How to Take Action to Preserve Nature

Being concerned about the environment can feel overwhelming, but there are actions that you can take to help preserve the natural world. Start by finding ways to protect the land base and waterways in your own community and neighbourhood. It's also important to reduce your own carbon footprint and make sustainable eating choices. You can maximize your actions by raising awareness of local environmental challenges among your friends and family, or joining with other activists to push for policies that protect nature.

Method 1: Conserving Your Local Environment

1. Stop mowing your lawn.

The grasses and weeds will go to seed, and offer haven for insects and birds. Wildflowers will bloom, providing nourishment for bees. When you maintain a standard grass lawn, you’re depriving these creatures of their natural environment.

  • You might wish to set aside part of your lawn to leave unmown, or you might decide to mow paths through longer grassy areas.

  • Be prepared to share your reasons with your neighbours, who might at first not realize the benefits of long grass.


2. Participate in beach or river cleanup.

When people litter, their trash often makes its way to our local waterways, destroying the natural homesites of birds, fish and other waterland creatures. Help out by joining with others in beach or riverside cleanup events.

  • If there’s not a cleanup in your area, consider creating one. All you’ll need are trash bags, rubber gloves, and a team of like-minded volunteers.

  • You can select any lake, river, creek, swamp, marsh, beach, or wetland you prefer to help clean.


3. Stop using pesticides.

Pesticides, despite the name, don’t actually solve pest problems. Rather than spraying toxic pesticides that are dangerous to humans, pets, fish and birds, the best solution is to alter the garden environment in a way that causes the pests to leave.

  • Try using beneficial insects that can control the pest population, or natural pesticides which have been developed to make the plant taste bad to the pest.

  • Pesticides include insecticides, herbicides, biocides, fungicides, and nematicides.

 Method 2: Joining With Others

1. Join an environmental activist organization.

You can maximize the impact of your action by joining together with others who want to preserve nature. Being a part of an activist organization will help you keep abreast of any environmental legislation, or changes in legal threats to natural environments.

  • Be aware that there are organizations with environmental-sounding names that actually work to dismantle legal protection for natural space. Research the organization thoroughly before getting involved with action.

2. Spend time volunteering.

Most communities have non-profit environmental organizations that rely on volunteer help in order to do their work. Look in your local area for organizations that are doing the kind of work to preserve nature that you expect.

  • Internships and international opportunities are also available to those who are able to travel.

3. Raise awareness of threats to nature.

Make sure you share news about the threats to the environment, both inside and outside your community. Follow social media campaigns, and share their posts. Write letters to local newspapers and community blogs. Consider joining in with rallies and protest marches if you’re able.

  • Connect with other activists on social media.

  • Share information through videos, photographs and facts. Create online polls that are quick to share with friends to collect information.

 Method 3: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

1. Conserve water in your home.

Wait until you’ve got a full load of clothes before running the washing machine. Don’t turn on the dishwasher until it’s full, and allow your dishes to air dry rather than automatically drying. By minimizing the amount of drinkable water you use for other purposes, you’re helping to protect your local water resources which are jeopardized in many areas.

  • Taking shorter showers, or turning off the water while you lather up, will save water. Set a timer if you need to.

  • Use water-conserving faucets, shower heads and toilets. Turn the faucet off while you brush your teeth or shave.

2. Turn off unnecessary lights.

When you leave a room, make sure the lights are off. Having lights set on a timer may help you reduce the time they’re left on. If you use lights outdoors, make sure they’re motion sensitive so that they don’t get left on.

  • Use natural lighting whenever possible, and consider installing skylights or light tunnels to light darker areas of the house.

  • Switch to energy efficient lightbulbs. Using less electricity translates to fewer greenhouse gases being discharged into the environment from your energy company.

  • Unplug chargers when they’re not in use. Chargers for your electronic devices are constant energy users, even when your device is unplugged.

3. Use biodegradable cleaning products.

Remember that whatever goes down your drains will eventually end up in your local streams and creeks. Using biodegradable, or biocompatible, products will have less impact on the local wildlife.

  • Usually biodegradable products will list this information on their labels. Look for this designation.

  • Avoid ingredients that are “antibacterial” or “antibiotic” as these will negatively impact the ecosystem.

  • Also avoid scented products, bleach, boron/borax, chlorine bleach, or ingredients with the word sodium in them, such as sodium hypochlorite.