Driving 5 Decades of Environmental Action
World Environment Day is a global platform for raising awareness and taking action on urgent environmental issues. Millions of people have taken part over the years, helping to drive positive change.
For 2020, the theme is biodiversity. Biodiversity encompasses the wide variety of life on Earth, comprising over 8 million species and the ecosystems that support, and are supported by them. The biodiversity of these ecosystems is the foundation that supports all life on land and below water.
Earth’s biodiversity has come under threat due to anthropogenic activities, such as deforestation, land-use change and climate change. This is an ongoing global problem however, there are many things that you can do to help biodiversity both locally and globally.
Top Tips to Help Biodiversity
Here are our top tips to celebrate and look after the environment whilst studying or working from home:
1. Plant wildflower seeds
Pollinators such as bees, wasps, butterflies and ants are essential for maintaining biodiversity and are responsible for pollination of approximately 75% of crops grown for human consumption.
Crops are often produced as monocultures, meaning that only one crop is produced at a time. This can have a negative impact on pollinators, as they typically flower at the same time, leaving a reduced food source for the remaining months.
Planting wildflowers can help provide a varied, staggered supply of pollen. Even if you don’t have a garden, wild flower seeds can be sown anywhere – at the base of street trees, in a hanging basket or pot on your doorstep.
Find out how to plant for pollinators here.
2. Leave a patch of wild grass
If you are lucky enough to have a garden and lawn, you can reduce how often you mow the lawn to help encourage biodiversity. Even leaving a patch or patches of unmown grass can allow wildflowers to grow and provide shelter for small mammals.
Find out other ways of encouraging biodiversity into your garden here.
3. Take notice of nature
During lockdown you may visit the same area of local green space on your daily exercise. Although you may be wishing you could go further afield, why not take this as an opportunity to really notice what is going on around you?
This can be a great opportunity to learn and share the changes in nature on your doorstep. You can even record what you see as part of a national Bioblitz helping contribute to policy and research.
4. Be a careful consumer
Over consumption and resource depletion is one of the issues contributing to biodiversity loss. Thinking about what you buy, whether you even need it, and how it has been produced enables you to exert your consumer power and support brands that are ethical and environmentally friendly.
5. Eat sustainably
Food can have a massive impact on the environment. Choosing to have locally sourced, responsibly farmed food, as well as having your own little herb garden is a good way to help lessen the impact.
6. Keep on learning
As with many things, knowledge is power. The power to share, the power to decide and the power to change. Why not use this time to increase your knowledge of biodiversity, and how you can help your local environment? – Take the United Nations biodiversity quiz or check out these podcasts.
Go Green Week
Every year Manchester Met proudly takes part in People & Planet’s Go Green Week. Go Green brings colleagues from across the University and local organisations together, encouraging staff and students to get involved in activities that take action on environmental issues.
This year, things are inevitably going to be different, however we want to use this as an opportunity to reach out to you, our staff and students and find out what environmental sustainability issues matter to you.
With that in mind, we are asking YOU to rename Manchester Met’s Go Green initiative. The winning name and theme will be used to shape the upcoming engagement opportunities that we deliver.
Click the link below and have your say!
Go Green Renamed will take place 23rd – 29th Nov 2020.
Lecturers interested in taking part in a lecture swap/open lecture as part of this initiative please contact firstname.lastname@example.org