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  • Al Giacalone

10 Ways to Give Back to Our Local Community This Holiday Season

This year has demonstrated, perhaps more than ever, the importance of our family, friends, neighbors, and community. It truly “takes a village” to keep a community functioning effectively, whether that’s by keeping our waterways clean, feeding the hungry, teaching our kids, or supporting small businesses.



With the holidays right around the corner, December offers the perfect opportunity to give back to the place we call home. You might want to focus your efforts near home, expand to our larger community, or even help support the people closest to you. Whether you’re passionate about a particular cause or just want to get more involved in general, let these 10 ways, both big and small, inspire you to do good in your town.



GIVE BACK NEAR HOME


1. Attract local wildlife. By making your neighborhood more wildlife friendly, you’re helping to create a balanced and healthy ecosystem. Plus, many of the animals you can attract help with pest control and pollination.1


Ideas:

  • Add a birdbath to your backyard or create a rain garden to attract wildlife (and filter out local pollutants).

  • Place bird feeders on your property to feed birds all year long.

  • Tie corncobs to tree branches to feed squirrels.

  • Hang birdhouses on your property to provide shelter.

  • Use native plants in your landscaping to provide food and shelter for birds, bees, butterflies, and other critters.


Take action: While you might not be able to “break ground” until spring, start researching native plants now to design a landscaping plan that provides food, shelter, and water for local wildlife.



2. Clean up our community. Besides beautifying the area, picking up trash keeps it out of our local waterways, which means a cleaner water supply for all of us.


Ideas:

  • Whether you make this a solo effort or join in an organized group event, pick up trash in your neighborhood, at a local park, or elsewhere in our community.

  • Depending on your community’s regulations, you can recycle many home items such as paper, glass, and aluminum.

  • And don’t forget to clean the exterior of your home, where water runoff (such as on your driveway and sidewalks) can carry debris into the local sewer system.2


Take action: Check with your local municipality to learn about environmental clean-up efforts in our community, as well as recycling and composting.