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Cleaning house

CFC spotlights environmental protection

The Combined Federal Campaign includes several charities that support environmental stewardship.

The Combined Federal Campaign’s cause of the week is environmental protection.

The campaign quotes 19th-century naturalist Henry David Thoreau: “What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”

Two centuries later, young environmentalist Greta Thunberg put it even more bluntly: “Our house is on fire.”

It is hard to imagine a more pressing need than addressing humanity’s effects on Earth.

On land, chemicals and pesticides poison the soil, landfills leach toxic material into the ground and deforestation increases erosion, desertification and the release of greenhouse gases.

In the seas, rising water temperatures melt glaciers and ice shelves, affecting the stability of ocean ecosystems and the communities and economies that depend on them. Plastics choke birds and marine life, oil spills contaminate the waters, noise stresses marine life and nutrient runoff creates dead zones.

In the air, fossil fuels’ combustion causes smog and soot and releases microscopic particulate matter that is detrimental to health. The World Health Organization estimates that 9 out of 10 people around the world breathe air that is unhealthful and that 7 million die every year because of it.

Addressing the environment encompasses so many of the campaign’s causes, including food, shelter, health care and civil rights.

If you’re still unsure of where to focus your giving in this category, the website for the campaign, also called the CFC, makes it easy:

Under “Donors” on the homepage, choose “Online Charity Search” from the drop-down menu.

The second field is “Select a Specific Category.” From there, choose “’Environment.”

The Combined Federal Campaign is the federal government’s workplace charity drive. The latest campaign began Sept. 1 and runs through Jan. 15.

Participation in the CFC is voluntary.

The website has more information.

This is the 13th in a series of articles spotlighting the Combined Federal Campaign’s cause of the week. Next week: mental wellness.