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10 Ways to Conserve Biodiversity this Biodiversity Month

September is the National Biodiversity Month. Every year Biodiversity Month is held to advocate the importance of protecting, conserving and improving Australia’s biodiversity. 

So, what is biodiversity? Why does biodiversity matter to us? What can you do for biodiversity? 

Biodiversity means the abundance and variety of life on the planet. A biologically diverse natural environment is essential to human health, well-being and prosperity. It provides us with everything from the air that we breathe, to the water that we drink, the food that we eat and the environment we live in. Right now, biodiversity is in crisis – because of us. 

“Work with nature, rather than against it.” – every successful organic gardener, ever

Australia is one of the world’s biggest biodiversity hotspots. Still, we are losing it at an unprecedented rate, according to the Living Planet Report of 2018, which shows us a 60% fall in just over 40 years. Most of our plant and mammal species, and nearly half of our bird and marine species are endemic (Department of the Environment and Energy, 2019). 

Protecting biodiversity is one way that we all can plan for the future. We can participate in the protection of biodiversity by becoming knowledgeable about the things we buy, consume and use. How we treat the environment is also how we treat biodiversity so it’s time to stop and appreciate the web of life that surrounds and sustains us. 

Here are 10 ways that you can help to conserve biodiversity this Biodiversity Month: 

  1. HELP THE BEES! 

As pollinators, bees play a part in every aspect of the ecosystem. They support the growth of trees, flowers, and other plants, which serve as food and shelter for creatures large and small. 

Support pollinators in your backyard by planting a variety of wildflowers and native plants to provide nectar that will bloom throughout the season. 

  1. CUT PLASTIC POLLUTION 

Plastic pollution is choking every part of the world. Every year, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans — that’s one dump truck every minute. To protect biodiversity, we need to avoid plastics whenever possible, and where we cannot avoid them, then we must reduce, reuse and recycle. 

  1. PROTECT NATURAL HABITATS 

All animals and plants need suitable and high-quality habitat. That’s not to say that we can’t enjoy the habitats of animals, like national parks, wetlands and bushland but everyone has a role to play in protecting and maintaining these areas. Next time you’re out and about, try to leave habitats undisturbed by sticking to designated paths, cleaning up after yourself and not picking wildflowers.

  1. CREATE A NATURAL ECOSYSTEM IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD 

Whether you live on a farm or in an apartment in the city, you need plants, and it’s not difficult to create a garden in your own backyard which has a permaculture design. 

From kitchen gardens, orchards, zen gardens, wild areas and hedgerows, there are many different types of gardens that can be designed in ways that increase biodiversity.

Get started by researching the plants and vegetables that are local to your area and grow a variety in your own backyard. Each plant and vegetable helps to protect biodiversity and supports the broader ecosystem of your local area. 

  1. REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE 

Look at ways to reduce the amount of rubbish that ends up in landfill and the waterways. Reducing, reusing, and recycling ca n help preserve biodiversity by limiting the number of resources needed to make new products. The more we can reduce our demand for new resources, the less habitat conversion will be necessary in the long run. 

  1. PURCHASE PRODUCTS THAT HAVE ECO LABEL 

Ecolabels (like a PETA certification or Green Tick) are a great way of determining which products are green, safe, and environmentally sustainable. These labels allow you to learn precisely products are made from and the percentages of the ingredients in a particular food or household cleaning items so that you can determine how much impact they have on the environment. 

  1. SUPPORT FARMERS 

Be an informed eater and purchase your food from socially and sustainably responsible growers. 

Farmers play a key role in conserving biodiversity. With the help of biotechnology and plant science, farmers can grow more food on the same amount of land. This takes the pressure off the need to convert natural habitats into farmland. 

  1. SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE ENERGY 

As we know, climate change has disastrous consequences for all living things on earth. We use huge amounts of fossil fuels, which directly cause climate change. 

If you can, choose to use alternative energy sources and natural or sustainable products in your home. This will reduce the effects of climate change and requires a worldwide effort. 

  1. WALK, RIDE, DON’T DRIVE 

Each litre of gasoline burned releases ~2.3 kg of the greenhouse gas CO2, so reducing car use is a considerable step towards protecting biodiversity. 

Where you can choose to walk instead of drive, take local transport, save errands so you can take fewer car trips and stay local at the weekend. 

10. EDUCATE 

Education is essential for the future of the planet. We depend on the global collective action of an educated society, including efforts to promote local and indigenous knowledge of biodiversity. As awareness increases, it becomes easier to incorporate eco-friendly practices into your day-to-day life, spread the word to your friends and family and influence your local government.  With even more time now being spent immersed in social media, don’t forget to share or post those positive and simple practises that can bring change to your online community at the moment.

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What does it mean to be ‘Eco-Friendly’?

What does it mean to be ‘Eco-Friendly’?

Being ‘Eco-Friendly’ and ‘Eco-Conscious’ are such trendy things to do these days – it seems like every other person is getting on the ‘Zero Waste’ bandwagon and hype. Or at least we seem to hear these words flung around so often now that they seem to have become slightly ambiguous or may have lost a bit of significance and meaning. Because I don’t think just swapping out your take away coffee cups for keep cups and using bamboo cutlery is the complete story really. I mean, those are some great simple moves you can do to get started, (and I know that’s not all the ‘Zero Waste’ movement is about either, there’s a lot more to it) but there’s more to this story than just reducing waste don’t you think? I know all of this comes from a place of love and compassion and wanting to do good for the environment, but living a life with less unnecessary plastic waste is only one way of incorporating a more Eco Conscious mind set into your reality.

I found this concept of ‘deep ecology’ a particularly interesting point of discussion and I feel can be a good starting point for further contemplation about Eco-Consciousness. Initially introduced in environmental literature in the 70s by Norwegian philosopher and mountaineer Arne Naess in an era after the 60s where environmentalism was emerging out of grassroots political movements. Drengson in his article Some Thought on the Deep Ecology Movement described it as having an ethic of ‘respecting nature and the inherent worth of other beings’ and involves ‘ redesigning our whole systems based on values and methods that truly preserve the ecological and cultural diversity of natural systems.’

Link to article – Some Thought on the Deep Ecology Movement by Alan Drengson
http://www.deepecology.org/deepecology.htm

Some pretty thought provoking stuff regarding to eco-conscious living, don’t you think?

But I guess what this means for me is living with an awareness of this deep innate connection that we have with the land – to the natural environment around – to the birds, the trees, the animals, the rocks, the mountains, the fire, the rain – to all other beings and the world around, including ourselves. Because we are simultaneously at one with everything that is arising moment to moment, so we must listen to it, respect it and take care of it, otherwise it dies – we die.

Actually, we are not separated from these things – we are but one part of the same interconnected whole. We are a complete Eco-System connected together and unto ourselves. Interdependent with each other and part of the larger whole. You. And me. And everything. On a cosmic scale. ..Boom. This is literally it. ..and you can feel it right down to the chaos of the complex buzzing interconnected world of your own body’s system. The living bugs and bacteria and cells and micro-organisms and even atoms all interacting and exchanging on a micro-cellular level in, on and around your body and in the environment. You – yourself – we, have a micro biome and are completely integrated with it and dependant on it for survival, as it is to you. We are all part of the infinite micro-cosmic biome.

So for me, being Eco Conscious not only means being conscious of your plastic consumption and your waste and your ecological footprint…but in the same way this is connected to how you treat yourself and your own body as well, what foods you eat, what toxins you allow to come into your life, and the habits behaviours and beliefs we choose to create in our lives. Are you truly living consciously in harmony with your own innate micro-biome? Your own personal landscape? – physically, mentally, emotionally – and even spiritually? And with the landscape around you? The people you interact with on a daily basis? the other animals you share the land with? And the land itself?

It’s all connected. And once we start to truly open up our awareness and consciousness about how we are truly impacting our ecology around us including ourselves – you begin to see that we start making more healthy choices for our-selves, our bodies and the environment. You might start eating healthier, going to the farmers market, reducing your plastic footprint, considering toxins in your life, moving around stagnant energies, learning, challenging yourself, expressing yourself authentically, being creative, being in nature and getting outdoors, going on adventures and reaching out into the unknown. You might find yourself meeting new people, discovering new places, having conversations with the neighbours cat, listening to the birds, planting trees, considering your impact on others, practising self-care, tidying, detoxing and cleansing, and healing in all kinds of different ways.

There are a few key indicators that resonate with me in terms of how I define Eco-Conscious living for myself, and I’ve outlined some of these things in the Eco-Friendly QUIZ, but ultimately it’s you who decides what living an Eco-Friendly lifestyle looks like for you.

…Let us know what you think, leave any comments below, feel free to share your Eco-Conscious story and journey with us and spread the word about this awesome and inspiring Eco-Friendly movement!

Article Written by Lillian Adele
(www.lillianadele.com)

 

Photo by Sylvie Tittel