It seems like Earth Day was just a few days ago. Around the world, many people carved time out of their day to plant some flowers or trees, raise money for an environmental cause, or upload an inspiring Instagram or Facebook post to honor Mother Nature and all that she has generously given us.
Although Earth Day is a beautiful commemoration to our planet, it is not the only international holiday that deserves global attention and appreciation. Today is International Biodiversity Day, a holiday that should be recognized and held up to the same high esteem as Earth Day.
If you have never taken a biology class or studied in an environmentally related field, you may be wondering, “What is biodiversity and why is it important?”
Biodiversity is the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem. Simply put, it is the number of species in a specified area. It applies to all scopes of ecosystems, from the garden in your backyard to the entirety of the Amazon Rainforest or a coastal reef in the Caribbean.
International Biodiversity day was enacted in 1983 by the United Nations with the intention to increase awareness of the importance of global diversity and the issues impacting our planet. In many ways, humans are responsible for the increasingly diminishing global biodiversity. Deforestation, animal agriculture, urban development, chemical runoff, habitat destruction, and climate change are just a few of the mediums through which we are making the earth uninhabitable for many species of animals, including many species of insects, and plants.
May 22, 2019, is the 26th International Biodiversity Day. In light of this, Toucan Rescue Ranch is providing you with a list of 26 ways you can lend a helping hand to local and global biodiversity:
- Restore habitats in your yard by planting a garden.
- Reduce or eliminate your plastic consumption. Try becoming waste free!
- Shop resale or for used items.
- Recycle – Be sure to check your country’s rules.
- Buy your food locally.
- Use organic cleaning products.
- Limit your chemical and pesticide usage.
- Reduce your consumption of meat.
- Donate to accredited conservation efforts.
- Practice responsible ecotourism by researching to find legitimate and ethical organizations.
- Educate yourself on biodiversity issues in your community and around the world.
- Walk more, bike more, use public transportation or carpool whenever possible.
- Lobby for important environmental issues in your community and country.
- Avoid products made with palm oil.
- Volunteer your time to accredited wildlife or conservation organizations.
- Avoid buying travel souvenirs that have cost an animal its life.
- Leave wild things in the wild.
- Make a birdhouse or put a bird feeder in your backyard.
- Support local government initiatives that increase biodiversity.
- Promote sustainable practices in your workplace.
- Only leave footprints when in wild spaces – pack it in and pack it out.
- Implement and support gardens and “green roof” buildings in urban areas.
- Limit your light pollution outdoors.
- Do not introduce exotic species into the wild.
- Try composting.
- Share this post with a friend, family member, co-worker and help us to educate others and spread awareness of the importance of biodiversity today and every day!
Blog written by marketing intern Ally Chamberlin | Edited by Madelyn Rangel