Earth Day 2018: How you can help to protect wild birds

Peter McNish

Plastic Waste Wildlife

Earth Day 2018 is right around the corner, so now’s the time to think about how you can start doing your bit for the environment and local wildlife. Earth Day is the world’s largest environmental movement, and it is a time raise awareness about the plastic pollution problem and take action.

Plastic waste impacts every aspect of our lives as humans, however, there is an even more severe impact on wildlife and birds. Plastic pollution in the ocean and in landfill sites poses a significant risk for our wildlife, as they often mistake smaller pieces of plastic material for food and consume it unknowingly.

Birds eating plastic is a serious problem as it blocks their guts and leaves little room for proper food. Even worse yet, these smaller pieces of plastics can get into fledgelings stomachs through feeding, leaving them vulnerable to poisoning from the toxins in the plastics. The infographic below shows the other ways that plastic can harm birds:

Plastic Waste

The importance of Earth Day

Earth Day is an extremely important event in the eco-calendar as it helps to incite conversation around the topic of plastic waste. Thousands of people organise Earth Day events which involve activities such as:

  • Rallies and marches
  • Outdoor waste picking
  • Sorting recyclables

These events help to educate both the younger and older generations on the importance of reducing plastic waste and making sure any recyclable plastic waste is disposed of correctly.

If you’re unsure of how you can partake in this year’s Earth Day activities, not to worry! We’ve provided some top tips on how you can reduce, reuse and recycle any plastic waste and help towards protecting wild bird species.

 

Make a bird feeder out of your old plastic bottles

Giving old plastics a new lease of life is a great way to reduce the amount of plastic that gets sent to landfill. One of the ways you can do this at home is by turning an old plastic bottle into a bird feeder!

All you’ll need is a few extra materials, including two slim wooden sticks, a pair of scissors or small drill and a strong piece of string. Once you have these, simply use the diagram above as a guide, and you’ll have your very own homemade bird feeder! And of course, don’t forget to fill it with tasty wild bird food to entice a range of birds into your garden.

 

Buy a reusable carrier bag

Since the introduction of the 5p plastic carrier bag charge in the UK in 2015, England’s plastic bag usage has decreased by over 85%. This is a great step towards a plastic-free future, however, there is still some work to be done!

Buying a reusable carrier bag will eliminate the need for buying additional plastic bags from the supermarket. Alternatively, if you have any spare plastic bags lying around at home, make sure to take these along with you on your next supermarket shop. This will help to reduce the amount of plastic that is getting dumped in the ocean, as well as reducing the amount going to landfill.

Seabirds and other creatures can get caught in the loops of plastic bags when they’re left on land and when they’re left in the sea, some sea creatures mistake them for jellyfish and eat them. By making the switch to reusable carrier bags, you can help to protect some of your favourite species.

Plastic Waste Crisis

 

Don’t litter!

Litter can affect wild birds in a number of ways. If disposed of incorrectly, litter such as rotten food, discarded plastic and lead-based items can poison birds if ingested.

To protect your local bird population, don’t litter and dispose of your waste in the right manner. Whether it’s sorting your recycling or making sure your food waste is in a sealed compost bin; even the smallest lifestyle changes can help you to keep your birds safe for many years to come!

Starting to reduce your plastic waste usage now can have a huge impact on wild birds in the future, so it’s never too late to turn things around and do your bit for the environment.

Another way you can protect wild birds is by using our handy BirdSpotter tool! This allows you to track and log your bird sightings, helping to build a record of birds in the UK that can help their conservation.

 



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