‘Tis the Season for Gratitude

‘Tis the Season for Gratitude

by Nicole Meyers and Erin McKinnon


In this the season of giving, it is difficult not to notice that all the “things” that make us happy and comfortable – food, shelter, water, warmth, gifts, parties, long distance travel to see our families – are all made from natural resources.

It’s been said before and I think it bears repeating – if you conserve you won’t have a dearth. Saving water prevents droughts. It’s a simple thing everyone can do and make a habit of in no time. Below is a list of simple things we can all do to conserve our valuable resources so we won’t want for them in the future.

Take any of these steps in addition to your usual shopping expedition and you have given more than a gift. You have taken a step in preserving their and your futures in anticipation of many more happy holiday seasons to come!


Next time you fly, check to see if your airline has voluntary carbon-offset program. Airline companies such as Delta, United, Virgin, Air Canada, Brussels, Srilankan Airways, Lufthansa, Kenya Airways, Cathay Pacific, SAS, Thai AIrways, TAP Portugal and more, give passengers the opportunity to buy carbon offsets for their flight.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car also allows you to purchase carbon offsets for your trip when you book a car. Interested in a carpool on your way to work? Enterprise’s RideShare program provides a van-pooling service that helps commuters get to work in a more cost and fuel efficient way. .

For individuals or businesses interested in buying carbon offsets or renewable energy credits, check out TerraPass, The Carbon Fund, The Climate Trust or Native Energy. You can purchase a one-time package or subscribe monthly, and there is a diverse range of high-impact projects to choose from. You can invest in energy efficiency, forestry, renewable energy, grassland conservation or other carbon-reducing projects with social and environmental benefits.  These organizations also feature online carbon calculators for those who want to track their carbon footprint.


Plant a tree through The American Forests organization, or give a tree as a gift. Trees are a meaningful way to to protect our forests. With your support, American Forests can plant trees in forests across the country and around the world that are in need of restoration.

The Nature Conservancy is a worldwide organization that is devoted to lands and water conservation. Their local New York Chapter has endless opportunities to encourage people get involved and protect and New York. Browse here for upcoming events throughout the state. If you are unable to attend, you can become a digital volunteer by joining their global community by following them on Facebook and Twitter, and sharing your posts with your friends.

The U.S. Water Alliance is an organization devoted to advancing water policy and programs that sustain this essential resource. According to their 2016 U.S. report, every American uses an average 176 gallons of water per day. That is over 64,000 gallons a year. There are many water-saving measures that individuals can take to minimise their usage. Simple things like turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth or wash your hands, or filling up your sink with water, instead of letting it run the whole time you wash the dishes.


The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) offers a species adoption program where individuals can make a donation to protect an animal of their choice.  All adoption kits support the WWF’s global efforts to protect wild animals and their habitats. Amongst the options include african elephants, three-toed sloths, flamingos, narwhals, octopuses, llamas, and many more.

Recycling is a fundamental way to take care of the planet. Terracycle offers free recycling programs funded by brands, manufacturers, and retailers to help individuals and businesses collect and recycle your hard-to-recycle waste. You can choose the programs you want to join, start collecting in your home, school, or office, download a free shipping labels, and send in your waste to be recycled. You can also earn rewards for your school or favorite non-profit. Companies that work with Terracycle include Brita, Colgate, Yankee Candle, and Pepsico. You can also send in your binders, cigarette waste, snack bags, and personal beauty products.

Donate food, funds, or your time at City Harvest, an organization that combats hunger in New York City. Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities near you. City Harvest also rescues food from all segments of the food industry including restaurants, wholesalers, green markets, bakeries, caterers, hospitals and corporate cafeterias, as well as canned food drives. Donors who have 50 pounds or more of food can schedule a pick-up on an call-in basis. If you have a donation that you would like picked up, you can call 646.412.0758.

Toys for Tots is a nationwide program that distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. You can make a monetary donation, or donate a toy at a designated drop-off location.

This year marks the 10th annual Burlington Coat Factory “Warm Coats and Warm Hearts” Coat Drive. You can donate a gently worn coat at any Burlington location across the country through January 23, 2017 and receive 10% off your entire purchase.






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