giving back

Ten Simple Ways to Build Gratitude for Living Trees

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You all know what Arbor Day is, right? It's a special day set aside each year for us as a people to focus on planting trees. Why planting trees? Because trees help lower energy costs if planted near houses, and they clean the air. When is Arbor Day? It's usually the last Friday in April, although it varies by state according to optimal planting times (see this map to find out when your state celebrates it). Our Season of Service verb this week—to build—is inspired by the growing of trees. We encourage you to think of simple ways to build enthusiasm and awareness of the beauty and utility of living trees. There are also some great ideas for celebrating trees at

10 Simple Ways to Build Enthusiasm for Trees

  1. Go buy a tree.
  2. See if your kids' school teachers will allow your kids to make short presentations on the benefits of trees, and help them put together a short Powerpoint presentation or crayon slideshow of how they clean the air or lower household energy costs.
  3. Identify the types of trees in your neighborhood, favorite park, or along your favorite walking trail with your hubby or kids.
  4. Donate $5 to Ms. Senecheck's high school environmental science class in Barnesville, Georgia, through, so she can buy 2 Nooks for her students to download wildlife guides to learn how to identify various trees and the fauna that inhabit them.
  5. Play Tiltworld, an app, so you can accrue a lot of points, so a lot of mangrove trees can be planted in Madagascar.
  6. Help to identify the trees around you if you live in San Francisco, and log them onto, so they can calculate the exact environmental benefits of the trees, which will help urban foresters and city planners to better manage trees in specific areas, track and combat tree pests and diseases, and plan future tree plantings.
  7. Sell any used textbooks you have, or buy or rent a textbook for a husband, son, daughter, niece, or nephew at, which in turn plants trees.
  8. Make tree cookies with your kids by either having them put green and brown M & M's in rolled-out sugar cookies, or seeing if you can make one large sugar-cookie "cross-section" of a big tree, with rings, etc.
  9. Make an art or craft project with the medium of your choice expressing your gratitude for trees. If you dare, post it on Facebook on Arbor Day.
  10. Pick a tree in your yard or neighborhood to pay special attention to, clearing away brush around its base, pruning if necessary.

How Will You Give to Others This Week?

  • Have you ever done any of these things? How did it go?
  • What other acts of service have inspired you?
  • How have others given to you this week and what difference has that made in your life?

How Else Can You Make a Difference This Season?

  •  Commit to do one act of kindness/service based on the week’s challenge.
  • Leave a comment with ideas relating to the week’s challenge as well as your experience(s) performing it.


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