Do something for nature in 2017
Tuesday 3rd January 2017
Elephant hawkmoth on flower
With the New Year, comes new year’s resolutions! This year, why not make a pledge to do something for nature?
It’s our responsibility to create a planet that’s not just a home for us, but for all life on planet Earth.
Millions of us were glued to our seats for the final episode of Planet Earth 2. David Attenborough concluded with a heartfelt and moving appeal to all of us: “It’s surely our responsibility to do everything within our power to create a planet that provides a home not just for us, but for all life on Earth."
With that in mind, there’s no time like the present to make a difference! Here are just a few, simple changes you can make to your life that will make the world of difference to wildlife. What will you pledge to do in 2017?
1. Pledge to use less plastic
Plastic can be a menace to the environment but the good news is there are so many easy ways you can stop scenes like this happening:
• Buy a reusable coffee cup
• Take a reusable shopping bag out with you – keep one in your car or bag!
• Use Tupperware containers rather than plastic bags to store your lunch
• Buy cosmetics and toiletries without plastic microbeads which are harmful to marine wildlife – look for Polyethylene and Polypropylene on the ingredient list and make sure to avoid them
• Buy loose vegetables in paper bags rather than plastic packaging
• Avoid balloon releases which can endanger wildlife.
2. What goes in must come out!
Flushing the wrong things down the toilet or the sink can wreak havoc with our marine life.
• Only flush the 3Ps: only pee, poo and paper should go down the loo!
• Use eco-friendly washing and cleaning products
• Never put chemicals down the drains – take them to your local tip
3. Be a nature superstar
There are so many direct actions you can take for wildlife, some big and some small, but all important. Why not try one of these?
• Put up a bird box! Follow this handy guide to make your own if you're feeling especially crafty
• Imagine what it’s like to be a blue tit, trying to keep warm and well-fed – keep your bird feeders topped up.
• Make a bug hotel
• Plant a native tree species – this is so important for a wide range of species, including red squirrels (if you live in a red squirrel area)
• Leave a wild piece at the bottom of your garden. It's easy, just don't mow it!
• Plant some pollinator friendly shrubs
• Put up a bat box
• Imagine you’re a hedgehog and need to forage for your food for miles each night. Help out a little and leave a hedgehog hole in your fence
• Make a compost heap - you'll be producing less waste and helping garden wildlife too
4. Learn to appreciate the wild on your doorstep a little more
By loving our environment, we naturally want to protect it. Not only that, getting outdoors has proven to be great for our health and wellbeing. Get a little bit closer to nature this year and feel happier and healthier.
• Exercise outside – run in the wood rather than on a treadmill, or even just walk around the local park
• Give yourself time to reflect – find a peaceful place, perhaps a bench in your park, a secluded area by a lake, and use the time to unwind, unplug and recharge your batteries
• Enjoy the beauty around you on your journey to work. It can be as simple as noticing the changing colour of the leaves on a favourite tree.
5. Become part of something bigger with Ulster Wildlife
• Join us and become part of the 12,000 local people who are helping wildlife, here in Northern Ireland. If you join online this January, you'll also receive a free gift too!
• Have a bit of spare time on your hands? Gain new skills, make friends and make a difference at the same time by volunteering with us