Category Archives: Climate Change

Keeping the Kasigau Wildlife Corridor Litter Free

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The Rukinga wildlife corridor is a pivotal crossing point for several different types of wildlife, from elephants to baboons. Unfortunately, it is located next to the A109, also known as the Mombasa Highway. Thousands of cars and commercial truck drivers pass through this area on their way from the coast to Nairobi. It isn’t uncommon to see someone chucking a plastic drink bottle out the window.

This practice has led to an area cluttered with colorful drink bottles and discarded tire rubber. The wildlife and domestic animals living in the animal are susceptible to ingesting these pieces of plastic and risk dying. Not to mention, how much of an eyesore it is for passers-by, an indication that littering is the norm.

Well, the young leaders at Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) were tired of seeing this area filled with trash.

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How do you clean up and make an area litter free?

“Litter is a huge problem and it’s a problem along the whole highway, but the wildlife corridor has been deliberately kept clear of development to aid the movement of wildlife,” explained Alys Penfold, a VSO volunteers who organized the cleanup in collaboration with Wildlife Works. “We thought that if we cleaned up this one area, it would show the difference of what the area looks like without litter.”

On Saturday, April 1, 2017, a group of over 120 people showed up to help. Volunteers, community members, secondary students, rangers, and WW employees banded together to clean up the 2.3 km stretch of highway dubbed the wildlife corridor next to Rukinga Sanctuary.

“We thought that many people would not show up, but we had 120. We never expected that,” said Mercy Marigo, Hadithi Project Assistant. Hadithi works with women artisans to help empower them and sell their hand-made products to global markets. Alys was assigned to Hadithi as her project for her 3 month volunteer period. “It was our first project with the volunteers and we hope to organize with the community to clean up litter once a month from now on.”

Wildlife Works employees came to volunteer their time to help pick up trash and Wildlife Works Rangers handed out water and insured the safety of all participants working in close proximity to vehicle traffic. Each of the 3 participating secondary schools received organic-cotton shirts sewn and printed in the Wildlife Work’s eco-factory.

In 4 hours, the team collected over 250 garbage bags of trash from the area, removing plastic bottles, plastic bags, scraps, and other litter from this important conservation area. This amount of trash will be responsibly disposed of and recycled, beautifying the area and improving the lives of wildlife in the area.

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How to prevent littering in the future?

VSO held a community meeting to educate people of the dangers of plastic, how long it takes to break down in the environment, and it’s negative impact on wildlife and our planet. They also posted a large banner, urging drivers to keep the wildlife corridor free of litter.

“The idea was that you can’t put up a sign asking people not to litter, when there is litter, so the first thing we wanted to do was clean it up, so people can see the difference,” said Alys. “Then put up the sign to encourage people to keep the area that way.”

This event was the launch of the Taka Sitaka Taka campaign to help improve parts near the Wildlife Works project areas. In the future, the team plans on reaching out to truck companies to educate their drivers on the dangers of littering, bringing a recycling center to the town of Maungu, and spurring further clean ups along the highway.

While only a small portion of the trash found along the Mombasa Highway was collected on Saturday, we hope the message will become clear to passing drivers that litter along these roads will not be tolerated.

Offset Your Carbon Footprint with Wildlife Works

WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?

Wildlife Works’ offset purchases go directly to protecting our 500,000 acre forest conservation project in Kenya and the thousands of elephants that migrate through the area. Without your carbon credit purchases, the forest would be destroyed and many of the elephants and other endangered wildlife in the area would be poached. Learn about our anti-elephant poaching program.

Before we started our forest carbon project in 2009, the Kasigau Corridor forest was being depleted by 2.5% every year. Almost 250,000 acres of forest would have been destroyed by 2029 without offset customers like yourself. Learn about Wildlife Works’ job-creation conservation strategy with REDD+ offset credits and our impact.

We are committed to saving our world’s trees because deforestation is responsible for 10% – 15% of all global warming emissions. If we can stop deforestation globally, it would result in 30% of the emissions reductions needed to maintain our global temperature increase below 2 degrees C.

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HOW DOES CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECT ME?

Destroying trees releases gases into our environment which traps the sun’s heat and greatly hampers Earth’s ability to stabilize our climate. The effect of climate disruption comes in the form of unpredictable and extreme weather patterns such as hurricanes, droughts, and floods in all parts of the world, creating resource shortages.

In developed countries, this causes a growing list of increased costs of living expenses including:
– higher food, energy, and water costs
– increased home insurance premiums
– threats to housing which stresses city public works’ services
– increased health risks like allergies

Check out this interactive article on how climate change impacts different parts of the world.

In poorer countries, the effects are catastrophic and unrecoverable. Communities are being displaced, livelihoods are destroyed and more people die of hunger.

how does climate change affect me

WHAT CAN I DO?

Climate change is an overwhelming issue and our dependency on the urban way of life makes it difficult to reduce our energy consumption to a minimum.

Offsetting your carbon footprint to provide the financial support necessary to stop deforestation is the most direct and sizable impact you can make to combat climate change.

For an individual living in the U.S., the cost of offsetting one year’s carbon footprint is just $180. With Wildlife Works offset credits, you can be assured that all the money goes directly to running our conservation project without any middleman brokers.

You can do this one thing and make a direct impact right now. OFFSET YOUR CARBON FOOT PRINT

Next, in addition to reducing your day-to-day energy consumption, you can put your money where your values are. Buy from socially and environmentally responsible businesses and demand more transparency from others. We only have one Mother Earth, let’s keep her thriving for the next generation and those to come!

offset my carbon footprint with Wildlife Works

11 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

With the planet warming at unsustainable rates, it’s imperative now more than ever that we each take responsibility for reducing our carbon footprint. Everything you do, from the clothing you wear to the food you eat, contributes in some way to greenhouse gas emissions.

Here are 11 ways you can reduce your carbon footprint:

1. Eat less red meat and dairy products.

The world’s insatiable demand for red meat makes up about 9 percent of the world’s contribution to climate change, about one-quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions for the US agriculture industry alone. Through forests destroyed to create grazing grounds for cattle, to food grown specifically to feed cows, to the methane released by these ruminants, to the mismanagement of their waste, beef and milk are two of the highest carbon-footprint foods one can consume. Just switching from beef to chicken reduces your carbon footprint by 75 percent.

2. Reduce how much single-use items you purchase and throw out.

Every year, 58 billion disposable cups are thrown out in the US alone. They also use about 50 billion plastic water bottles in a year. Not only is this creating waste (when not recycled), plastic is made from crude oil and can only be recycled a finite number of times. Use a re-useable shopping bag when you go shopping (not just for groceries, for clothes too!), take a re-useable to-go cup when you order coffee in the morning, bring a to-go container with you when you want to eat out, and reduce the amount of store-bought beverages you consume. If you do buy commercial drinks from the store, opt for aluminum, the most energy-efficient material to recycle, or glass, infinitely recyclable through its lifetime. Get inspired by Beth Terry’s “My Plastic-free Life.” 

3. Purchase sustainable food that’s responsibly grown.

Purchasing locally grown food means that there was less transport, and therefore greenhouse gas emissions, used to get that food to your plate. Getting your locally made products means the same. Especially when you purchase in bulk and from a farmer’s market, where processing, packaging, and storage is left out. Also, when buying mixed source products, like granola, think about where all the raw materials came from. Things like cacao, coffee, and coconuts have to travel a long way to get to you, if you don’t live in the tropics.

4. Avoid fast fashion.

It takes over 200 tons of water to produce 1 ton of fabric and in many countries, the safe management of the toxic byproduct of the fashion industry is unregulated. The joke goes that in China, you can predict the next season’s trends by the color of the river. Cheap clothes mean cheap processes that are harmful to the planet and the people who make your clothes. Rather than purchasing cheap clothing and fast fashion pieces that you’ll soon grow out of, go for meaningful pieces and purchase things that can last your lifetime (or at least until you wear it out). Make an effort to donate your clothes and buy from thrift stores when you want something new to wear. While you’re at it, check out our 5 step program to green up your closet.

5. Unplug and switch off.

Helping to reduce your energy consumption is an important way to reducing your footprint. Do so by switching off and unplugging any electronics that you aren’t using, reducing the amount of heat and air-conditioning you use, and using as much natural light as possible by rising and getting to sleep early. This will also save you money.

6. Plant perennial trees and plants.

Some plants absorb more CO2 than other plants. Find out which plants grow well in your area and help capture the most greenhouse gases. Generally speaking, new saplings absorb more CO2 than older trees (although the latter store more CO2 than the former). Also, be mindful of how your garden by collecting rainwater and grey water from your household to water your yard.

7. Reduce the amount of waste you create.

This includes everything from clothing to single-use plastic bottles to food that’s gone bad. Purchase only what you need, donate second-hand items to charities, and reuse any containers purchased from the store. About 40 percent of food from the US food supply goes to the landfill. Start composting at home and reduce the amount of waste that has to be collected and processed at your house.

8. Opt to dine-in rather than eating out.

Even when compared to a single-person eating at home, dining out is still more impactful to the environment than cooking at home. With 58 percent of Americans dining out at least once a week, this is a hefty increase in greenhouse gas emissions. From energy needed to run a venue to food waste and packaging, the restaurant industry has a lot to answer for its impact on global climate change. Eating at home is not only healthier but also better for the planet and your wallet.

9. Avoid purchasing beauty products with petrolatum.

Petrolatum is a byproduct of the oil industry. It’s derived from crude oil and unfortunately not a sustainable product. Not to mention, it can be contaminated with other chemicals and doesn’t actually hydrate your skin. Unfortunately, you’ll find petrolatum in everything from facial moisturizers to body washes.

10. When you travel, travel slowly.

If you do want to travel, it’s better to take your time and get to your destination in the slowest way possible, using public transportation when possible. Buses, subways, and trains are great options to get to where you’re going. And, once you’re in your destination, stay for a while rather than changing hotels every other day. More on how driving compares to flying here.

11. Offset your carbon footprint.

It’s inevitable that most things you do release greenhouse gases, so offsetting your carbon footprint are one of the surest ways to make sure your livelihood is carbon neutral. Did you know that deforestation causes up to 15% of all global warming emissions? If we can stop deforestation globally, it would result in 30% of the emissions reductions needed to maintain our global temperature increase below 2 degrees C. Buying carbon offsets that come from forest protection is one of the most direct and sizable actions you can take to combat climate change. Depending on your country of residence, this can be as little as $30/year to $180/year. Offset today.

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WHAT IS WILDLIFE WORKS?

Protecting + Forests + Wildlife + Community since 1997.

Wildlife Works is the world's leading REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), project development and management company with an effective approach to applying innovative market based solutions to the conservation of biodiversity. REDD+ was originated by the United Nations (UN) to help stop the destruction of the world's forests.