For the last week and a half, I haven’t left the house without an armload of gifts. Family, teachers, friends, parties: gifts for everyone. So, while I’m doling out the presents, how about a little something for our planet? I could give the earth some nice compost or a homemade “Please Recycle!” poster. I could promise to be a better steward this year and get my family and friends to improve with me. But I’d like to shop for something that can be used right away, so I will check out environmental organizations on the internet and make a donation. In the past I’ve made contributions through the kid’s schools and activities. I’ve purchased rainforest acres through The Nature Conservancy (I love this program) and trees to be planted in Israel through the JNF. I’ve contributed to other programs as well over the years, but always when a cause comes to me, or in some cases, is forced on me. I’ve never sat back and thought about giving a gift to the earth and where it should go. I will think about it some more, but I will probably end up buying a membership to the Union of Concerned Scientists. I’ve been getting updates from a number of environmental organizations since starting this blog and I really like what I’ve been seeing come in from the UCS. Their emails include concrete things you can do to improve environmental legislation and realistic advice on changing your own habits. They send information on what you can do along with templates for letters, stickers to print out and addresses to send things. And their information comes mostly from the scientific community. I’m a sucker for good research data.
If you decide to spend a little money on the earth this year,
These websites are worth checking out regardless of whether or not you want to donate. As I was getting the site addresses it took lots of restraint not to get lost in all the interesting information and projects.
“Tikkun Olam” means, in its most basic form, repairing the world. It is an ancient term from long before we worried about carbon emissions or mercury in our fish. It promotes the idea that we are the stewards of our planet and we that must be constant and vigilant in our responsibility. And not only must we take care of the Earth and seas and creatures, but we have to fix what is broken. And this is our job for as long as we are on this planet.