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Giving back to Mother Earth during this season of giving

By Jana Fischback, Executive Director of Sustainable Wenatchee

In thinking of how to “green” your holiday season, some stick to shopping locally, making gifts instead of buying them, gifting experiences instead of “stuff,” or eco-friendly gift wrapping. These are all great options and can add more meaning during this commercialized season, something that upsets Charlie Brown so much in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” If you’d like to take it one step further, donating to a NCW nonprofit who improves the local and global environment is another thing you can do during this season of giving. There are many ways NCW residents and businesses can contribute.

Some local businesses participate in 1% for the Planet, a network of companies that support environmental causes by committing to donate at least one percent of their proceeds each year. NCW businesses who participate include Icicle Brewing Company in Leavenworth and Sendline professional coaching in Wenatchee. A more homegrown version of this program is Butte Brand’s giving platform, where the local apparel company partners with organizations that share their values by donating a portion of every sale to these causes. Past environmental partners of theirs include the Chelan Douglas Land Trust (in cleaning up Nason Creek), Coast Conservation Association of Washington (in protecting salmon), and the Chris Long Foundation’s Waterboys initiative (in providing clean water in East Africa). Huney Jun, makers of kombucha in Peshastin, support Save the Bee Initiative in Eugene, OR and Waste Loop in Leavenworth. By supporting businesses like these, you can not only help our local economy but also know that a portion of the sales will go toward protecting our environment.

If you’d like to give back in a meaningful way this season, there’s a great opportunity to do so through the Community Foundation of NCW’s GiveNCW campaign. Of the 62 nonprofits participating in the campaign, about a dozen are related to environmental protection and nature in some way. Some focus on connecting people to nature such as Wenatchee Outdoors, the Wenatchee River Institute, and the Okanogan Land Trust. Others are working to address issues like recycling and composting, including fundraising for our own NCW Waste and Recycle Directory, Waste Loop’s food composting program in Leavenworth, and Green Okanogan’s recycling program in Tonasket. Others still are working to save wildlife, like Cascade Fisheries, encourage local shopping, like the Downtown Wenatchee Association, or reduce food waste, like Upper Valley Mend’s Community Harvest gleaning program. There are also several groups that have some connection to sustainability in the work they’re doing, like Pybus Foundation’s work to improve the home of Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market, Our Valley Our Future’s next five year action plan, or CAFE’s work in environmental justice. No matter what kind of environmental issue you care about, there’s likely a way to support it through the GiveNCW campaign. It runs through the end of the year and offers some fun ways to give, including Funday Monday where you could win $1,000 to donate just by giving $10. If you’ve got a tough person to buy a gift for, maybe a donation in their honor to an organization featured in GiveNCW is just what they need for some feel-good, holiday cheer.

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