Even small acts can have a ripple effect

A first step in tackling biodiversity loss is getting to know the diverse ecosystems and species in your backyard, neighbourhood and community. Knowing a place means you will care, and what you know and love you conserve. It may be as simple as taking the time to move a worm from the pavement to the grass after a rainstorm. Doing no harm and minimizing your impact on your environment is a great place to start.

Below are some suggestions that you may wish to take. Just as people are now referring to climate change as climate pollution or a crisis, we are facing a similar situation with biodiversity loss. But every step counts, there is no step too small. And maybe we just need more kindness to one another, and to all other living beings. Many of the suggested solutions address both climate pollution and the biodiversity crisis — one small step can have many co-benefits, including health.

What are some individual actions you can take today
to protect biodiversity?

Cat in kitchen on checkered floor

IN YOUR HOME

PLASTIC: Reduction, reuse, recycling, and refusal of plastic products

 

FOOD:

o   Reduction of meat intake, experimentation with vegetarianism and plant-based diets

o   Sustainable food purchases, especially seafood

o   Seasonal and local shopping

o   Produce box programs

 

PURCHASES: Literacy of impacts of purchases on biodiversity (i.e. palm oil products)

 

PRODUCTS: Environmentally benign products

 

ENERGY: Home audits with local energy providers to optimize energy efficiency and save money

 

REBATES: Reasonable government rebates and energy-reduction programs

 

PET IMPACT: Literacy on cat impact on local wildlife, such as birds and rodents

 

TRANSPORTATION:

o   Understanding of embedded transportation costs of purchases and travel

o   Carbon offsets for airline travel

White dog in backyard with person mowing lawn

IN YOUR BACKYARD/BALCONY

GARDENING:

o   Wildlife friendly gardens to support pollinators

o   Indigenous flowers and herbs

o   Vegetable gardens

o   Composting

o   Forest gardening/food forestry

 

PEST CONTROL: Natural methods and products for pest control instead of pesticides and fertilizers

 

HEDGES: Hedge growth in spring and summer when birds are nesting

 

GRASS:

o   Taller grass helps small critters find hiding spots and homes

o   Less grass cutting in the spring and summer helps birds nest in tall grass

 

WILDLIFE: Bird, bat, bug and snake hotels

Cat in kitchen on checkered floor

IN YOUR HOME

PLASTIC: Reduction, reuse, recycling, and refusal of plastic products

 

FOOD:

o   Reduction of meat intake, experimentation with vegetarianism and plant-based diets

o   Sustainable food purchases, especially seafood

o   Seasonal and local shopping

o   Produce box programs

 

PURCHASES: Literacy of impacts of purchases on biodiversity (i.e. palm oil products)

 

PRODUCTS: Environmentally benign products

 

ENERGY: Home audits with local energy providers to optimize energy efficiency and save money

 

REBATES: Reasonable government rebates and energy-reduction programs

 

PET IMPACT: Literacy on cat impact on local wildlife, such as birds and rodents

 

TRANSPORTATION:

o   Understanding of embedded transportation costs of purchases and travel

o   Carbon offsets for airline travel

White dog in backyard with person mowing lawn

IN YOUR BACKYARD/BALCONY

GARDENING:

o   Wildlife friendly gardens to support pollinators

o   Indigenous flowers and herbs

o   Vegetable gardens

o   Composting

 

PEST CONTROL: Natural methods and products for pest control instead of pesticides and fertilizers

 

HEDGES: Hedge growth in spring and summer when birds are nesting

 

GRASS:

o   Taller grass helps small critters find hiding spots and homes

o   Less grass cutting in the spring and summer helps birds nest in tall grass

 

WILDLIFE: Bird, bat, bug and snake hotels

women smiling at hand holding purple flowering plant above a garden plot

IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD

MAINTENANCE: Neighbourhood collaboration for backyard biodiversity solutions (mowing reduction, hedge growth, pollinator plants, composting etc.)

 

BEAUTIFICATION: Neighbourhood beautification through habitat diversity

 

BIODIVERSITY BYLAWS: Bylaws favouring enriched biodiversity lawn and road verge management

 

CORRIDORS: Habitat corridors for ecological diversity (i.e. Butterflyway Project)

 

ROAD VERGES: Vegetable gardens, flowering plants, fruit trees on road verges and communal land

Colourful east coast houses stand over a harbour

IN YOUR COMMUNITY

FOOD: Local farmers’ markets

 

PACKAGING: Carbon footprint information on food packaging integrated with nutritional information (e.g., palm oil)

 

CITIZEN SCIENCE: Citizen science movements for monitoring and sharing wildlife findings (i.e. BioBlitz,  iNaturalist, etc.)

 

GREEN SPACE:

o      Impermeable spaces converted into semi-permeable places (i.e. parking lots)

o      Green space, wildlife corridors and wildlife friendly community gardens

 

LOCAL POLITICS:

o      Elected politicians are aware of the Biodiversity Action Agenda

o      Official Community Plans include biodiversity strategies

women smiling at hand holding purple flowering plant above a garden plot

IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD

MAINTENANCE: Neighbourhood collaboration for backyard biodiversity solutions (mowing reduction, hedge growth, pollinator plants, composting etc.)

 

BEAUTIFICATION: Neighbourhood beautification through habitat diversity

 

BIODIVERSITY BYLAWS: Bylaws favouring enriched biodiversity lawn and road verge management

 

CORRIDORS: Habitat corridors for ecological diversity (i.e. Butterflyway Project)

 

ROAD VERGES: Vegetable gardens, flowering plants, fruit trees on road verges and communal land

Colourful east coast houses stand over a harbour

IN YOUR COMMUNITY

FOOD: Local farmers’ markets

 

PACKAGING: Carbon footprint information on food packaging integrated with nutritional information (e.g., palm oil)

 

CITIZEN SCIENCE: Citizen science movements for monitoring and sharing wildlife findings (i.e. BioBlitz,  iNaturalist, etc.)

 

GREEN SPACE:

o      Impermeable spaces converted into semi-permeable places (i.e. parking lots)

o      Green space, wildlife corridors and wildlife friendly community gardens

 

LOCAL POLITICS:

o      Elected politicians are aware of the Biodiversity Action Agenda

o      Official Community Plans include biodiversity strategies