HOUSTON – There are many ways that you can help take action and preserve wildlife.
Below are six simple ways from the Houston Zoo that you can help.
1. Paper reduction and recycling
The average household uses 120 rolls of toilet paper each year along with 27,000 trees being cut down every day to provide toilet paper for the world. These trees are important for the survival of chimpanzees, wombats, black bears and more. The Houston Zoo only uses toilet paper from recycled content and encourages others to make the switch. They also recommend using regular paper from recycled content like the brand- New Leaf. Remember to recycle more and use less. For more information, click here.
2. Recycle handheld electronic devices
Recycle the old electronic devices that sit unused in your home. Cellphones and other handheld electronic devices hold a toxic material called coltan. It is mined in central Africa where chimpanzees, gorillas, mandrills and okapi live. When the metal is taken from their habitat, their homes become disrupted and the species decrease. When electronics are thrown away, the contaminants within these phones can affect and pollute natural resources and wildlife habitat.
The Houston Zoo recycles in the collection box next to the main entrance. They accept cell phones, smart phones, iPods or other MP3 players, iPads and other tablets, Wi Fi hot spots, handheld gaming devices, GPS and electronic accessories like chargers, Bluetooth headsets, etc.
You can also mail in your devices to the address here.
For more information, click here.
3. Reduce and recycle plastic
By replacing single-use plastic products, these keep the items from disrupting the ocean and harming marine animals. The Houston Zoo is single-use plastic bag, bottle and straw free. They recommend using reusable water bottles and shopping bags to reduce your use of plastic. Also, ditch the plastic straws when dining out. For more information, click here.
4. Choose ocean-friendly seafood
By choosing ocean-friendly seafood, you can ensure that fish populations can continue to thrive. The Houston Zoo recommends downloading the Seafood Watch app. This app can be used at restaurants and grocery stores by giving the best seafood options and alternatives. For more information, click here.
5. Support sustainable palm oil
Palm oil is used in everyday products from soap, snack foods and cosmetics. Unfortunately, the palm oil industry has caused deforestation when making room for new oil palm plantations. This disrupts the habitats of orangutans, tigers and elephants among others.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), helps guide farmers and people who are involved in both making and using palm oil. You can find products from companies that are part of the RSPO here. For more information, click here.
6. Get pollinator-aware
Being pollinator friendly can help save butterflies, bees and other pollinators of plants that are food sources to both humans and animals. In order to help, you can build local plants in your garden that attract pollinators. Also, reduce pesticide use and buy organic fruits and vegetables. For more information, click here.