5. Pay attention to labels.
From coffee to fruit to clothing, the number of options out there can get overwhelming — but there are some clear leaders when it comes to minimizing your impact on wildlife and the planet. If you’re a coffee drinker, look for “shade-grown” coffee, which is grown while keeping forest habitats intact for migratory birds and other species. Choose Fair Trade certified goods when possible to support companies dedicated to sustainable production and paying laborers a fair wage. Buy organic food whenever possible; it may cost a little more, but it keeps harmful pesticides out of our land and water, protecting farm workers, wildlife and your family.
6. Be water wise.
Skip the bottled water. Bottled water companies try to give tap water a bad name, even though the water from your faucet is practically free and much city water has won quality tests and taste tests against name-brand water. And the extraction of water and production of all those plastic bottles is notoriously harmful to communities and wildlife. Water conservation is also critical, especially as our growing population puts increased demand on the nation’s water sources and we face unprecedented droughts. You can conserve water by taking shorter showers, fixing leaky toilets, and choosing low-flow and low-water appliance options. Also, consider xeriscaping your yard, a landscaping technique that uses native, drought-adapted plants that require less water and maintenance over time, and provide habitat and food for birds and bees.