Super Ranger Jovanna has come up with an amazing list of actions you can take to help save the planet. Last week, she helped us say NO to chemicals and emissions by teaching us how to make natural cleaners, choose the right light bulb and to walk instead of drive.
This week Jovanna turns her attention to plants and animals. Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to an eco-friendly life.
Grow a garden
Whether itâ€™s a nutritious home-grown vegetable patch or a blooming butterfly hangout, a small garden is fun to plant and great for the environment! A vegetable patch will help you cut down on your trips to the store and if you really want to help a species, plant a butterfly or bee garden.
Sound interesting? Hereâ€™s how to plant a butterfly or bee garden:
1. Find a spot in your yard thatâ€™s sunny. A place facing the south is usually best.
2. Check the soil to see if itâ€™s right for a garden. The soil shouldnâ€™t be too dry or sandy, and if there are worms in it, thatâ€™s great! To test to see if the soil is in good condition, pour some water in the spot you’re considering. If the water soaks in quickly, then you are good to go. Things like leaves and manure can also help your soil. Mix these into the dirt for the best results.
3. Ask an adult to help you dig out weeds and border the garden with stones or wood. Dig up the soil and turn it over a bit.
4. Time to choose some plants. Look for seeds that will grow into brightly coloured flowers because these attract butterflies and bees. Read the instructions for planting on the back of your seed packet.
TIP: Use collected rainwater to water your garden!
Bell a cat, save a bird.
Youâ€™re doing your homework when you hear â€śMeow!â€ť You get up, figuring it must be your cat. Sure enough, heâ€™s by the door, waiting for you to let him out. He runs outside when you open the door andâ€¦chases down a bird that was in your backyard.
We all know cats LOVE to hunt birds! This wouldnâ€™t be a problem if there were only a few cats in North America but thatâ€™s definitely not the case.
Actually, you might be surprised by the numbers. According to a study done by the University of Georgia, an estimated 500 MILLION birds are killed by cats each year in the U.S.A. alone! Another study done in 2003 showed that the second most frequent cause of unnatural deaths in birds is because of cats.
The best way to prevent your cat from hunting a bird is to keep him indoors. In many cases this isnâ€™t possible, so the next best thing is to put a bell on your catâ€™s collar. This will give the birds a warning when your cat is out and about.
Letâ€™s get planting!
Hereâ€™s a fact: Every minute, an area of forest about the size of 36 football fields gets cut down.
Itâ€™s true, trees are rapidly disappearing. So does it matter that this many trees are being cut down? Absolutely!
Trees help keep our air clean. They soak up poisonous gases, like carbon dioxide, and give off oxygen in exchange. One tree can filter up to 27 kg (60 lbs) of pollutants from the air each year! Trees also make excellent homes for many animals like squirrels, birds, some monkeys, tree frogs, and lemurs.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Plant a tree. Before you do this, look at which trees grow in your area because some trees will grow better than others in certain landscapes or climates. Try to get permission to plant a tree in your schoolâ€™s playground, in your backyard or in a park.
- Sponsor a rainforest. Many species of trees and plants are found in the rainforest.
- Recycle paper and other products made from paper to save more trees.
Save an animal
Anyone on this website probably already has or wants to do something to help animals, but itâ€™s not always easy to find a way to donate.
To solve that problem, Iâ€™ve made a short list of some top ways you can fundraise:
- Sweets stand! Everyone loves a cold drink in the summer and a warm one in winter! Baking cookies is a bonus. Set up your stand with baked goods and lemonade, juice, or hot cocoa by your school, house, or any other place. Do it with a friend for bonus fun!
- Donation jar. Bring a jar into your school and ask people to put their spare change inside. Then, donate the money inside to an organization that helps animals, like Earth Rangers.
- Offer a service. Offer to rake peopleâ€™s lawns or walk their dogs in exchange for some donations to help animals.
- Sell your artwork. Make pictures or bookmarks with an animal theme and sell to people in your neighbourhood or at school.
REMEMBER: You donâ€™t have to fundraise or donate to help save animals! You can also tell people about endangered animals, so they can help too.