Make a promise to wildlife in 2017
Your Green New Year's Resolution is to make wildlife friendly choices every time you fill up your cart.
Palm oil is increasingly found in every day products from shampoo and detergents, to ice cream and chocolate bars. Unfortunately, unsustainable agriculture for this lucrative crop comes at the cost of the forest homes of elephants, tigers, orangutans and thousands more species. Similarly, coffee plantations can wipe out the rich diversity of landscapes that wildlife depend on to survive.
The fact is, palm oil and coffee aren't going anywhere. But you can make consumer choices for more sustainable options and send a message to companies that there is market demand for wildlife friendly products.
In 2017, choose products made by companies that have committed to certified sustainable palm oil that is deforestation free (use our handy shopping guide), and look for "shade grown" or "bird friendly" labels on coffee to find options that preserve habitat.
Your Green New Year's Resolution is to garden for native wildlife.
Your garden is your oasis, even if it's just a flowerbox on your apartment windowsill. It can be an oasis for native wildlife too.
In 2017, make native wildlife feel at home by choosing plants that welcome them and gardening methods that protect them.
Native pollinators such as butterflies need native plants to thrive. If you live in the King County area, you can look up native plants with this handy tool.
Keep your dirt clean
! Using native plants and compost like Woodland Park Zoo’s popular Zoo Doo will help your garden flourish naturally, reducing the need for pesticides that potentially harm pollinators or drain away into local waterways.
Your Green New Year’s Resolution is to make safer choices about garbage disposal to reduce conflicts with animals.
Ever been annoyed to find your garbage can tipped over and raided by some animal in the middle of the night? Or been worried when an animal starts hanging around your campsite? You have more control over these situations than you might think, and your choices can mean not just your own safety, but the animals’ too.
In 2017, commit to a few small but easy changes at home and on campgrounds:
At home, keep tempting smells and food scraps out of reach: take your garbage out the morning of and not the night before pick up; use bear-resistant containers; keep your grill clean; and clean up after parties and cook outs right away.
When camping in bear country, always keep food out of your tent and
if possible, cook about 100 yards away from where you’re sleeping. Do not bury your garbage; instead deposit it in bear-resistant containers or store in your vehicle until it can be safely dumped. Get more bear safety tips from our partners at Western Wildlife Outreach.
Your Green New Year's Resolution is to use your voice to speak up for animals.
Just on the national level alone, did you know that federal agencies are analyzing alternatives to recover grizzly bear populations in the North Cascades, while Congress is evaluating how and if to fund state-by-state wildlife conservation efforts into the future?
In Washington state legislature, every year many bills are introduced and if they are approved, they can significantly affect how the Fish and Wildlife Department protects our wildlands.
Elected officials represent YOU and they need to hear your voice on these kinds of issues and more.
In 2017, get yourself familiar with your local representatives and how they prefer to be contacted. And keep an eye out for alerts from Woodland Park Zoo for when it’s the right time to contact a legislator. Remember—your vote is your voice too!
Your Green New Year's Resolution is to reduce single use plastic waste.
While many of us already bring reusable bags to shop, or carry reusable water bottles, single use plastics are everywhere and often so ubiquitous that we stop noticing them. For example, it’s estimated that Americans use 500 million plastic straws each day!
In 2017, simply say “no straw, please” when you are ordering at a restaurant. Go bigger: try to convince your favorite local restaurant to skip straws or make them available by request only.