We are all connected in the Tree of Life, and the loss of any species impacts us all and threatens life on our planet. We also can help protect and enhance life not only for the good of our giant family tree, but for our own health and well-being.
What can you do right now to make a difference? Become a TreeTender!
You can start by taking care of your own backyard and supporting natural lands in your community. Your yard is an ecosystem teeming with life, and you can help tend the Tree of Life by protecting biodiversity around your home. Parks and conservation areas in local neighborhoods also provide critical habitat for species to thrive.
It’s easy. Here are four simple ways you can make a big difference, with resources to help you get started:
Grow native plants.
- Landscaping for Wildlife (University of Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences)
- Landscaping Backyards for Wildlife (UF IFAS)
- Florida Native Plant Society
Protect pollinators such as butterflies and bees.
- Butterfly Gardening in Florida (UF IFAS and Florida Museum)
- Environmentally-Sound Pest Management (UF IFAS)
- Protecting Bees and Other Pollinators from Pesticides (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
Be a buddy to birds and bats.
- Helping Cavity-Nesters in Florida (UF IFAS)
- Right Bird, Right House (Cornell University)
- Effective Bat Houses for Florida (UF IFAS)
- Backyard Bat Houses (Florida Bat Conservancy)
Support conservation organizations’ efforts to protect wild lands for future generations.
Here are other things you can do every day to support biodiversity:
- Support organizations that work to protect and restore habitats.
- Restore native habitat in your neighborhoods. Replace lawns with native plants and Florida friendly landscaping.
- Be an advocate for biodiversity and take part in community and citizen science activities in support of biodiversity.
- Use environmentally friendly products, especially pest control.
- Learn as much as you can about nature and share your knowledge with others.
- Encourage and support local and national government initiatives that protect habitat and decrease threats to biodiversity.
- Reduce energy consumption in your commutes. Drive less and consider walking, biking and using public transportation.
- Think about what you eat and buy sustainably harvested, local, organic food and drink.
- Consider overall home energy efficiency and water efficiency.
- Be mindful of the impact of pets on local biodiversity.