There are many ways to help the environment. For example, we’ve written extensively about reducing pollution and promoting community activities that will raise eco-awareness. From collecting money for Greenpeace to getting a compost bin, there are many options. Often, the only thing that stops people from getting out there and DOING something is lack of motivation. It’s easy to think that your own little contribution won’t make much of a difference, so why bother? Don’t fool yourself! The reality is that small steps will add up to go miles toward preserving natural resources and protecting wildlife. If you’re looking for ways to motivate yourself to help out with environmental concerns, here are five tips:

Available for $6.95 on Etsy.


1. Get a Calendar Featuring Plants and Flowers. These are easy to find, even outside of “calendar season”. (Etsy alone has plenty of options, designed by independent artists.) A nature-based calendar is pretty to look at, and the pictures will remind you that we share Earth with many different species of flora and fauna. Simply admiring the beauty of plants and flowers can increase your desire to protect their habitats. As a bonus, looking at nature makes you nicer!


At the Richmond Botanical Garden

The American Southwest as a garden

Photos by Mrs Gemstone and Akos Kokai.


2. Take a Trip to a Botanical Garden. Most cities have a botanical garden featuring species of plants from different areas around the world. It can be a wonderful place to visit with friends and family: bring a picnic! Not only is it relaxing to hang out in a garden like this, but you will also learn to appreciate the huge variety of plants that grow on Earth. Just breathing in the clean garden air will remind you to feel grateful for the oxygen-producing qualities of plants.


Mother and daugher : a love story!

Content elephant

Photos by Tambako The Jaguar: 1 & 2.


3. Take Your Kids to the Zoo. You may think that seeing animals held in captivity isn’t exactly conducive to further appreciation for the environment. However, nowadays most zoos take special pains to create the kind of environment where their animals will be happy, mimicking each species’ original habitat. Not only will your little ones be excited about seeing lions and tigers, but they can also learn about the conditions under which various animals can stay happy. That’s an ecology lesson right there!


Finding Nemo

Image via Disney’s Finding Nemo gallery.


4. Read a Book or Watch a Movie. Jurassic Park may not seem like the kind of movie that you would watch in order to learn something. But the book actually contains a lot of information about different types of dinosaurs and can enrich your understanding of our planet’s history. Classics like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in 80 Days are also worth a read. Kids will love Finding Nemo and learn from it too.

5. Donate to a Charity that Works for the Environment. If spending time in gardens and the zoo doesn’t motivate you, consider writing a check for a reputable charity. Try it out; see how it feels. (The olinguito would appreciate your help!) It doesn’t matter if you can’t give much. Contribute what you can afford.


ocean waves

Photo by John Lodder.


These are a few of the simple ways that you can learn more about the environment and make your life fuller and richer. Once you start surrounding yourself with natural beauty, becoming more aware of the various creatures that populate our Earth, you’ll find yourself increasingly motivated to save the environment.


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Posted by Mark Contorno.


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