Most of us have heard of – or participated in – Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They’re days where we get great deals on all sorts of things we didn’t even know we wanted! On the busiest shopping days of the year, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget what the holiday season is really about: giving.
To get us back on the right track for the season of giving, there is now a movement called Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday, falling each year on the Tuesday after Black Friday, is a global movement for giving and volunteering where people take a moment to donate their time, money, expertise, voice, passion, or whatever they have to their favourite causes. You can learn more and donate to your favourite local charities at givingtuesday.ca.
This year, Giving Tuesday is November 28, 2017.
At Oakvillegreen, we are constantly amazed by all of the benefits we receive from our urban forest: cleaner air, oxygen, reduced flooding, carbon storage, shade, the chance to see cool native wildlife, places to play and learn, and improved physical and mental health. So, for this Giving Tuesday, we decided to share some different ways that you can give back to our urban forest and the rest of the natural environment. Please give what you can, and share with your friends, family and neighbours. Do you have a special way of giving back to your community or local green spaces? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (@Oakvillegreen).
10 Ways to Give Back to our Urban Forest:
- Become a Member or Donate to Oakvillegreen!
This year, your donations helped us engage over 6000 students in environmental education and stewardship and, with the help of volunteers, plant over 2000 trees and remove invasive species in Oakville greenspaces. Click here to donate, or click here to become a member.
- Plant a Tree in Your Backyard
Give a gift to future generations by planting a new tree in your yard through our subsidized Oakville Backyard Tree Planting Program. Visit www.yourleaf.org to sign up to have your tree planted in the spring. Or, rather than buying more ‘stuff’ for Christmas, purchase a LEAF gift certificate for a loved one! See our program page for more details.
- Teach Kids About the Value of Nature
One of the best things you can do for our environment is make sure our future leaders are empowered and aware of environmental issues. Not sure where to start? Oakvillegreen offers free education programs, including presentations, nature walks, workshops and stewardship projects to schools and groups. We also have a Youth Stewards program for eco leaders aged 13-18. If you’re looking for a new craft idea, try making seed bombs with your kids to enhance native biodiversity in your garden.
- Volunteer at a Tree Planting Event
In 2017, Oakvillegreen hosted over 20 tree planting and stewardship events and, with the help of volunteers, planted over 2000 native trees in Oakville greenspaces. Read about our past events and sign up for Oakvillegreen’s e-newsletter to be the first to hear about upcoming opportunities to get involved!
- Become an Oakville TreeKeeper
Take on a leadership role in your neighbourhood by becoming an Oakville TreeKeeper! TreeKeepers make their neighbourhoods greener by helping to restore their local woodland patches and care for urban trees. Our TreeKeepers program provides free trees, invasive species removal help, stewardship training, community events and workshops. Stay tuned for details on our 2018 events!
- Fight Back Against Invasive Species
Make a commitment to participate in at least one invasive species removal event in 2018. Sign up for our e-newsletter to learn about our 2018 invasive species removal events or organize your own event for you and your coworkers through our Corporate Greening Day program. You can also set a goal of learning how to identify one new invasive species and report them at http://www.invadingspecies.com/. Check out our resources page for more information about invasive species in Oakville.
- Plant Native Species for our Pollinators
Our native pollinators give us delicious food and beautiful plants of all shapes and sizes! Give our pollinators a source of food and shelter by designing your own pollinator patch for next spring! Check out this article for ideas and watch for updates on Oakvillegreen’s 2018 pollinator projects, workshops and native tree and pollinator garden kit sales.
- Learn One New Native Tree
When you learn how to recognize and identify the plants around you, you become more aware of your surroundings. You’ll go from walking by a patch of green space without taking notice, to pausing to have a look at a familiar species that you never realized was right under your nose. That short pause can have a big impact – it might cause you to become aware of a previously unrecognized patch of prime biodiversity or recognize that an area near you could use some help. There are a number of online resources for learning native species, including Go Botany and i-Naturalist. Try them out today!
- Take a Nature Walk
Getting out into nature helps us appreciate and learn about our environment, and also has proven mental health benefits. Plus, it makes us care more about environmental issues, and shows our policy makers that our green spaces are valuable. A nature walk can be as simple as taking a stroll through your nearest woodlot, or finding a guided walk in the community. Oakvillegreen also offers nature walks through our education programs.
- Spread the Spirit of Giving!
One of the best ways to give back to nature is to spread the news to others. Next time you get together with friends, suggest going for a hike. When you’re talking to your family over the holidays, have a conversation about our urban forest and its importance. Encourage your teens to earn their volunteer hours by planting trees, removing invasive species and joining our Youth Stewards program. Tell your local politicians that you care about our green spaces and biodiversity. Share your care and connect with us on social media. We can accomplish so much more when we share the spirit of giving with others.
With so many ways to give back, there’s something for everyone to do on Giving Tuesday! We hope this giving season is your best yet!