Ways to Help Nature
Nature is all the world including us.
By Mirna Santana
How can you help Nature? You can help nature by promoting wild habitats, wildlife and by creating wildlife friendly backyards, gardens and communities. Keep in mind that nature is all--thus nature even includes the Universe. So you may now include in nature the atmospheric air and all the waterways. The Ocean and the rivers are also part of nature. More importantly we need to remember that we are a global community. As such we humans are also part of nature instead of its owners.
There are many ways to help nature and wildlife:
1. You can help nature by supporting parks and land conservation. Many of us use parks or conservation areas without noticing their needs. These areas need support to sustain themselves. Some task they may appreciate help with or donations to get them done include: keeping trails, controlling rapid colonizer species (invasive plants/animals) and cutting dead trees on trails. Other issues include safety, trash cans, cleaning garbage, labeling or trail marks, and improving degraded habitats. Talk to your local park people or start fundraising. Two of my friends with other person started an organization called Friends of Indian Lake Park to help a park where they enjoy running during the weekends. They fundraised through 6k/12k and 1k races.
2. You can help nature by restoring degraded resources that provide habitat for wildlife. Restored habitats are human modified or even human created habitats. You can accomplish this by joining a local conservation group or by gardening with wildlife in your mind.
3. You can help nature by providing food or shelter for wildlife: some species need help, e.g., nesting sites or whole habitats. Bird nesting boxes, bat houses, hollow trees, feeders and other build devices along with the planting of plants for food or shelter are ways to help wildlife.
4. You may also volunteer or support environmental and research organizations, or non for profits organizations (NGOs) dealing with conservation. Local government agencies also benefit from volunteer groups. There are many organizations working with the environment some are local and some are international. Some examples of the large organizations are: Nature Conservancy (TNC), Sierra Club, The International Union for Conservation of Nature (UICN), World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Each town also have several local organizations that will benefit from your help. Environmental education that involves children, and resource sustainability such habitats and clean water are among the top in my list. Actions at this level have cascade effects for the future and for others. International organization helping families, women, and peace efforts are also ways to help other humans and the environment. Many wars indeed are battles for natural resources.
5. You may help by avoiding littering and helping collecting trash from nature trails, roads, etc., Any time you walk/run/bike outside you have an opportunity to enjoy natural settings but also to help nature.
6. You may help nature by driving less. You will exercise more which keeps you happy and in shape while decreasing demands for fuels. Do your errands walking or biking if possible. Walk the extra mile for nature and yourself!
7. Educate others about nature. Some common areas that you can help with are conservation, clean environment, environmental justice, biology, wildlife, energy conservation, bird watching, geology, and ecology. Teaching a kid to plant a seed and watch it grow, will guarantee that future generations will do the same. Let us remember The Little Prince, he reminds us that kids understand nature and also that all adults were once children.
8. Being kind to other species including our fellow humans. One way to avoid land degradation is by helping other people so that they can sustain themselves and use environmental resources in appropriate ways. For example, rural people can practice cover crop agriculture thereby reducing erosion and keeping good soils and clean water. Urban people can build their houses with recycled materials and energy efficiency standards.
9. Becoming an activist. A lot of the environmental protections laws and practices are the result of people asking for them to be approved. Since nature doesn't talk thus humans need to give it a voice. Many things that potentially damage other species such as chemicals and pesticides also affect humans because biologically speaking humans are mammals.
10. Be a conscious and a socially responsible consumer. For example eating mostly veggies and fruits; buying organic or pesticide free foods; and learning about the ways your products are produced are ways to help Nature. By for buying organic shade grown coffee you may help human communities--and their economies, but also birds and habitats. The coffee producers will be more healthy by avoiding exposure to pesticides and chemicals. At the same time you are helping them to be financially independent. By shopping organic coffee that is perhaps a little more expensive, you are also helping others to provide habitats/corridors for birds, bees and other wildlife. A few extra cents can go a long way.
11. Avoid the use of strong chemicals that will end up in waterways. These chemicals may seem a straight forward way to get the cleaning done, yet later they can harm fish or wildlife and even return to you in the tap water or food. Just imagine chlorine and grease melting chemicals or acids that people may use in their 'standard cleaning practices' traveling to the water and being intake there by fish and plants.
12. Government agencies and non-profit organizations help to gather data and are heavily involved in regulations yet citizens are the watch dogs of nature. For information on the state of the wildlife in your area visit your Departments of Natural Resources. To participate or give your opinion, use their comments page or attend public hearings. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US was created to protect citizens. Yet these this citizens need to support EPA as well. For example, citizens have the right to know what chemicals are present in the water and how they are regulated. Local water facilities, and natural resources agencies following the standards of EPA. Keep in mind that standards could change with new science or even because of political decision making so they are not scriptures in stone. It is however a great advantage to have background data from your area than to take water from a source without knowing the natural occurring chemicals along with the those contributed by humans.
12. A responsible earth citizen also plays a role informing others about ways they can help.
13.Scientists, journalist, researchers, and writers play a fundamental role informing society. Some organizations also act is such ways, one example is the Union of Concerned Scientist (UCS), which evaluates issues, the science behind, and the policies seeking to advice the public and the government. In theory the news shall serve the same purpose.
14. It is an informed citizens task to filter through the enormous amount of information received through the media or online sources and determine the best course of actions, keeping in mind what we have learn from the past, what the current situation is and the future prospectus. It is indeed the way of science. The future is only a prediction and thus there is always a degree of uncertainty involves in the report of science. Yet, we may know that prevention save us a lot of headaches.
15. Be a forward thinker. If you could work with prevention and useful technologies and you do your best to understand how your today's actions impact the future you will be doing a great service to nature.
© 2011 MSantana