Wildlife conservation is the responsibility of each and every one of us.
It is something we can all do, day after day, at home and at work. Discover the many ways we all can decrease our environmental footprint and be a part of wildlife conservation.
My personal goal in my day-to-day life is to have the smallest negative impact or “footprint”.
I have to be realistic: I write this from my computer, I have a cell phone, I am grateful that I can jump in my car to drive and visit my friends, or board a plane and go half way around the world to see my family. I do have a footprint, I will never be able to delete it. But, every way I can, I try to decrease it.
All the pollution and the garbage we don’t create is helpful to wildlife.
Decreasing my footprint also means I tried in my everyday life to create as little suffering as I can. I try not to be involved in wild animal - or farm animals, or lab animals – suffering.
But I digress: let’s go back to the core of our subject, what can we do every day to help wildlife.
But first, a point of importance:
I heard that sentence many times before. Although money probably makes lots of things easier, you can still be an important piece of preserving wild animals with not much money needed. Sometimes, things that can help wildlife can also save money in the long run.
We just have to do what we can at our own level: if the only thing we can really afford to do is sign petitions, talk to our friends and family or slow down for wildlife, these are great changes already!
Many of the things we can do for wildlife conservation are things that actually help the environment. This is because every wild animal needs a safe, clean place to live. Helping the environment can often also save you money (use less chemicals, re using etc.), which proves further that you can be green when you’re in the red!
Create a wild garden with lots of biodiversity and fauna friendly.
Let me explain: don't throw food away, use leftovers,
plan you meal so that things don't get wasted at the back of your
fridge (yes, in that no man land never visited by anyone in your
family... You know what I'm talking about!!)
There is so much energy, resources, precious nutrients used and pollution and waste created to produce and transport our food. Every time food goes in the bin instead of feeding your family, the Earth was depleted needlessly.
Here are some tips to help yourself manage your fridge better:
- make list of meals and buy only ingredients you will need,
- get creative with left-overs (almost all left-overs can be re-use by adding pastry below and cheese above, then grill in the oven!),
- juice or make sauce with products that look a bit sad (carrots, tomatoes, apples etc.),
- freeze! It's amazing how many products you can freeze and use later when the fridge is finally empty. I am literally addicted to freezing things (butter, cheese, left-overs, fruits, pastry...).
Stop wasting food will also save you money!
More than $2000 a year goes in the bin for the average American! Surely you can think of a few thinks you'd like to do with $2000?
A very easy way to give manufactured items a longer life and keep them out the landfill... Meanwhile you are also saving money, and the money you do spend goes straight back into the community or for a charity, so that's doing some good too!
So pay your local charity second hand shop, the groovy vintage shop, the next door garage sell or pre-loved flea market stall a visit.
Animals are great for you! And with a few tips they won't be bad for wildlife...
green building or improve your building’s greenness will have many positive impacts for animals, as they save resource (or to say it in a different way: wildlife habitat) and energy.
Areas of importance include:
- bird friendly glass - the technology is rapidly developing to avoid / reduce the high death toll our windows and buildings are having on wild birds,
- energy efficiency: use Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) for your roof,
- renewable energy,
- "clever" glass for your windows (low emissivity glass): deflects heat in summer, let it in winter!
- eco materials: use wheat shaft instead of formaldehyde emitting wood MDF products,
- recycled material: like a beer and wine bottles bench top or a paperstone bench made from recycled papers and a petroleum-free resine.
Plastic kills a lot of wildlife, pollute the environment and is slowly poisoning us, too.
There are lots of small steps we can all take to reduce our plastic footprint. See ways to get closer to a plastic free life.
And if you think reducing plastic in your life is great, but reducing it in your community is better: you are right! Check out how normal people have had big impacts by getting rid of plastic bags, plastic bottles and other single use plastic in their area - visit our page on the steps to reduce plastic in your community.
Each time you buy something, you are supporting with your money the world you want to live in. Therefore, whether you are shopping for clothes, food, medicine or furniture buy only green products
And to help you choose green products that support sustainable businesses, follow the green labels!
become crazy with buying: green shopping helps you find great gifts
that don't cost the Earth.
They are any simple things you can do to help wildlife and the environment in your workplace – some are more for the benefit of the environment, but wildlife need a clean environment thus I think it is important that they are included here.
Use cups to drink coffee and glasses to drink water. Get rid of single use plastic and paper cups.
Buy sets of knifes, forks and spoons if people tend to get plastic ones with their take away lunch. If they have a choice, they'll go for proper cutlery!
Start a paper recycling, battery recycling, fluorescent light recycling: anything that is not recycled yet in your work place.
Train, I mean, encourage colleagues to shut their computers down at night, switch off light, set the air con at 24 degrees and not 18, etc.
Ask whether you could switch to eco friendly cleaning products, recycled paper, green energy, water tanks anything that helps the environment.
Ask your boss to do an Earth Watch program for your next “team building” day.
Get everyone out and be
part of National / International cleanup days. It looks good for your company and it's good for the environment!
Increase your profits by decreasing your ecological footprint: become a green business.
For small distances: walk, ride, use a scooter! It’s healthier for you, it is nicer than jumping in the car, and it all adds up.
When you can, use public transport.
If you can’t (no buses in your area), then talk to your colleagues and see who lives near you. Car pool
can decrease your environmental footprint, save you money (as you share the
petrol bill) and make new friendship.
And also don’t let your car run even for a short break. It is plainly not true that it is worst to restart your engine than it is to let it run. So you can just wipe out that saying out of your head.The rule: if you stop for more than 10 seconds, then it is better for the environment (and your purse) to stop and restart your car!
Don’t be a know it all, don’t be aggressive, don’t be condescending but...
Do talk a lot, especially about what you do to have a positive impact on biodiversity. By showing them a certain way of living and the many benefits of it, you may inspire little change in your circle. Little changes are great achievements, like a friend of mine say we can change the world “one starfish at the time”.
And remember: “Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it’s the only way” (quote from Margaret Mead, see more inspirational quotes).
If you have no time and no money, don’t despair, there is still heaps you can do. Join some online websites that will keep you informed of what is happening in the world and their latest campaigns. Many will concern wildlife and have petitions attached to them. The more names on petitions, the more power these campaigns will have.
Ultimately numbers make strong: politicians can only be elected if people vote for them, business can only prosper if people buy what they sell. If politicians and businesses see many people care for wildlife, they will suddenly care for wildlife too.
It does work!
But if no one know that we, as a society, care about a topic, politicians and other decision makers will happily ignore it...
Make sure those who control our world know what is important to you!
Wild panther frolicking
If giving your time for free (see volunteer for wild animals) is not an option but you have lots of money (it’s a frequent trade off between these two!), don’t hesitate to give money to Non Governmental Organisations (NGO). Some big NGOs are well known and I’m sure I don’t need to introduce them: WWF, Greenpeace, Birdlife International, Conservation International, Fauna and Flora International, Wildlife Conservation Society...
If you want to help smaller NGOs, that can make a lot of difference to people that are devoting their life to a particular wildlife cause but have not the big support of the big NGOs. Small NGOs often have an amazing local impact, and are very efficiently run for the very reason they remained small. And again the sum of local positive changes is what we need to change the world.
If you have a favourite animal or region of the world, you can search these terms on the internet and found which organisation has a specific program that focuses on the animal or landscape that is the most important to you.
For instance, if wolf is your favourite wildlife and you want to help them in particular, make a donation to an organisation that devotes all its time and effort to wolves. My friend Laetitia does just that because wolves are her passion: visit her and help wolves!
Pick and choose what you will do today to be an active part of wildlife conservation! Maybe you are already helping save the environment in many ways?
But there is often still something more we can do! Start doing something new today, and maybe something else tomorrow or next week to increase your impact on the preservation of wild animals and their environment.