are endless. Kiva is also helping families get access to safe drinking water; afford solar lighting systems and clean-burning cookstoves (black carbon, produced by dirty kerosene cookstoves, is actually the #2 culprit on the list of greenhouse gases causing climate change!); and implement sustainable agricultural practices.

To learn more about how you can get the most environmental bang for your buck this Earth Day, visit www.Kiva.org/EarthDay