What can I do– right now?

This list will be added to throughout the year, as I encounter simple but impactful ways in which we can permanently replace negative effects we have on our planet with positive effects! The positive impact you can generate will be multiplied by the number of people who you teach to do the same.



DITCH YOUR LAWN. Your turf grass is evil. It is a monoculture composed of an invasive species; and a waste of potable water, of petro-chemicals, and a biological wasteland.  Replace your sterile lawn with native plants that provide a home, fruit and nectar, and nest-building material for local animals. Create a wildlife haven now.











JOIN AN ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC CSA GROUP. Community-Supported Agriculture means that your food is local and seasonal– you are not wasting huge inputs of energy bringing food across oceans or raising food that should not naturally be maturing at that time.  When you select an organic and biodynamic group,  the food is further raised in an ecologically-conscientious fashion. Find a CSA near you now.


Replace your standard joe with a RICH, SUSTAINABLE, BIRD-FRIENDLY option;   for example, Birds and Beans : I really promise, cross my heart, that it tastes better anyway!  order bird-friendly coffee now


SAVE ENERGY ON GOOGLE SEARCHES using Blackl.com.   This engine = Google, but the black background saves energy. It’s a LITTLE thing, but is definitely the most effortless change you can make to be environmentally-conscious. The energy savings add up!! At the time I am writing this entry, savings due to people using blackl.com instead of google.com are 3,828,000 Watt hours. Likewise,  if you have an electronic book, did you know you can format it to have a black background with white text?  This format is easier on the eyes, and makes the battery last for much longer.



Say no to plastic bags:   1-3 items?  Carry it.  More items?  Put it in a backpack or canvas bag. Teach your friends to do the same. This manatee would have died without months of rehabilitation, after accidentally swallowing a single plastic bag.

Add an Image


Plant milkweed.  Provide a rest stop, restaurant, baby nursery, and defense mechanism to incredible monarch butterflies.


7. Make sure your orchids come from reputable sources.   Illegal orchid collection is rampant, and incredibly damaging to these slow-growing plants.

An in vitro orchid nursery: this source of orchids does not remove important, rare, and slow-growing plants from their native habitat

Leave a comment


Email(will not be published)*


Your comment*

Submit Comment

© Copyright Emma Steigerwald | Vanderbilt Traveling Fellow