As you pour the eggnog, make your resolutions and break out the noisemakers for New Year’s Eve, remember that donating to a charity before the clock strikes 12 can save you some money this spring in taxes. And of course make the world a better place.
Oh, right! Now, where to spend that hard-earned cash? Earlier this month, Tiffany did a great wrapup of several area charities worthy of holiday gifts. She covered charities that help with food, shelter and basic needs; animals; and youth and education. Give that list a whirl and, if you’d like to give your greenbacks to local organizations that green DC, check out these as well.
This, too, is far from a comprehensive list, so please add others that you like best in the comments. For more info, Charity Navigator and GuideStar can give you more information about nonprofits and their finances.
Potomac Conservancy protects the Potomac River by protecting the surrounding land by, for example, planting trees or establishing conservation easements. It also encourages policies that reduce stormwater pollution, save forests and the C&O Canal, and offers community conservation projects where you can collect seeds or plant trees. The group also monitors and reports on the river’s health, most recently on the river’s abundance of egg-bearing male fish, and holds fun events at its River Center at Lockhouse 8 such as music and canoe trips.
Anacostia Watershed Society protects the restores the Anacostia River and its watershed communities by cleaning the water, recovering the shores, and honoring the heritage. Its vision is to make the Anacostia River and its tributaries swimmable and fishable so that everyone in the community can enjoy it. Initiatives include advocacy and education, plus stewardship events such as invasive plant removals, tree planting, cleanups, water monitoring, and storm drain stenciling.
Global Climate Change / Advocacy
Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) fights global warming in DC, Maryland, and Virginia through education and a strong focus on advocacy. It holds lobby days, advocacy calls to action, films and talks—and next up, an upcoming Polar Bear Plunge into the chilly Chesapeake Bay to raise awareness of the need to keep winter cold. http://www.chesapeakeclimate.org/getinvolved/event_detail.cfm?id=1040
Green DMV promotes sustainability as a pathway out of poverty in low-income communities across America, with an initial focus in this area. In August, the Green DMV graduated from training the first 10 workers in its Greater Washington Green Jobs Corps, which connects young adults from low-income communities in the DC area with necessary life skills and green job training to prepare them for employment in the clean energy sector.
Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment focuses on local environmental issues including green living, litter, and invasive plants, with additional programs in the areas of watershed resources and schoolyard education. Projects include everything from films on environmental issues to stream cleanups to green living expos to a great green living challenge.
Bethesda Green joins businesses, government, and residents, in building a model community. I strives to support the local economy, create a healthier community, and educate businesses and citizens. In October, the group opened a new Education Center and Green Business Incubator to create green jobs and teach residents how they can go green. Programs you can attend cover a wide range of topics, with upcoming ones focusing on recycling—and a first Thursday happy hour.
CarbonfreeDC holds free workshops throughout the year to let DC residents know how they can reduce local carbon emissions in their daily lives. This year, CarbonfreeDC also won a national contest and a $20,000 grant from National Geographic and Sun Chips to outfit 20 low-income homes in Shaw and Deanwood with energy-saving features, in an Extreme Green Neighborhood Makeover.
ILoveMountains.org technically isn’t a DC nonprofit — the site is produced by The Alliance for Appalachia in Charleston, WV — but it is trying to end the practice of blowing up mountains to get at the coal underneath, and coal mined in that way powers our homes and offices here in the DC area. On the site’s home page, you can enter your zip code to find your connection to mountaintop removal. Ending this practice keeps coal companies from destroying mountains and makes for safer, cleaner air and water for people who live near the mines.