Some people dedicate their professional lives to natural resource conservation. Soil conservationists study and help implement practices that keep soil healthy and productive. Wildlife conservationists can have important roles in implementing best practices for the health and care of animals and the habitats that support them. Environmental conservationists make a living promoting and practicing responsible stewardship and use of natural resources.
Even if your title doesn’t include ‘conservationist’, you are an important part of protecting and caring for our planet. We have multiple opportunities every day to contribute to conserve and care for natural resources.
With Earth Day right around the corner, Thursday, April 22nd, take some time to see how you can be a conservationist. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Ditch single use plastics. Each week, people in the United States buy enough plastic water bottles to circle the Earth five times. Replace single use items like straws, grocery bags and bottles with their reusable versions and you’ll reduce your impact on the environment.
- Scoop the poop. Not only is dog poop smelly, but it also contains a lot of bacteria and parasites that pollute waterways. A pile of poo has nearly 3 billion e. coli bacteria, which can make people and wildlife very sick. ALWAYS grab it, bag it, and trash it – even in your backyard.
- Eat your veggies. Did you know that it takes more than 600 gallons of water to make just one hamburger? We use water to produce everything we eat. Fruits and vegetables don’t take as much water as some meat to produce. Skipping meat one day a week is a great way to conserve water.
- Thrift and Recycle your clothes. Buying secondhand clothing is a great way to save water and money. It takes nearly 3,000 gallons of water to make one pair of blue jeans, and almost 800 gallons to make one cotton t-shirt. Every time you buy a used item, you’re conserving water and other natural resources.
- Use waste bins. Put trash where it belongs – in trash cans or recycling bins. 80% of the trash found in waterways is from litter (and most of it single-use plastic). As litter travels, it breaks down and leaves behind harmful chemicals, which can pollute food and water sources for humans and animals.
- Plant something. Plants provide a ton of benefits to our earth. They hold soil in place, help filter the air and water, provide shade for us and animals, and create beauty across the planet. Planting native or well adapted plants, like trees, shrubs or native ground cover, will help conserve soil, improve water quality, and provide essential habitat to native pollinators.
For more information on how you can help conserve our natural resources this Earth Day, and every day, visit www.greenvillesoilandwater.com.