7 Tips for Helping Wildlife Where You LiveElizabeth Nelson
Everybody wants to save the world, but it’s hard to concentrate on combatting wildlife habitat destruction, poaching, and other issues while your job, your kids, your spouse, your friends and all the other facets of your life are constantly demanding your attention. You’ve got stuff going on. How can you possibly add a responsibility as big as the planet to your plate?
Fortunately, the task may be a little simpler than you thought. Below are a few things you can do to help the planet and the plants and animals that live there without leaving home–or putting in too much extra effort.
1. Conserve Water
Water is one of the Earth’s most valuable resources. And while it may often seem like there’s plenty to go around, that’s really not the case. Try not to water your lawn or garden when it doesn’t need it, and avoid watering during the heat of the day. You could also purchase a water-saving shower head and toilet for your bathroom. Or just take shorter showers and flush the toilet less often. Check your faucets, pipes, and hoses regularly for leaks and fix them as soon as you can. You can even elect to landscape and decorate with plants that don’t require much water. The EPA has dozens of ideas for how to conserve water in your day-to-day life.
2. Provide Water
Similar to conserving water, providing water for wildlife is important, particularly if there’s a drought in your area. The Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology at the University of Florida recommends building a pond or a birdbath in your yard. Butterflies have very particular requirements for where they get their water, so you can also be a hero by creating a special butterfly drinking station in your yard or landscape.
3. Attract Pollinators
Pollinators such as bees, bats, and hummingbirds are vital to the success of roughly 75% of plants. You can attract a variety of pollinators by landscaping with plants that have different colors, shapes, and seasons. Planting flowers in bunches instead of by themselves is also more likely to attract pollinators. And don’t forget to provide a habitat for your pollinating friends! The Great Pollinator Project has tips for how to provide nesting and egg-laying sites for a wide variety of pollinators.
4. Limit Use of Chemicals and Pesticides
It’s widely known that chemicals and pesticides are harmful to the environment and wildlife, including those pollinators you just worked so hard to keep around. So while you may be proud of your immaculately manicured lawn with nary a weed in sight (or your perfect pest-free home), it may be time to put down the poison and take a more natural approach.