Keeping our environment clean is incredibly important, and shouldn’t be that hard if we all do our part. Let’s begin by creating as little garbage as possible. Get reusable water bottles, travel mugs, dishes, and utensils and use them wherever you can. That does mean you have to remember to bring them with you places and wash them when you’re done, but it’s a great habit to get into. When you’re shopping, encourage the adult in your life to get food that doesn’t come in single use packaging. Bring reusable bags to the store with you and don’t forget the smaller produce bags too!
If you do end up with something to throw away, as we all do at some point, get rid of it in the best way possible. Is it recyclable? Compostable? Or even reusable? Never, ever, ever throw your garbage on the ground. Make sure it’s in a sturdy garbage bin with a lid.
Particularly dangerous items include plastic 6-pack holders, and the lids to slushy drinks and iced cappuccinos.
Are you seeing garbage on the ground? Why not pick it up? It may not be your mess but it is your environment. Grab some gloves and a bag and pick up garbage in your area. Don’t forget to pick up a piece here and there every day when you’re out and about. It only takes a moment and could even save a life!
Do you have a window in your home that birds seem to be hitting a lot? Grab an adult and head outside for a look from the birds’ perspective. There is likely loads of reflection, causing confusion when flying. Is it a small window? A big window? Easy to get to or way up high? These are important factors when deciding how you can reduce or eliminate the reflection. Options include:
- Plastic streamers hanging on the window which blow in the breeze and frighten birds away.
- Silhouettes of other birds stuck to the window to break up the reflection. (This only works on very small windows.)
- CollidEscape is a product that covers the entire window, eliminating reflection. Check it out here. (Link to https://www.collidescape.org)
- Feather Friendly is one of our favourite solutions! The tiny dots, if placed correctly, will significantly reduce the number of collisions and looks nice on the glass. Learn more here. (Link to https://www.featherfriendly.com)
Let’s keep both birds and cats safe! Keeping your pets under control is very important. Cats need to be kept indoors, on a leash, or in an outdoor run, sometimes called a “catio”. Remember that your cat is a part of your family and is your responsibility. Taking care of your cat also means that wildlife is protected. To learn more and get other ideas, check out catsandbirds.ca.
One of the best things you can do to help wildlife is to never stop learning about them! The more we understand about them the more we can help them. Learning also helps us to be more patient when an animal is causing us problems. Sometimes skunks dig under people’s decks, squirrels chew roofs, bats move into attics, or badgers create big holes in farmers’ fields. This can be very frustrating and sometimes people will hate or hurt them. However, making small changes in the way we do things can stop the frustration. Visit our Wildlife Conflict pages to learn more.
Raising money to support organizations that save wildlife is a great way to help! The money you donate can pay for feed, medicine, and the people that care for the animals. Create your own fundraiser by making and selling items, doing extra chores or yard work for money, or collecting donations instead of birthday gifts. How else can you raise some money for your favourite wildlife charity?
Otis the Owl Books
Have you ever met Otis the Owl? He’s been a big part of our education programs since 2003 and has visited many classrooms around Alberta. He is also an author! In 4 of our books, Otis tells the stories and teaches you a little along the way. Want your very own copies? Visit our Otis Book page for more information. Your book purchase helps as all the money goes straight to helping wildlife. Remember to get an adult’s permission before buying anything!