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One-Thing Thursday Archive
Community Focus
One thing you can do...
 
  

Attend a "green" event over the next few weeks.
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April 15, 2010
The 40th anniversary of Earth Day occurs on April 22 — a day to inspire awareness and appreciation of the Earth's environment. Throughout much of April and early May, various organizations in Oregon will host educational, informative, and fun events designed to build environmental and cultural awareness. 

Visit your local library.
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January 28, 2010
Visit your local library.   
  • A typical U.S. library prevents 250 tons of greenhouse-gas emissions each year, just from the paper it doesn't consume.
  • A book that is loaned 10 times cuts cost and paper use per reader by a factor of 10.
  • The average American pays $20 in taxes a year to support libraries, but saves at least twice that by borrowing half a dozen or so free books from a library instead of buying them.
  • Another article points out that libraries are the first place that children can learn the values of sustainability and community by borrowing books, caring for them, and returning them to share with others. A great thought!

Libraries are the place where people can go to learn all about sustainability and sustainable practices like gardening and recycling and making their homes more energy efficient.

Use of libraries in Oregon is the highest it has ever been. In fact, Oregon public libraries annually check out more books per capita (about 15 on average) than any other state except Ohio. On a typical day, 54,000 Oregonians visit a public library. We can all be proud of the fact that Oregonians are practicing sustainability by using libraries.
 
 
Submitted by: Jim Scheppke, State Librarian, Oregon State Library
 

Support your community theater and arts programs.
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December 3, 2009
Oregonians are blessed with rich and diverse community theater programs. Many of the shows feature our talented neighbors in unpaid performances -- folks that simply enjoy the art and like to perform. Let's support their efforts and contributions to our community. Tickets to a show may be the perfect holiday gift for someone on your list.
 

Volunteer.
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November 19, 2009
 
If you’ve always wanted to volunteer, but are not sure how to connect with the right opportunity, consider the resources below.
 
The holiday season is a great time to begin and experience the true meaning of "community," one of the three elements of sustainability (see definition below).
 
More information:

Participate in the Charitable Fund Drive.
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October 1, 2009
 
In the fall of each year, state employees may participate in a combined charitable giving campaign. The professionally-run drive allows employees to tailor their giving to the causes and organizations they wish to support. Employees can select from hundreds of charitable organizations from around Oregon. The drive provides an efficient and easy way for state employees to donate to charity.
 
An employee can give through fund-raising activities sponsored by his or her agency, by a one-time gift, or through the convenience of monthly payroll deductions.
 
New this year, employees can support sustainability by using a secure, online system that displays information about the charitable organizations and allows people to make an electronic pledge.
 
A year-round Web site reports on the many activities of participating charities, giving employees an opportunity to see their money at work helping the needy, improving the environment, and making Oregon a better place.
 
Look for future announcements as the Charitable Fund Drive gets under way in DAS. For more information, visit http://ecfd.oregon.gov/.

Mentor.
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September 3, 2009
 
A mentor takes many different shapes. A mentor can be someone who coaches a student on a specific subject or general school coursework. A mentor can be someone in the workplace that helps a co-worker through a challenging project or situation. A mentor can be someone who talks to a friend and helps them develop a game plan for the future.
 
Mentors comment that they feel very rewarded by helping another person succeed and meet their goals. Many organizations exist to connect you with a mentor opportunity in your area.
 
More information: http://www.mentoring.org/
 

Start a Neighborhood Watch program on your block.
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July 30, 2009
 
Neighborhood Watch is a crime prevention program designed to increase neighborhood livability. The program aims to reduce crime and the fear of crime through education and communication. In addition, Neighborhood Watch helps build a sense of connectedness as people become familiar with their neighbors.
 
A Neighborhood Watch program will help you to:
  • Recognize and report suspicious activity.
  • Learn ways to increase your home's security.
  • Benefit from a block map and telephone tree system.
  • Build positive relationships with your neighbors and the police department.
 
More information:
City of Salem
City of Keizer 
City of Portland 
 

Consider adopting your next pet.
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May 21, 2009
 
Sustainability has many components, all of which center around one thing: quality of life -- now and in the future. If you're thinking about a new pet, many wonderful pets await adoption at the animal shelter. And since animals contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, spay or neuter any pets you don't intend to breed.

Join a community garden.
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May 14, 2009
 
Community gardens allow people to learn organic gardening skills and food sustainability, build healthy soil, work with new and old plant varieties, compost, crop clover, get involved with the community, and work side-by-side with many generations of people.
 
For more information, visit this site:
http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/index.cfm?c=39846.
 
Submitted by Amy McLaughlin, Enterprise Information Strategy and Policy Division.

Hold "no-waste" potlucks and bake sales.
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February 5, 2009
 
As we raise money for the Governor's Food Drive, we use many one-time items during fundraising activities. Let's keep sustainability in mind while we help our community and ensure our neighbors have food on the table.  Ask everyone to bring their own reusable items instead of providing plates, cups or napkins. Encourage activities such as book drives and silent auctions to reuse items. Join in the DAS talent show -- a fun and sustainable way to raise money for food.

Volunteer.
November 20, 2008
 
Sustainability has three parts: environmental, economic, and equity. Most people understand the connection to affecting the environment and economy around them, but we have a harder time seeing our part in social equity. If our job doesn’t work directly in a social field, how can we improve the world around us? We can volunteer — and there are tons of different ways to do it. 
 
If you’ve always wanted to volunteer, but you’re not sure how to get started or connect with the right opportunity, consider the resources below.
 
Volunteer opportunities:
http://www.handsonportland.org/ 
http://www.oregonvolunteers.org/cgi-bin/display.cgi?page=volunteer