Individuals can help conserve biodiversity

by Rolando A. Inciong

Reducing biodiversity loss is not the sole responsibility of governments. Individuals, businesses, communities, schools, women, youth and all sectors must act while forming alliances to stage a common front against biodiversity loss. Individuals need to act.

As the world approaches the celebration of Earth Day on April 22, individuals may wish to consider the following acts of green that can help save our biodiversity.

⦁ Know more about the environment. Taking action begins by learning about the importance of the environment and what can be done to help curb destruction. To have a multiplier effect, share what you have learned with family, friends and colleagues.

⦁ Plant and nurture trees. Trees provide us with oxygen, purify our air, holds water in aquifers which assure us of drinking water supply, prevents soil erosion, and absorbs carbon dioxide to lessen the negative effects of climate change.

⦁ Maintain a garden. Use idle space in your home or business areas for a garden, and plant herbs, flowers, and maybe some medicinal plants that can provide home remedies for coughs and colds. Tight spaces require some creativity, and empty bottles of soda and other large containers can help create that makeshift garden.

⦁ Reduce, reuse and recycle. Buy products in bulk or environment-friendly packaging to reduce your contribution to landfills. Reuse and recycle products, especially plastic containers.

⦁ BYOB. Always bring your own bag (BYOB) so that purchases at the supermarket or shopping mall won’t require plastic bags at the checkout counter.

⦁ Ride a bike. Bike commuting is a healthy alternative and reduces dependence on cars and fuel.

⦁ Conserve water and energy. Don’t keep water running when washing dishes or brushing teeth. Turn off lights and other appliances when they’re not being used.

⦁ Buy local products. Products that travel less leave a smaller carbon footprint. Patronize fruits, vegetables and other products that are produced locally since they are not only good for the environment, but good for the local economy as well.

⦁ Buy organic. Perhaps if people bought more organic products, this will reduce the price of organic goods and encourage more farmers and manufacturers to reduce pesticide use and go green. There are already a number of locally produced personal hygiene and household products on the market. Organic products, particularly fruits, vegetables and meat, contribute to a healthier population and a stronger planet.

⦁ Join an environmental activity or event. During Earth Day (April 22), International Day for Biodiversity (May 22), World Environment Day (June 5) and other environmental events, participate in activities to celebrate these events.