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    What You Can Do to Protect Biodiversity

    What can we as individuals do to help slow the loss of biodiversity? Since consumption of resources is a root cause of biodiversity loss, we can consume less and be more mindful about what we consume.

    ECOLOGY

    What You Can Do to Protect Biodiversity

    BY RENEE CHO |APRIL 30, 2011

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    Photo credit: Christian Ziegler

    Biodiversity—the variety of all living organisms including ecosystems, plants, animals, their habitats and genes—is fundamental to life on Earth. We need biodiversity for its invaluable ecosystem services, providing oxygen, food, clean water, fertile soil, medicines, shelter, protection from storms and floods, a stable climate and recreation. Tragically, today biodiversity is disappearing at 1,000 times the normal rate due to human civilization. Individual species are being obliterated by habitat loss and degradation, invasive species, the spread of pollution and disease, climate change and the over exploitation of resources. And because the human population, which has doubled since 1970, is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, the biodiversity crisis will only get worse as more people consume more resources.

    What can we as individuals do to help slow the loss of biodiversity?  Since consumption of resources is a root cause of biodiversity loss, we can consume less and be more mindful about what we consume. We need to leverage our purchasing power to help protect biodiversity by consuming products that do not harm the environment. Ecolabels enable consumers to determine which products are green, safe, and environmentally sustainable. But because so many ecolabels have sprung up—in 2010, there were 400 different sustainability certifications available around the world—they can be confusing. Here are some of the most reliable and respected ecolabels to look for.

    USDA Organic – The USDA Organic seal, given out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, certifies that raw, fresh and processed products are either 100 percent organic or “organic” (containing 95 percent organically produced ingredients). Organic crops must be raised without conventional pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers, or sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Animals must be fed organic feed, have access to the outdoors, and cannot be given antibiotics or growth hormones. Genetic engineering is prohibited. Generally, all natural (non-synthetic) substances are allowed in organic production and all synthetic substances are prohibited. Personal care and cosmetic products can also be labeled organic if they meet USDA/National Organic Program criteria.

    Fair Trade Certified – This label guarantees that farmers and workers that produce products in the developing world are getting a fair deal. It also ensures protection of local ecosystems and promotes sustainable and organic agriculture. Fair Trade certified products include beans and grains, cocoa, coffee, flowers and plants, fruits and vegetables, honey, herbs and spices, nuts and oil seeds, sugar, tea and wine. Apparel, sports balls, and beauty products can also be certified.Marine Stewardship Council – The MSC is a global organization that   develops standards for sustainable fishing and certifies seafood (from wild capture fisheries only) that comes from sustainable fisheries. At sustainable fisheries, current catches must be maintained at levels that ensure fish populations and their ecosystems remain healthy and productive today and in the future. MSC provides a list of certified sustainable fish for responsible eating.

    Green Seal – Established in 1989, Green Seal boasts one of the first environmental certification programs. It uses lifecycle based sustainability standards to certify products, services, and companies that protect the environment and human health. All significant environmental and social impacts are considered, from raw materials extraction through manufacturing to use and disposal. Certified products include cleansers, construction materials, paints, paper, paper towels and tissue, food packaging, and hand soaps. Cleaning services, restaurants and hotels are also certified.

    Energy Star Originally created by the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Energy, Energy Star is now an international standard for energy efficient products. Certified products must perform to consumers’ expectations while providing increased energy efficiency, and if an Energy Star product costs more than a traditional equivalent, consumers must be able to recoup their investment in a reasonable amount of time through energy savings. Energy Star products include appliances (refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc.), computers and electronics, lighting and fans, plumbing, heating and cooling equipment, and building products (windows, doors, roofing, insulation, etc.).

    Source : news.climate.columbia.edu

    Biodiversity ASSIGNMENT Flashcards

    All of the questions from this entire assignment. Edgenuity! All of these answers are correct!! Learn with flashcards, games, and more — for free.

    Biodiversity ASSIGNMENT

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    Which statement best exemplifies the biodiversity of an ecosystem?

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    A. A small pond has about 1,300 organisms and 26 different species living in it.

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    Which statement best describes how biodiversity supports the sustainability of an ecosystem?

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    D. Maintaining diversity ensures that species can continue to depend on one another.

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    All of the questions from this entire assignment. Edgenuity! All of these answers are correct!!

    Terms in this set (7)

    Which statement best exemplifies the biodiversity of an ecosystem?

    A. A small pond has about 1,300 organisms and 26 different species living in it.

    Which statement best describes how biodiversity supports the sustainability of an ecosystem?

    D. Maintaining diversity ensures that species can continue to depend on one another.

    Which factors tend to promote higher biodiversity in an ecosystem? Check all that apply.

    B. diversity of niches

    D. large area E. warm climate

    Explain why scientists believe that warm climates provide greater biodiversity.

    Sample Response: Warm climates allow for a year-round growing season. Plants are more available as a food resource, which can support more organisms.

    What did you include in your response? Check all that apply.

    Warm climates allow for a year-round growing season.

    More availability of plants provides more food resources for a greater number of organisms.

    Elephants are valued by some people because their tusks are made of ivory. Although it is illegal, people kill elephants, take the ivory, and sell it to make a variety of objects like jewelry and sculptures. This activity is an example of which threat to biodiversity?

    A. poaching

    Why are nonnative species a threat to biodiversity? Check all that apply.

    B. They do not have natural predators to regulate their population growth.

    E. They compete with native organisms for resources.

    Identify the most efficient way to protect biodiversity. Explain your reasoning.

    Sample Response: Habitat preservation is the most efficient method of preserving biodiversity. This is because it protects all species in an ecosystem, not just those in danger.

    What did you include in your response? Check all that apply.

    Habitat preservation is the most efficient way to protect biodiversity.

    Habitat preservation protects all species in an ecosystem.

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    Verified questions

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    Verified answer BIOLOGY

    What is the effect of increasing the rate of cellular respiration on atmospheric and biospheric carbon?

    Verified answer BIOLOGY

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    6 Ways to Preserve Biodiversity

    Biodiversity is more than simply the collection of plants and animals on earth; it is about local ecosystems and promoting healthy conditions for organisms to thrive. While protecting the rainforests sounds like a daunting task, there is a lot you can do to promote and preserve local biodiversity at home.   Support local farms.

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    6 Ways to Preserve Biodiversity

    October 1, 2020

    Biodiversity is more than simply the collection of plants and animals on earth; it is about local ecosystems and promoting healthy conditions for organisms to thrive. While protecting the rainforests sounds like a daunting task, there is a lot you can do to promote and preserve local biodiversity at home.

    Support local farms.

    Regularly buying from small local farmers at stands or markets helps to keep dollars in the local economy and supports agricultural efforts to conserve biodiversity. When at markets, it is important to know the lingo—’organic’ is ideal for you and for the planet, but farmers who practice ‘Integrated Pest Management’ can offer high quality products with nearly no chemical intervention. Community Supported Agriculture is another great way to eat in-season fresh, local food while also financially supporting local farmers.

    Save the bees! 

    Bees are important to preserving biodiversity – and they are increasingly under attack from varroa mites. You can help save them by planting nectar-producing wildflowers in your backyard, or even building bee boxes for local bees to call home. When embarking on DIY home projects, be mindful about the products you use, as standard backyard pesticides can be harmful or deadly to bees.

    Plant local flowers, fruits and vegetables.

    Research the flora, fruits and veggies native to your area, and plant a variety in your backyard or a hanging garden. To aid in this effort, support local nurseries that specialize in native species. Nurseries can be great sources of information about plant maintenance and care. They should also be able to tell you where they source their plants from—the more local, the better. By supporting local wildlife, you’re helping to preserve the biodiversity of your area and support its local ecosystem.

    Take shorter showers!

    Biodiversity depends on the abundance of local fresh water. Taking five-minute showers and turning the water off while washing your hands, doing the dishes, or brushing your teeth are all easy ways to conserve water.

    Respect local habitats.

    Plants growing in the parks and nature preserves near you often play an important role in preserving the local ecosystem. When you’re outdoors, protect local biodiversity by sticking to the walking path or hiking trail. Help your children and pets to do the same!

    Know the source!

    Check the products you buy and the companies you support to ensure that your buying habits are not contributing to destruction of habitat elsewhere. Look for labels such as FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or Rainforest Alliance Certified.  Both organizations are committed not only to the conservation of the Earth’s resources, but also to advocating for the human rights of the native peoples who inhabit the land many products are sourced from.

    Additional Resources

    Yale Experts Explain Biodiversity

    Yale Center for Biodiversity and Global Change

    How Yale Sustainability tackles stewardship

    Source : sustainability.yale.edu

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