Chances are you’re not going to find a lost tree kangaroo in your yard needing help any time soon. You might not even have a yard and most humans don’t live where we tree kangaroos can be found. But no matter. Humans (I’ve found) can be very resourceful beings when they put their minds to it, so, with a little help from Mr Author, I’ve put together this list of 10 things you can do around home (or persuade Mum or Dad to do around home) that will help the environment.
1/ Buy a water bottle. Fill it up from the tap, drink, fill it up again, repeat and repeat. The reason this is important is the water in plastic bottles gets to you on the back of diesel trucks, the plastic bottles are made from petrochemicals, so there’s a lot of oil going into each bottle of water you buy. Plus it costs money. I’ve got a river I can drink from. You’ve got rivers everywhere in your cities – all you have to do is turn on a tap.
2/ Recycle as much as you can. Most of you are probably doing as much as you can when at home, but when you’re out and about it gets much harder. Sometimes you’ll need to take your recycling back home with you if you can’t find a recycling bin. Also, try to use cloth bags at the supermarket instead of the plastic ones they give you (if they still are in your area). These plastic bags are bad news when they get into the waterways.
3/ Use recycled paper. It’s getting more and more popular, but if you can find 100% post-consumer recycled paper, you’ll be encouraging everyone to keep paper recycling.
4/ Buy local produce. This is hard if you live in a big city, but if you’re closer to the country you should have the option in many places of buying local produce. It will be more expensive, but if it’s grown locally you help the local farmers and you consume less oil as the produce doesn’t have to come from a long way away on the back of a truck.
5/ Buy groceries in the biggest size you can. This helps reduce packaging, which reduces the rubbish going into the earth. In fact, anything that helps reduce the amount of garbage you produce is a good thing.
6/ Build a worm farm. Hard if you live in an apartment, but if you have even a small garden, you can buy a worm farm to set up. All your vegetable food scraps go in there (except for maybe onions and oranges); the worms eat them up and make something called ‘worm tea’ which is good to put back on your garden.
7/ Turn off everything plugged in that you’re not using. Whenever a TV, stereo, heater or whatever has a little light on, it’s using power. Also, phone chargers and camera chargers use energy even if the phone is turned off but the charger is still going. Energy is expensive to produce (and in some areas is produced by burning coal) so we should use as little as possible of it for energy is precious. Additionally, if you can, switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. The light they cast is not as harsh as it once was and if you only replace 3 light bulbs in your house that are used a lot, in a year you’ll save a heap of energy.
8/ Find a tree-planting program or a clean-up day. A quick google search will call up any such initiatives in your area. It’s a great practical way to make your area more beautiful.
9/ Plant trees that attract native birds and insects. This is a great idea if you have a back garden big enough. Your local nursery should be able to tell you which plants will do this. And if you have native birds and animals visiting your garden, please think seriously about whether or not you buy a dog or cat. Dogs and cats kill so many native animals it is staggering. And they don’t need to, they just do it for fun. In North Queensland, the biggest killers of koalas are cars and Staffordshire terriers.
10/ Take shorter showers. Unless you’re having cold showers, all the water has to be heated and that takes energy. As I’ve explained above, energy is precious.
And lastly, connect with nature. This will be different for each person, but find a way to get out into nature, put the phone or the DS away, and just play. Find a stream and walk along it. Lie on the grass in a city park and read a book. Try to find a bird’s nest. Or a rabbit hole. Go into the bush or woods and build a fort. Or simply, sit on a beach and watch the water.
But be careful, the more you come nose to nose with nature, the more you’ll care.
If you want to specifically help tree kangaroos, you could consider donating to one of the organisations who are helping us. I’ve listed a few here.
I’m sure you’ll enjoy thinking about how to help your environment with these 10 tips.