Protecting ecosystems might seem like a rather large task for individuals to take on. One way to approach such a task is to consider how we can protect biodiversity, which then protects the ecosystems supporting such diversity. Habitat destruction, invasive species, overpopulation and overconsumption drive biodiversity loss. The list below, therefore, highlights actions individuals can take to protect biodiversity.
1. Be aware of your own personal impact.
- Measure your carbon footprint (the amount of CO2 emitted based on your own lifestyle).
- Understand your surroundings: from where does your water come and where does it go once it hits the drains? How is your energy provided and what sort of impacts does it have on ecosystems?
2. Support education for girls in developing nations.
- Research has shown that empowering women and girls through education leads to increased economic opportunity as well as greater choice in reproductive health and planning. This is one significant way to slow population growth.
3. Remove invasive species.
- Volunteer with organizations like EarthCorps.
- Planting native species and restoring habitats helps preserve biodiversity.
4. Do you really need that?
- Think about it! Overconsumption is one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss.
- Buy recycled or secondhand instead!
5. Eat local meat (or less meat or none at all).
- Cheap beef production is a highly destructive process that involves mass deforestation.
- Cattle also produce methane, a greenhouse gas that is twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide.
6. 'Shady' coffee
- The coffee plant is originally a shade-growing plant. Coffee is more productive when it is grown in the understory of a forest.
- Shade-grown coffee helps to reduce biodiversity loss.
7. Buy 'good' wood.
8. Eat sustainable seafood (or less seafood or none at all).
- 75% of the world’s fisheries are fully or over-exploited.
- Look for seafood labeled with the Marine Stewardship Council logo.
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