Protect Biodiversity From Home – Protect Nature Challenge
We are all a part of the biodiversity of our planet.
We depend on biodiversity for our survival and well-being. Biodiversity nourishes our most basic needs, such as the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and it nourishes our spirits as well through the beauty of a forest walk or a birdsong outside our window. Learning about the importance of biodiversity is critical for its conservation and sustainable use.
Follow these five tips for protecting biodiversity from home:
- Naturalize your lawn. Lawns are unnatural habitats. Creating a naturalized area in your yard will reduce the size of your lawn and decrease the amount of mowing and watering required. Start with the sections that are not well suited for grass, such as shady areas. Plant a variety of vegetation types (grasses, flowers, shrubs, trees, etc.) and group them in clusters to attract insects, birds, butterflies, hummingbirds and other animals. If you would like to attract a certain species to your garden, you will need to provide for their unique food, water and shelter needs.
- Plant native species. Regardless of whether you have a flower, vegetable, rock or natural garden, native species are an important element of biodiversity and create a natural habitat for local wildlife. They also require less water and maintenance than exotic species since they are adapted to the specific conditions of the local environment. For more information on native plants in your area, visit your local arboretum or native plant society.
- Avoid using chemicals (fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides and pesticides). The chemicals used on lawns and gardens are harmful to us as well as the environment. They contaminate the soil and water and also poison insects, birds, fish, pets and children.
- Compost. Rather than using chemical fertilizers, compost your fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, eggshells, leaves and grass clippings to create decomposed organic matter (compost). Adding compost to your garden will enrich your soil by encouraging microorganisms and worms to thrive, improving soil drainage, increasing the soil’s ability to hold moisture and providing nutrients for plant growth. This practice is also a great way to reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill.
- Keep your cat indoors, especially at night. Since cats are most effective when hunting in low light and pose a significant threat to birds, mice, frogs and other animals that may be attracted to your garden and yard, it’s best to keep your cat indoors at night. To help protect wildlife while your cat is outdoors, attach a bell to its collar and use predator-proof feeders and birdhouses.
Find more tips on how you can protect biodiversity in your backyard, home, community and in rural landscapes.
Let’s do this together
Share these challenges with your friends and family and show us what you are doing by tagging us in your social media messages and by using the hashtag #ProtectNature.
Check out our list of challenges to help protect nature.
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