Haven’t made your New Year’s resolution yet or have you already broken your other ones? Here are five resolutions you can try this year!
Resolution 1: Stop sharing pictures and videos that support the illegal wildlife trade
That cute picture of a monkey in a dress may seem harmless, but these images usually support the illegal wildlife trade. Avoid sharing pictures of non-domesticated animals acting as pets, put in clothes, dancing, posing for pictures and performing human activities. A lot of the time, these animals were taken away from their mother and families at a very young age (this usually means death for a large portion of the family group), abused, and sold on the market before becoming a pet.
Resolution 2: Shop for products that are made with sustainable palm oil
Palm oil is found in an estimated 50% of everything you will find in a grocery store – from food, to medicine, to cosmetics. In order to make room for palm oil plantations, humans cut down huge portions of the rainforest, which greatly reduces the amount of livable space for orangutans and other animals native to the area. While completely cutting out palm oil wouldn’t be the solution (it uses less land and produces a larger yield than other plants), it would be beneficial to shop for sustainable palm oil products! To know if your products use sustainably sourced palm oil, you can download one of the many apps to your smartphone, just search for “palm oil”! These apps will let you scan the barcodes of different products you buy and will tell you if the company that produces the products uses sustainably sourced palm oil or not!
Resolution 3: To help the pollinator animals in your own backyard, try planting and sustaining some wildflowers that are native to your area!
Many species of pollinators are declining – the most well-known example is the population reduction of bees. Planting wildflowers and other native plants will help in the attraction and aid in the survivability of bees, moths, beetles, and other important pollinators. Different plants will serve different purposes and help to attract different species. Do a quick web search of the beneficial native wildflowers in your area! Finally, always avoid using chemicals or pesticides that may be harmful to bees and other pollinator species.
Resolution 4: Join the Seafood Watch!
The Seafood Watch is a program that helps you choose seafood options that are fished or farmed in ways that have the least environmental impact. On the Seafood Watch website, you can read about our impact on the ocean and how both consumers and businesses can take part in contributing to a healthier ocean. It will even tell you which species are best to purchase and which you should avoid buying. Download the app or head over to the seafood watch website to learn more!
Resolution 5: Try Meatless Mondays if you aren’t ready to commit to the vegetarian lifestyle!
Did you know that eating a quarter pound of beef has the same amount of gas emissions as driving almost 7 miles? Large scale meat production is harmful to the environment and an easy way to go a little greener is to avoid eating meat. Committing to going meatless one day each week is doable for most people, and there are plenty of online resources with tasty recipes to help you out. You can check out the Meatless Monday campaign website for recipes, and to read about the benefits of reducing your meat consumption not only for the environment, but for your own health!