Make an Impact: Seven Tips to Boost Your Local Ecosystem

Small actions—even just tweaking your habits—can make big changes to the local environment.
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Taking care of your local ecosystem can seem daunting, but starting with small steps can make it a lot easier. Here are a few quick changes you can make to lessen your environmental impact.

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Divest Your Savings from Fossil Fuels

Whether you hand-pick your stock options or place all your trust in a financial adviser, you can have a say in where your money goes—and what it supports. With a little bit of research and action, you can divest your retirement savings from companies that are environment offenders.

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Participate in a Cleanup

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful has a calendar full of events perfect for getting involved. Even better, you can volunteer to keep up a curb, greenspace, or vacant lot through the organization’s “Adopt-A-Spot” program.

 

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Don’t Send Chemicals Into Our Waterways

In the house, opt for non-toxic, natural cleaners—and dispose of them appropriately when you’re finished. When it comes to lawn care, steer clear of harsh chemicals that will inevitably make their way into storm runoff, and ultimately, into our major waterways. Same goes for flushing old meds.

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Eat Low on the Food Chain

If you’re a lifelong carnivore, we can’t blame you for thinking this one might be a challenge. But even if you’re not about to give up meat entirely, cutting back just a tiny bit can make a huge impact. Studies estimate that you can reduce your carbon footprint by eight pounds every time you cut out meat just once a week.

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Keep Your Cats Inside

No matter how sweet and cuddly your kitty is in the house, they’re still a natural-born predator. And according to a study from the American Bird Conservancy, cats (domestic and feral) kill as many as 2.4 billion birds every year. If you can, it’s best to keep your feline friends in the house.

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Don’t be an Idle Polluter

Next time you’re waiting in your car, turn that engine off! Idling isn’t just bad for your car—it also produces as much exhaust as a moving vehicle. The rule of thumb is easy: If you’re going to be waiting in one place for more than 10 seconds, turn off your engine.

 

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Leave the Leaves

It’s suburban human nature to rake your leaves as they fall in the autumn. But there’s a reason the National Wildlife Federation says that the leaf layer is its own mini ecosystem: Dead leaves are a natural habitat for everything from earthworms to chipmunks. This fall, leave them alone. Pun fully intended.

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