What You Can Do

The Reasoning

For centuries, humans have been exploiting the Earth and damaging crucial biodiversity, harming the environment in an unsustainable way. To prevent further loss, humans must ensure that our actions are sustainable, both on the macroscale (i.e., preserving biodiversity hotspots) and the microscale (i.e., the individual). This page outlines what can be done by individuals and small communities.

Biodiversity loss is a complex problem that can be attributed to multiple factors. Still, humans have a chance to prevent the further exacerbation of these factors. It is often hard to connect how a single individual's actions can have harmful effects on biodiversity, but these actions add up to long-term harm to the plant and its biodiversity. Each human has an “ecological footprint” (evaluate yours at http://myfootprint.org/): that is, the harm he or she causes the environment. These footprints can be lessened through small steps in the form of simple habit changes.

Steps You Can Take

11 steps to reduce harmful effects on biodiversity on the small-scale were proposed by David Hooper of the Department of Biology at Western Washington University (2004) and are outlined below.


Waste Stream

Food Choices

Energy Use

Social Action

Importance of Education

Efforts must be made to promote awareness regarding environmental sustainability and its relation to the biodiversity crisis. The benefits gained from responsible environmental management should be properly understood on the individual, organizational, and governmental levels. Attempts to raise biodiversity awareness can be conducted in form of meetings and forums on relevant regulations and legislation. Information can also be broadcasted through newspapers, magazines, posters, radio, and television (Shah 2011).