||WHAT CAN I DO?
In honor of Earth Day we've collected JOURNAL coverage of the environment selections from the father of sociobiology E.O. Wilson to the environmental risks for mountaintop mining to a photographic artist who makes pictures out of our trash. Check them all out and celebrate.
Then find out what practical steps can you take in your everyday life to help curb global climate change, mass species extinction, and other looming ecological disasters.
Here is a collection of links that stress how you can practically help to preserve our biodiversity.
GREEN PEACE: The Green Guide to Living:
GREEN PEACE also offers similar green guides for your office, your community, your yard, and for a greener lifestyle.
- In the Kitchen: Whether you spend a lot of time in your kitchen or the only thing you know how to make is microwave popcorn, there are steps we can all take to make our kitchen a little greener and save a little money in the process.
- Electricity: From energy-efficient appliances to compact flourescent light bulbs, there are a host of changes you can make around your house to save energy and reduce your electric bill.
- In the Bathroom: If you thought soap scum was a problem, just take a look at all the environmental hazards lurking in your bathroom.
- In the Laundry Room: Just because you want to be green doesn't mean your wardrobe has to suffer.
- Indoor Pests: Even some of the most devoted environmentalists prefer not to share their home with cockroaches and other unwelcome guests. But before you reach for that can of Raid, read the tips below.
- Green Cleaning Solutions: If you read the packaging of household cleaning products, you've probably come across some words you don't recognize. Chances are, if you can't pronounce it, it's not good for the environment. Try these homemade concoctions instead.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
- Save Energy: Use the Energy Star Program to find more efficient products, always turn off appliances when leaving your home, insulate your house, and more.
- Use Less Water: Repair leaking pipes, take short showers instead of baths, cool water in the refrigerator instead of keeping the faucet on, and more.
- Reduce/Reuse/Recycle: Practice the three R's: first reduce how much you use, then reuse what you can, and then recycle the rest. Then, dispose of what's left in the most environmentally friendly way. Read the tips below and explore the Consumer's Handbook for Reducing Solid Waste.
- Handle Toxics Properly: Common household items such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides contain hazardous components. Although we cannot completely stop using hazardous products, we can make sure that leftovers are managed properly. The best way to handle household hazardous waste is to give leftovers to someone else to use.
- Oceans Alive: Features eco-tips for boaters, divers, fishermen, and beach-goers, on how to help keep our oceans alive.
- Healthy Farms: America's farmers and ranchers produce an extraordinary bounty of food and fiber - as well as clean air, clean water and habitat for wildlife. But, farm and food policies could do much more to meet the needs of farmers, consumers and communities. Read the latest Environmental Defense report, "Green Acres: Helping Farmers Help the Environment."
- Climate Action: Contact Congressional leaders about latest climate change legislation, pledge to swap out your light bulbs for eco-friendly bulbs, and learn more from scientists and policy makers about this crucial issue.
- Learn from the Eagle: How did we save the bald eagle, and how can we use these methods to help save other endangered birds and wildlife?
There are many simple things you can do in your daily life - what you eat, what you drive, how you build your home - that can have an effect on your immediate surrounding, and on places as far away as Antarctica. Here is a list of few things that you can do to make a difference:
- Inflate Your Tires: Keep the tires on your car adequately inflated. Check them monthly. Save 250 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $840 per year.
- Install a Low-Flow Showerhead: Using less water in the shower means less energy to heat the water. Save 350 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $150.
- Use a Push Mower: Use your muscles instead of fossil fuels and get some exercise. Save 80 lbs of carbon dioxide per year.
- Unplug Un-Used Electronics: Even when electronic devices are turned off, they use energy. Save over 1,000 lbs of carbon dioxide and $256 per year.
Click here for more simple tips like these.
Wildlife Conservation Organizations
World Wildlife Federation
"WWF is active around the world, saving wildlife, protecting habitats, and addressing global threats. But wildlife conservation and nature conservation begins with each of us - and each of us can make a difference."
Conservation International leads a global effort to preserve the natural heritage of our planet. Find out how you can get involved in their many ongoing projects.
Wildlife Conservation Society
"The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild lands through careful science, international conservation, education, and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks."
The Wildlands Project
"In North America, there is hope that our animals, our wild places, and our spirit of adventure will continue forever. Our vision is Room to Roam, and lots of it. We must connect parks and protected areas from Canada to Mexico, from the Pacific to the Atlantic."
Environmental Agencies and Groups
National Environmental Protection Act
NEPAnet Web site allows users the ability to access the complete text of the 1969 NEPA, while also providing shortcuts to popular statutes, such as the Clean Air Act. Other features include access to the Center for Environmental Quality environmental impact analyses, reports, studies and NEPA case law.
National Park Service
The National Park Service's Web site provides information on all areas under its administration and on the management of environmental and cultural resources in its care. The site also provides information on how to volunteer in parks in your locale.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
An agency of the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management Web site provides general information, facts and news related to the management of our public lands. Features include access to bureau publications, brochures, and current initiatives undertaken by the Bureau of Land Management.
U.S.D.A. Forest Service
The official site for the Forest Service contains area profiles and resource management procedures and pertinent news stories. Potential visitors can find information on permit and use guidelines for Forest Service areas.
National Forest Foundation
The National Forest Foundation is the official nonprofit partner of the Forest Service. The group creates community-based and national programs that promote the health and public enjoyment of the National Forest System. The NFF also administer private gifts of funds and land for the benefit of the National Forests.
National Parks and Conservation Association
Established in 1919, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is the only private, nonprofit, advocacy organization dedicated to educating the public about our national parks and protecting, preserving, and enhancing the U.S. National Park System.
The Sierra Club works to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources, educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment, and use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.
Founded in 1935, the Wilderness Society is one of the most vocal advocates for wilderness advocacy. Its former president, Howard Zahniser, was one of the authors of the original Wilderness Act. Today the non-profit group is lobbying against changes to the roadless rule and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.