ON JUNE 30, 2009, THE BRI PROGRAM OFFICE WILL BE CLOSING DOWN TEMPORARILY. THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF BRI AND THE BRI EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ARE WORKING TO REINSTATE STAFF AND WE HOPE TO BEGIN PROGRAM ACTIVITIES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. WE DO NOT ANTICIPATE ANY CHANGES TO THE UPCOMING FALL 2009 BRI BIOLOGY AND CONSERVATION LECTURE SERIES OR TO THE 2010 NORTHEAST NATURAL HISTORY CONFERENCE, SO PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY.
What Can You Do?
Americans use the greatest amount of energy resources per person than all other countries in the world! We all need to do our best to reduce wasteful habits. We should always be thinking of reducing, re-using and recycling (in that order!). Here are some specific suggestions:
- Do not purchase new products that are unessential; reusing a product is always better than recycling. That said, do take advantage of the recycling programs in your area.
- Buy locally produced products to reduce resources used for transporting goods from far away places.
- Buy “green” products — ones that use minimal packaging and processing.
- Don't accept unneeded bags (paper or plastic) when shopping. You could also bring a canvas bag or reuse your old plastic and paper bags.
- Use the back sides on sheets of paper. For a notebook you could use a three-ring binder filled with paper that was already printed on one side.
These help biodiversity in several ways. First, remember that all products we use come originally from nature, so by using less, we use up fewer natural resources, such as trees for paper. The larger trees are a part of old growth forest ecosystems, which are declining nationwide because they are being used up faster than the trees can grow back. Additionally, the less you throw away, the less that needs to go to your local landfill. Landfills are filling up and need expansion, often into wildlife habitat. For more information on the connections between biodiversity and your individual actions visit the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation's Living With Biodiversity
Awareness of current environmental and biodiversity issues is critical if we are to see positive outcomes to these challenges. Fortunately, there are many web sites dedicated to disseminating information on these issues including the following:
- For updated information, visit the National Library for the Environment
- For additional web sites check our Biodiversity Links
Sources of printed materials on these topics are listed in our Biodiversity Reading List
In addition to keeping aware of these issues, college students should consider studies in biodiversity and conservation biology. The Society for Conservation Biology has links to graduate and undergraduate programs in conservation-related fields.
Local offices of the Nature Conservancy may have volunteer opportunities for research on biodiversity as well as local offices of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation