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Building covered with green foliage

Happy New Year everyone! There is something about the blank slate of a New Year that makes one feel like anything is possible. With that in mind, we at Bird Aware Solent have been thinking about how best to have a conservation focussed 2020!

If you are reading this blog, you likely already know the importance of giving coastal birds space to feed and rest by following the Coastal Code. So, give yourself a big pat on the back! But what more can you do you ask? And the answer is lots! All our Rangers are conservation minded, so we thought we would share some of the things we do.

I (Julie) am very mindful of food waste. I prioritize the food that is coming to the end of its best before date and search for recipes depending on what needs using. There are millions of recipes online so almost any combination of ingredients will yield a tasty dish. I sometimes make a big portion so I can have leftovers for lunch in my reusable containers. I’ve made it my mission to never throw away food!

Ranger Natalie likes to buy furniture from second hand websites and shops. This is great for reducing the amount of stuff that has to be produced in the first place. Ranger Mark puts an extra jumper on when indoors to avoid turning up the heat, and he has plenty of linen bags in the car for food shops.

Ranger Lizzie is vegan. For a lot of people this can feel difficult to take on, even though the benefits to the planet are vast. However, many of us can easily cut some meat out of our diets which also has added health benefits.

Ranger Charlotte is a water saver! She makes sure that no water is wasted when running the tap to warm water. She captures the warming water in a jug and then uses it for rinsing dishes. She will take short showers and fills a bucket to water the plants with!

Some of our other favourites are:

  • Buying unwrapped seasonal fruit and veg from a local shop or farm store. Make sure you let your food shop know you are doing this to encourage them to reduce packaging.
  • Choosing plants for your garden or balcony that are great for birds, bees and pollinators. Gardening centres are a wealth of information on how best to do this.
  • Harvesting rainwater for watering the garden and washing the car.
  • Using a composter or taking advantage of the councils’ compost scheme

All these things really are small changes that make a big difference, and many can be a fun ‘challenge’ to incorporate into your life. If you start with, ‘this year I am going to do more for nature and conservation than I did last year’ you can’t go far wrong!

Ranger Julie