ECO-BULLETIN Vol. 15, No. 16 – December 1, 2021

We are looking for your feedback! Please use the QR code above or follow this link to access the survey. Thank you!
OCCA Annual Report Survey
Join the HeatSmart Mohawk Valley team, Anna and Natalie, Wednesday, December 8th at 6pm for an informative and festive webinar!

RSVP for the event here –

Hot Chocolate Recipe: For this event we wanted to provide you all with a delicious DIY Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe made by Isabel of

**This recipe includes milk, chocolate, and cinnamon.
If allergic, please substitute ingredients or hot beverage**

Thank you to Isabel Eats for creating and sharing this recipe, and Cooperstown Graduate Program students for introducing us to the recipe! 

Can’t make the webinar? That’s okay! Schedule a meeting with Anna and Natalie, our HeatSmart team, using this link – Meet with Anna and Natalie
As we enter the season of giving, make sure you’re reducing your contribution to landfills by reducing your waste, being a mindful consumer, reusing or gifting what you can, and finally recycling items appropriately. 

Hannukah is here, and with Christmas and Kwanzaa right around the corner that means it’s time for parties–and presents, lots and lots of presents! And that means wrapping paper and ribbons lying crumpled on the floor. If you have a wood stove, outdoor boiler, or even a fireplace it can be tempting to add that to the fire. After all, it’s paper, what’s the harm?

Quite a bit, actually. Paper can be a serious fire hazard: small bits of burning paper can slip past a carelessly placed screen and into the room, and are easily carried on updrafts into the chimney, where they can cause a chimney fire. In addition, the inks used to give gift wrap their beautiful colors typically contain chemicals and metals that can release toxic compounds into the air when burned. The same goes for cardboard boxes with colorful logos stamped on them, as well as all the catalogs and greeting cards that are piling up daily. You should never put wrapping paper, ribbons, or glossy magazines and catalogs in your fireplace, stove or boiler. While it is safe to use a sheet or two of newspaper or office paper to start your fire, ultimately the only thing you should be burning in your fire place is properly seasoned unpainted wood. As for your gift wrap? If you can’t reuse it, it can be recycled along with your mixed paper curbside, or taken to one of our many transfer stations. If you have any questions, check the Otsego County Department of Solid Waste’s “How Do I Get Rid Of…?” page at 

This year, think of alternatives, such as fabrics, newspaper, brown paper bags (think of the stack you have from the grocery store!) or old maps).

For items worn beyond use
, please check to see whether it can be recycled or must be disposed of in a landfill. For a guide to recycling and alternate means of disposal for many items, see “How Do I Get Rid Of…?” at either OCCA’s website or at Otsego County’s Solid Waste Department.  

If you have household items that you no longer have a use for, but realize they do not belong in the garbage, consider a donation to OCCA’s Online Garage Sale. (Garage Sale Items – OCCA – Otsego County Conservation Association (

This year, think of reducing your waste in the first place by gifting experiences, or low-to-no waste gifts for your loved ones. 
November 15 is #AmericaRecyclesDay, a nationally recognized day, dedicated to bringing awareness to and energizing recycling across the United States. As we move into the holiday season, we hope everyone will use this day to dedicate themselves to recycling right, and reducing waste in general.

Welcome to Otsego County, NY
School & Community Recycling Programs | NexTrex

Start by taking the #BeRecycled pledge at:
 Take The #BERECYCLED Pledge! (
Shop for Eco-friendly gifts this holiday season. 
40% of the proceeds go to OCCA!

Choose from all new, awesome experiences like The Art of Chocolate Making Cooking ClassItalian Pasta Making Class, or Meet a Shark Scientist and Conservationist.
Boon Supply is also stocked with gift options like re-usable snack bags, dryer balls, home storage and shopping bags, and even beauty products for all of those on your list!

OCCA Giving Tuesday | Boon Supply
Your support this #GivingTuesday was sensational. With your support and generosity, we will now be able to: 

1. Increase the number educational hikes and walks throughout Otsego County
2. Spend more time building a dedicated team to remove invasive species from our region
3. Bring more webinars and in-person lectures to you on current projects that matter most
4. Expand our planning and clean energy services through Otsego County and the Mohawk Valley

From the entire team at OCCA, thank you so very much for your generosity. You showed up for us yesterday, and we can’t wait to give back!
Otsego Outdoors
Fall Octet Challenge 

Through December 21, 2021

Fall is a great time to get out and explore Otsego County’s hiking trails, bike routes, waterways, villages, and towns. See our list of Fall Octet activities, which includes some favorites as well as some new to Otsego Outdoors! Complete 8 of the 20 featured activities, and you can earn the Fall edition of the Otsego Outdoors patch! Remember, wear blaze orange or other bright colors while hiking.

For information and a registration form, visit Fall Challenge – Otsego Outdoors

Garage Sale (ongoing)
As part of OCCA’s mission to reduce our carbon footprint we will be holding our traditional “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Garage Sale” digitally.  You will still have the benefit of donating items to OCCA, getting some GREAT deals, and knowing that you are keeping things out of the landfill.
If you are interested in any of the items we have listed OR if you have items to donate, please email us.
Garage Sale Items – OCCA – Otsego County Conservation Association (

Community Resilience 
OCCA continues to serve part of the Clean Energy Communities and Climate Smart Communities team for the Mohawk Valley.  If you are interested in how to get your community involved in Clean Energy, Climate Resiliency and planning for the future then contact Amy today to see how to get started! or call at 607-547-4488 

How You Can Help Protect Our Local Environment

Donations provide the foundation for our work throughout Otsego County. By becoming a supporter of OCCA, you become a part of a unique countywide environmental organization whose mission is to protect local natural resources for the benefit of all. 


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© 2021  Otsego County Conservation Association
7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931 • Cooperstown, NY  13326
(607) 547-4488