Tis’ the season for making resolutions.
As you are thinking about the life changes you’ll make in 2016, consider making a resolution that will change the world. Kick off 2016 with a conservation resolution. Go beyond “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” and adopt one of the resolutions below.
Resolution #1: Connect to Nature
- Get yourself (and your kids) outside. Play in your back yard, go to a park or take a walk in the woods or around the block.
- Check out www.greenhour.org for ideas on connecting kids with nature.
- Join an environmental organization: learn more, participate in activities, contribute to the mission and volunteer.
Resolution #2: Become a Citizen Scientist
- Citizen scientists are ordinary people across the country who collect information to be used by scientists in research studies.
- Check out these citizen science programs, appropriate for all ages:
– National Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Watch
– Bird-watching programs offered by Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
– Project Frogwatch USA
(Potter Park Zoo hosts Frogwatch training each spring.)
Resolution #3: Go Native (Plants, That Is)
- Plant native species in your yard or garden. Native plants are hardier and provide habitat for native wildlife.
- Get involved in a local restoration project with a local nature center or other organization, such as an invasive species removal day.
- Plant trees. Help clean the air.
Resolution #4: Be an Informed Consumer
- Buy products from companies committed to sustainably sourced palm oil. Palm oil is found in many products from candy to beauty products. By farming sustainably, the land and wildlife are less impacted than with other methods. Learn more at www.rspo.org.
- Try switching to producs using natural abrasives such as silica or walnut shells. Many products contain tiny plastic beads. These beads are too small to be filtered by water treatment plants, resulting in an accumulation in lakes, rivers, oceans and the bellies of animals.
- Buy Rainforest Alliance certified coffee. Get your jolt and save the rain forest at the same time.
Resolution #5: Reduce
- Replace plastic or paper shopping bags with stronger, reusable bags. They’re not just for groceries. Lots of styles are available and can be used for trips to the mall, bookstore, craft store, etc.
- Use a reusable water bottle and/or coffee cup to reduce plastic bottles and styrofoam cups.
- Adjusting your thermostat and turning off lights will save energy and money. Turning off your computer at night, changing light bulbs to compact flourescent or LED and unplugging appliances when not in use will save even more energy.