A few ideas for making a lighter impact on Mother Earth

Give new meaning to sharing and recycling!
Set up a mini “Street Library” in front of your home.

When ordering takeout or carryout, if you’re eating at home and don’t need plastic sporks or forks, tell the restaurant to hold the plastic!

Rethink shared green spaces. That space between the street and sidewalk in communities across the country, large and small, be it in residential neighborhoods or around schools, can be a place to grow a wealth of produce or bring beauty to a weed patch or swath of water-hogging grass when filled with plants native to the area.

Don’t use rodenticides — rat poison. These deadly poisons can travel up the food chain when non-target animals eat a poisoned animal and is in turn poisoned. Consider instead installing an owl house to draw owls to your neighborhood — owls love mice. Get a cat — for home and business. Cats are great mousers. When the LAPD had a major mouse problem, they engaged the services of feral cats for rat patrol. Check out The Working Cats® Program in Los Angeles for ideas.

Pick up trash and dispose of it when you see it on your walking path. Don’t use the sidewalk as an ashtray.

Act locally. Homelessness is an environmental problem. The level of homelessness in America’s second largest city has led to piles of trash and human waste, which has drawn rats, and in turn created a health crisis, including hepatitis and the resurgence of a Medieval disease, typhus. Similar levels of human and environmental degradation exist in other cities across the U.S.

Keep the varmints away with commonsense choices in trash collection. If your city doesn’t use rodent-proof trash receptacles, demand they install ones that are secure to keep creatures away. Ditto with apartment and condo complexes — lids must shut tightly, and old containers that have rusted through in the bottom need to be replaced. Bait boxes as an adjunct are not the solution. (See rodenticides above.)

Home of a Japanese family with all their “stuff” in front of their home.

Most of us end up with a lot of stuff over the course of a lifetime.
Think about what you’re buying and what you really need, not just today, but over a lifetime.

Be an advocate and educator for sustainable population through smaller family size and less immigration. Personal decisions to limit our own footprint by limiting families to a sustainable size, or using resources more wisely, make no difference until people in large enough numbers think it is important enough to behave similarly, as Leon Kolankiewicz, wildlife biologist, environmental scientist, natural resource planner and Progressivs for Immigration Reform board of advisors member has said.

Maria writes about the link between biodiversity loss & overpopulation, and other topics when she gets annoyed. Twitter @TurboDog50 | FB BetheChangeforAnimals