Resolutions have a reputation for not lasting, but Perth Zoo’s Senior Conservation and Sustainability Officer, Greg Priest, has some ideas that are worth keeping.
“Mindfulness plays a huge role in the conservation journey, just being aware of the impact your choices have can make a difference to our planet.”
Get Fit for Wildlife
Next time you have to make a short trip, consider walking or riding a bicycle instead of starting up the car engine.
By taking a little extra time to get from A to B, not only do you increase your fitness levels, you help reduce pollution, too.
“Exercise can be a great catalyst for helping the environment,” Greg said.
Start Meal Planning
Many New Year resolutions relate to health, but putting extra thought into what you eat can also benefit the environment.
Being more selective when you are food shopping — only buying what you need and buying fresh items with less packaging— can help reduce unnecessary waste.
“Planning your meals week to week gets easier once it becomes a routine,” Greg said.
Get more creative with the way you celebrate. Decorations and gift-giving can add to waste and increase the risks of wildlife ingesting unsafe materials.
“We all have childhood memories of balloon fun, but if they end up in the wrong place they can have a huge impact on our marine and bird life,” Greg said.
“There are many environmentally friendly alternatives for party set-up but if you do choose to use balloons, make sure they all end up in the bin and not your neighbourhood trees or gutters.”
Putting more thought into the gifts you give to loved ones can also help reduce waste. Re-use wrapping paper and gift bags or hand make your cards from recycled materials.
Get Friendly and Get Involved in Conservation
As a Zoo Friend, many of you are aware of the conservation partnerships we form to support wildlife-saving work ‘beyond our borders’.
You can expand your social circle too, and meet like-minded people in a community group that helps rescue animals or supports the environment.
“Even something as simple as joining a local tree-planting or clean-up day can be a great way to meet new friends and make a positive difference,” Greg said.
If it’s Not Broke, Don’t Replace It
Next time you are tempted to make that upgrade to the latest model of phone or computer, ask yourself if it is really necessary.
“Reduce, Re-use and Recycle are the three magic words,” Greg said. “But you can add ‘rethink’ to that, particularly when it comes to our electronic items.”
“E-waste contains materials that come from our natural environment, some of the minerals can be very rare, and some may even be toxic.”
Wildlife can be impacted when those resources are over exploited or when they’re disposed of thoughtlessly.
Replacing your electronics less frequently not only helps reduce environmental damage, it can also help increase your savings!
On behalf of the Perth Zoo family, we wish you all a very Happy New Year!