“Human being, the species with the greatest potential to change the environment.” This message was written over a mirror at the Orlando Science Center amidst various reptile cages that were on display. This statement could not be more true. Every living thing is capable of changing the environment in some way, whether it be:

*erosion caused from seabirds establishing their nesting burrows

*woodpeckers influencing trees rotting by creating tiny holes that allow bacteria and fungi inside

*or rabbits establishing their warrens and feeding off of nearby vegetation

Every organism has the potential to influence their environment, however, humans have the power to choose HOW they influence their environment.

We can choose to diminish our impact by reducing water pollution. We can choose to recycle, or only take what we are capable of eating to reduce food waste. We can choose not to throw gum or other garbage out of the window on the highway, saving animals from ingesting our trash and suffering a painful demise. We can choose to waste or to conserve. We can choose to be informed about the way we live, or we can choose to go about our days without thinking of the consequences of our actions. We have the power to choose how we influence our environment, so let’s choose to leave the earth better than when we first happened upon it!

Here are some ways you can be more environmentally conscious in your day to day life:

1. RECYCLE, it is so important to reduce waste and hop aboard the zero waste movement~

2. REDUCE FOOD WASTE, every time you take more than you can eat, you are not only wasting food, but also taking for granted the land, energy, labor, and transportation efforts that took place to get that food onto your kitchen table. By only taking what you can eat, you reduce waste in multiple areas.

3. DITCH THE PLASTIC. Did you know plastic bags are banned in the following places in Massachusetts? — Cambridge, Brookline, Falmouth, Great Barrington, Manchester, Marblehead, Nantucket, Newburyport, Newton and Provincetown. Environmentalist groups like the Sierra Club raised the awareness that was needed to put this change into motion. Get reusable shopping bags, and encourage your friends to do the same!

4. FILTER. Attach a water filter to your faucet, or get a pitcher or water bottle with built in filters. BPA free reusable water bottles are not only good for your health, but using them will also reduce the amount of plastic water bottles that are used and thrown away every day.

5. BE INFORMED. Stay informed about ways you can minimize your impact on the environment by reading about current environmental issues and making informed decisions for yourself.

6. CHOOSE TO TAKE ACTION and take steps to care for our earth and it’s creatures.

Human beings. The species with the greatest potential to change the environment.

Change the environment for the better, and choose to leave a positive mark on our world.

What steps have you taken to reduce your environmental impact? Comment below and share your ideas for living a greener life!

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