Conservation

Rainforest Trust

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You know what makes a great passive-aggressive holiday gift for your conservative relatives? A donation in their name to an irrefutably tree-huggy environmental cause!

Your DGB for today is to donate to Rainforest Trust, which is celebrating 30 years of conservation work. Bonus points if you donate in the name of a Climate Change denier.

Make Your Carbon Footprint Just Ducky

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Your DGB for today is to check out the online ecological impact tracker, Ducky.

It’s been a long spring and summer (winter..fall...previous summer…previous spring...) here in the United States so if you need a mental break from the downfall of the Republic, maybe turn your attention to something less depressing, like climate change! Whether you are a noob whose efforts up to this point end at rinsing out the peanut butter jar before recycling it or an old granola-cruncher with a closet full of family cloth, there is something in the Ducky toolkit to help you decrease your environmental impact.

Start online by entering your footprint: https://footprint.ducky.eco/en/

Registering an account allows you to record your consumption habits and help yourself manage your footprint down to the smallest detail. It’s also totally free so it won’t impact your wallet. Ducky can also help you organize a workplace or classroom challenge so you can recruit others to Mother Earth’s hippie army.

Grab quack-er... we mean BACK and go to Ducky!

 

 

Fine Feathered Friends

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Your DGB for today is to read this passionate piece on the importance of birds to the world, to humanity, and take steps to protect these animals in your immediate vicinity.

As promised, the Trump administration is turning out to be the most viciously anti-environment, anti-natural world administration in US history. But even before Trump was denying climate change, doing away with environmental regulations, and otherwise running roughshod over the planet, birds have been in trouble. Pesticide use, air and water pollution, habitat destruction, aforementioned climate change, and even the humble house cat have affected bird populations.

Being an environmental voter is great, but you can actually have a big impact in very immediate ways:

  1. Keep your cats indoors, or, put a bell on ‘em to warn birds they’re coming. Felis catus is responsible for an eye-popping 2.4 billion-with-a-b bird deaths a year just in the United States.

  2. Stop using pesticides on your garden, or find ones that are less harmful to birds. Avoid neonicotinoids, especially, as they are deadly to both birds and pollinators.

  3. We know it’s kind of early to be mentioning it, when you’re done with your Christmas tree (should you celebrate), leave it in your yard as a habitat for birds instead of putting it on the curb. Same for brush piles. Your feathered friends will thank you.

 

We know these days it seems like so much is out of our control. These small steps are doable and have real, tangible results right in your backyard. Do it for your mental health, if nothing else. Hope is a thing with feathers.

 

Just a Spoonful of Sugar

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Your DGB for today is to save a bee. David Attenborough, narrator of docu-series like Planet Earth and Blue Planet, urged everyone recently to take the simple step of putting out a teaspoon of sugar water for a tired bee. The sugar water may be enough to revive the bee and allow it to return home to its colony. Why? Because however the fate of the bees goes, so goes the human diet.

Modern agriculture has come a long, long way since our ancestors first started planting cereal crops in the Fertile Crescent 13,000 years ago. But one thing that hasn’t changed is our reliance on natural pollinators like bees. Unfortunately, climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction have wreaked havoc on bee populations. About a third of the crops we eat rely to a certain extent on bee pollination. While the extinction of bees might not mean the extinction of all of us, it would have a tremendous impact on our global food system.

It’s a small act, but sometimes small acts multiplied many times are what make the difference. Grab a spoon, won’t you?

 

Protect Wild & Sacred Lands From Greedy Developers

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Your DGB for today is to read over our list of suggested ways to help protect our national monuments from Trump’s agenda and choose at least one.

 

On Monday, the same president who was so keen to protect *Confederate* monuments from harm signed an executive order that shrank Bears Ears National Monument by a stunning 85%, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by HALF. Trump claimed this was to restore grazing and hunting rights to the people of Utah. Fact check #1: national monument status on this land does not impinge on grazing or hunting; it does, however, protect the land from new drilling, mining, and fracking endeavors. Hm… Fact check #2: the people of Utah, especially the indigenous folk who consider these lands sacred, overwhelmingly do not want Trump’s “help” removing these protections.

It may seem like a done deal, but there are things we can do:

 

1) Donate to environmental groups that have already filed suit on behalf of Grand Staircase-Escalante, like the Sierra Club https://www.sierraclub.org/ , Natural Resources Defense Council https://www.nrdc.org/ , and the Wilderness Society http://wilderness.org/

 

2) Wear your support or buy it for friends. Surely someone on your Christmas list wears t-shirts and cares about environmental conservation and/or indigenous rights:  http://utahdinebikeyah.org/t-shirts/

 

3) Join the League of Conservation Voters https://www.lcv.org/. Fight greed and shortsightedness at the ballot box.

 

4) Support the five tribes - Navajo, Ute Mountain Ute, Ute Indian Tribe, Hopi and Zuni - who are suing the government to protect Bears Ears: http://bearsearscoalition.org/

 

Turn Off the Tap

Your DGB for today is to implement ways to reduce your waste water. 

March 22nd is World Water Day, and this year’s theme is waste water. How can we make a difference in our own homes and lives? If you’re lucky enough to have access to clean water, check out these water conservation tips provided by The Water Project:

 

  • Always turn taps off tightly so they do not drip.

  • Promptly repair any leaks in and around your taps. (One leak can waste several thousand liters of water per year.)

  • Use an aerator and/or a water flow-reducer attachment on your tap to reduce your water usage.

  • When hand-washing dishes, never run water continuously. Wash dishes in a partially filled sink and then rinse them using the spray attachment on your tap.

  • If you have an electric dishwasher, use it only to wash full loads, and use the shortest cycle possible. Many dishwashers have a conserver/water-miser cycle.

  • When brushing your teeth, turn the water off while you are actually brushing. Use short bursts of water for cleaning your brush. (This saves about 80% of the water normally used.)

  • When washing or shaving, partially fill the sink and use that water rather than running the tap continuously. (This saves about 60% of the water normally used.) Use short bursts of water to clean razors.

  • Use either low-flow shower heads or adjustable flow-reducer devices on your shower heads. (They reduce flow by at least 25%.)

  • You can reduce water usage by 40% to 50% by installing low-flush toilets.

  • Wash only full loads in your washing machine.

  • Use the shortest cycle possible for washing clothes, and use the "suds-saver" feature if your machine has one.

  • Use only cleaning products that will not harm the environment when they are washed away after use. Look for "environmentally friendly" products when shopping.

  • Lawns and gardens require only 5 millimeters of water per day during warm weather. Less is needed during spring, fall, or cool weather.

  • Water lawns every three to five days, rather than for a short period every day. In warm weather, apply 5 millimeters of water for each day since the last watering.

  • Water during the cool part of the day, in the morning or evening. Do not water on windy days.

  • Do not over-water in anticipation of a shortage. Soil cannot store extra water.

  • Use shut-off timers or on-off timers, if possible. Do not turn on sprinklers and leave for the day.

 

If you have a few extra minutes after brainstorming ways to make a difference in your own home, please read this fact sheet outlining the global concerns regarding waste water.

Fill yourself to the brim with the knowledge that clean water is a privilege and our duty to protect.