Research and conservation are important components of the Ecomuseum Zoo’s mission. We work diligently to protect and help ensure the survival of Québec’s wildlife and our expertise is renowned with respect to the conservation of the province’s reptiles and amphibians. Such extensive involvement is however not essential for individuals to do their part for the conservation of our local flora and fauna.
Here are 5 simple ways to contribute in your own way!
Choose your cleaning products wisely
Certain cleaning products are particularly harmful to animals and the environment. Phosphates, for example, are very harmful: in high concentration, phosphates in lakes favor the appearance of harmful algae, such as the famous blue algae. Result? When there are too many plants in water, there is less space for oxygen, necessary for the survival of fish. In addition, these algae produce toxic biochemicals for animals AND for people who drink the water. In short, a situation that has no positive aspect!
"New regulations to limit to 0.5% phosphorus concentrations in household products entered into legislation in 2010. Although this is an improvement, why not opt for brands products that are completely phosphates free? "
- David Suzuki Foundation
Choose wisely as you shop and look for ecological cleaning products, but beware! Many products call themselves “green” but truly aren’t. To be sure, remember that there are only two recognized “eco” labels: Environmental Choice: ECOLOGO (Canada) and Design for the Environment (United States).
Suggestions? Attitude, Bionature and Envirolab products are created in Québec and are easy to find.
Buy local, it's full of economic, social and environmental advantages! How? Simply by reducing the famous, and unfortunately very high, average for “food miles”. Unfamiliar with the concept?
Did you know that the average distance traveled by food to reach your local grocery store is 2,500km? Pretty crazy when you think of all the local farmers and bio producers that are working very hard to produce great Québec food and who utilize practices respectful of the environment and local wildlife.
Did you know you can Let a family farmer adopt you? This program sponsored by Équiterre is a wonderful initiative created to encourage local producers and everything is delivered right to your neighborhood. All farms associated with Équiterre are, or are in the process of becoming, “bio-certified”. We love it!
My food’s mine!
Well intentioned, Mrs. X decides to feed the raccoons in her backyard because they had adorable babies who seem to be starving. But these raccoons are so well fed, they easily reproduce year after year. thereto this point, you don’t really see the problem, right?
But did you know that raccoons are turtles’ main predators? And that out of the eight species of turtles we have in Québec, five have a threatened or vulnerable status?
The take home message? Let nature follow its course. Raccoons are particularly resourceful and don’t need our help to feed themselves, we promise!
When out for a stroll, leave nature in its place
You’re just out for a quiet stroll and you come across a turtle. What should you do? … Leaving it alone is the best recourse for it.
A baby animal seems abandoned? Not necessarily. When speaking of wildlife, it is quite usual that parents leave their babies alone for many minutes and even hours before coming back for them.
All this to say that unfortunately, and all too often, our good intentions do not best serve Mother Nature. In case of doubt, call a wildlife protection agent or organization. They’ll be able to help you!
Learn and spread the good news!
We at the Ecomuseum Zoo hold steadfast to our belief: the more people learn about Québec’s wildlife the more they will cherish and protect it. This maxim is the reason we make environmental education a priority for children. They are future leaders and raising awareness today among the younger generation will most certainly make a better world tomorrow.
Visiting the zoo is a great first step: discovering the animals that share our environment, learning more about each of them and most importantly how to best protect them. But don’t stop there. It’s important to share! Tell someone about what you’ve learned. Share an interesting fact with a friend or family member. Who knows, you might even become the family’s “environmental-geek”!
Do you have any other ideas? What simple steps do you take daily to protect the environment?