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    12 Ways to Prevent Biodiversity Loss

    by One Tree Planted May 09, 2024 4 min read

    elephant playing in water
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    Biodiversity Loss Is A Leading Global Issue: Here Are 12 Ways You Can Help Prevent It

    Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on earth at all levels, from genes to ecosystems, and all the processes that sustain life. Protecting biodiversity is critical to the survival of our planet and all living creatures on it — including humans. In fact, we guarantee that you depend on biodiversity to survive. From the oxygen we breathe to the food we eat, the natural world profoundly influences our lives.

    According to The Smithsonian Institute, "recent studies estimate about eight million species on Earth, of which at least 15,000 are threatened with extinction." And unlike other mass extinction events in geological history, human activity is likely the leading cause.

    The 5 main biodiversity threats include:

    Today, we’re going to focus on how you, as individual, can prevent the loss of biodiversity — in your own neighborhood and on the other side of the planet. Together, we can help protect and preserve biodiversity.

    Here Are 12 Ways You Can Help Prevent Biodiversity Loss

    1. Buy Sustainable And Fairtrade Products

    Purchasing sustainable and Fairtrade products is a simple yet impactful change anyone can make. Love your morning coffee? Look for the Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, or other sustainable certification. This small shift can help coffee farming families earn a decent income while ensuring that your cup of joe is grown with sustainable agroforestry methods.

    2. Ditch The Lawn And Garden Chemicals

    Over 60 years after Rachel Carson's Silent Spring made Americans aware of the dangers of chemical pesticides, many harmful fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides and herbicides continue to be sold. The chemicals in these products contaminate soil and water — and can poison insects, birds, fish, pets and even children. Instead of using chemical-based products, opt for natural formulas and deterrents that won’t contribute to local biodiversity loss.  

    3. Plant A Tree for Biodiversity

    Forest ecosystems encompass richly layered habitat types, which provide shelter to a breathtaking range of biodiversity — including 80% of amphibian species, 75% of bird species, and 68% of mammal species. Planting trees restores critical habitat for biodiversity, some of which can be found nowhere else on earth.

    4. Protect Local Habitats

    Trash can be detrimental to ecosystems and the wildlife that depend on them. Whether you participate in a beach clean up or simply are committed to removing trash around your neighborhood each day, keeping the planet clean is a simple way to support local biodiversity. 

    5. Eat local and organic whenever possible

    Make an effort to visit a farmer’s market and purchase seasonal and organic produce. This saves on the emissions used to ship produce to a grocery store while also reducing pesticide usage. Adopt a more sustainable diet: swapping some meat and dairy products for plant-based protein and fats is a great way reduce your environmental impact. 

    6. Create A Biodiversity Patch In Your Yard

    While well-kept yards may look nice, they're unnatural habitats for the critters in your neighborhood. Section off a portion of your yard and plant native shrubs, flowers or trees to help meet the food, clean water and shelter needs of local wildlife. Butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds are among the charismatic new guests you might attract! And with monarch butterflies recently being designated as endangered, this is more important than ever. 

    7. Educate Youth On Biodiversity

    It’s important to educate youth on the importance of the world's rich biodiversity and why we need to protect it for many generations to come. Next time you have an opportunity to teach your kids, nieces, nephews or neighbors about biodiversity, be sure to watch this video together! And if you're a teacher or homeschooler, check out our free environmental education curriculum!

    8. Start Composting Kitchen Scraps

    Reduce your waste and swap chemical fertilizer out for a natural fertilizer by using compost instead! Everything from fruit and vegetable scraps to egg shells, tea bags and coffee grounds can be broken down into organic matter. Adding compost to your garden will help improve soil stability and increase nutrients while helping important microorganisms and worms thrive.

    9. Monitor Your Pets When They're Outside

    Keep local wildlife safe by monitoring your dog or cat when they're outdoors, and consider attaching a bell to their collar. Cats and many breeds of dogs will hunt birds, frogs, squirrels and other wildlife. In fact, when researchers from the Smithsonian institute and the USFWS combined data, they found that in the US, domestic cats attack 1-4 billion birds every year, as well as 6.3-22.3 billion small mammals, birds and hundreds of millions of reptiles, vertebrate species and amphibians.

    10. Volunteer Your Time

    Whether you’re getting your hands dirty and planting trees or giving baby squirrels some much needed TLC, volunteering for an environmental organization or wildlife rescue is a great way to support biodiversity in your area. Bonus: giving back is also a guaranteed mood-booster! Contact your local environmental organization to learn about ways to get involved.

    11. Reduce Your Carbon Emissions

    If you tend to hop in a cab or drive your car down the street, try challenging yourself to cut down those emissions!

    Walking, biking or rollerblading are fantastic ways to reduce your carbon footprint, improve your personal health and save on gas money. 

    12. Take A Stand For The Environment

    Support local initiatives that work to protect threatened habitats and improve species richness. This can mean emailing your local political representatives, attending peaceful protests, purchasing wildlife-friendly products, or advocating for the protection of endangered plants and animals.

    Remember, small steps really do add up over time. Just want to plant a tree? Plant one today!

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