Happy Earth Awareness Month! Many people observe Earth Day (or Earth Week or Month) and participate in environmental activities during April. So I thought that this month I would write about conservation and preservation. Many people often use the terms conservation and preservation interchangeably, however, they slightly differ in meaning.
Conservation is the protection and management of the environment, natural habitats, wildlife species, or ecosystems. Conservation emphasizes wise human use of resources: the areas, plants, or animals are protected and maintained for current and future human use and benefit. Conservation may include restoring damaged ecosystems, preventing further degradation of resources, reversing habitat loss, and preventing further population declines of threatened and endangered species.
Preservation is the protection of nature with little to no human disturbance. The ecosystems, habitats, or wildlife species are protected for their own benefit. You may sometimes hear the saying that preservation is ‘the protection of nature for nature’s sake’. It is the goal of preservation to keep the plants, animals, ecosystems, or habitats in their original state or ‘pristine condition’, and to protect nature from human development. In preservation, there is restricted to little to no management, and little human disturbance of the ecosystem or species. The areas, plants, and animals are generally protected in the current state they are in.
How to help protect, conserve, and preserve the environment:
There are many ways to help protect the environment, plants, and animals. You can help by making changes in your day-to-day living to reduce your impact on the environment. This can be as simple as reducing the amount you consume, using eco-friendly alternatives, or doing more green activities and practices. An added plus is that many eco-friendly alternatives and practices are budget friendly or save you money in the long run. They are also healthier for you and your family.
You can also help conserve the environment by getting involved in your local community: many local groups, non-profit organizations, parks, and schools have Earth Day, Week, or Month activities, or regular green programs during the rest of the year. Check your local newspapers, contact schools, or your favorite local non-profits to see what activities are being held! And if you don’t have much time to participate in environmental activities then donate to your favorite green organization.
http://www.wilderness.net/ is an excellent educational website that discusses the U.S.’s wilderness areas, that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.
IUCN’s (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list of threatened species is a great resource to look up a plant or animal’s conservation status. http://www.iucnredlist.org/
List of a few conservation, environmental, and preservation non-profits:
Society of Conservation Biology: http://www.conbio.org/
The Nature Conservancy: http://www.nature.org/
World Wildlife Fund: http://www.worldwildlife.org/home-full.html
The Wilderness Society: http://wilderness.org/
Marine Conservation Biology Institute: http://www.mcbi.org/
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/SCBI/default.cfm
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society: http://www.wdcs.org/
Excellent list of environmental organizations:
Check your local government website for lists of nearby parks and local environmental groups!
List of some of my favorite plant and environmental online resources:
See my previous eco living articles for many great tips on green living (you may need to do a search in the search box, since not every article is listed and linked on the eco living article main page). http://www.allnaturalbeauty.com/articles/eco-living
Link to my eco blog (which has a couple hundred posts on all things green):
About The Author:
Li Wong is the owner of Earth Alkemie, an all natural, vegetarian skin care and mineral makeup company. She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Biology) and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy. Li has been crafting natural cosmetics and studying aromatherapy and herbalism since 2001. Environmental interests include conservation, botany, ethnobotany (uses of plants by indigenous peoples), mammals, organic standards in cosmetics, urban wildlife issues, environmental education and awareness, and public perception. For more information on environmental issues, Eco Living, natural cosmetics, aromatherapy, and herbalism check out: Solarkat’s Eco Blog: http://solarkateco.blogspot.com/
For information on Earth Alkemie's products (skin care, hair care, diy raw ingredients, and containers), properties of natural ingredients, the benefits of natural cosmetics, and green business practices, please visit Earth Alkemie’s blog: http://www.earthalkemie.com/blog