Become a Local Environmental Steward
August 4, 2020
What is Environmental Stewardship?
Environmental stewardship is a term used to describe our interactions with the environment that lead to protection, conservation, and sustainability. The main objectives of environmental stewardship include restoring habitats, recovering wildlife, increasing and protecting at risk species, improving biodiversity, preserving natural resources and ecosystems, and overall improving the sustainability of our environment including both our urban and natural ecosystems.
Why is it important?
Environmental stewardship is an important part in protecting our natural environment. There are positive impacts on both the natural environment and community when stewardship projects are implemented. Healthy ecosystems lead to cleaner water and improved air quality, absorption of C02, increased biodiversity, along with the beautification that occurs when there is more nature in urban areas. These factors all contribute to improving the quality of life within the local community.
What makes stewardship actions effective, is that can be taken on a global scale, local scale, and individual scale. Every action taken to protect, conserve, and restore our ecosystems and natural resources has an impact, and collectively we can make a huge difference by all becoming environmental stewards within our communities.
Resources to help your business become an leaders in Environmental Stewardship
Environmental Stewardship can easily be introduced into your workplace. Every business can take some type of stewardship actionㅡ From small local businesses and nonprofits to huge national corporations! It doesn’t matter if you own or rent your building, or have 1 or 1000 employees, there are so many different ways to get involved.
We have created a visual guide to help you select and implement stewardship projects. We have included over 20 actionable projects, and several sponsorship options as well. You choose which projects you want to participate in and what level you are aiming to reach in a three year time period. You will receive a digital badge to promote your stewardship progress on our website and social media. Prior action, I.e. any stewardship projects you have completed in the past, are recognized. If your business is interested in taking part, let us know and we can help with providing resources and project suggestions. If you have already started working on stewardship projects, let us know which projects you have committed to so we can share on social media! Additionally send along any photos or videos you have of current projects so that we can share those as well.
Examples of Stewardship Projects:
- Implement a sustainable transportation program (ie biking, walking, carpool, or taking public transit to work)
- Installing rain barrels to water landscaping
- Sponsoring a bee-hive project
- Planting native plants or trees on your property
- Planting a pollinator or rain garden
- Tree planting sponsorship or have a company planting session
- Implementing a waste free lunch program/waste free catering
Check out the guide below for the full list of projects
Of course, these are not the only environmental stewardship projects that exist – if you have any ideas or are currently doing a project that would fit, let us know and we can count it as an innovation project within the current framework and it will count towards completing a certain target level.
See how many projects are required to reach each recognition level below
How can you become an Environmental Steward in your community?
Along with actions businesses can take within their workplace, environmental stewardship can easily become a part of your everyday life. Leading by example to others around you, including friends and family, is one of the best ways to both educate and inspire others to become stewards themselves and further amplify the impact of actions being taken.
What are some personal actions you can take?
- Plant a native garden
- Plant a vegetable garden, buy groceries from local sources when possible, and/or reduce meat consumption
- Install a composter in your backyard to reduce the organic waste going to landfill
- Donate to local environmental and conservation groups
- Use rain barrels to water your gardens
- Bike/walk more and reduce how often you use your car
Click here to learn more about your personal environmental impact with the Project Neutral Calculator and to learn about more actionable items you can take to reduce your impact!
We encourage our members to set reduction targets in all 4 areas, including water, waste, GHG emissions, and Environmental Stewardship. Please contact us to learn more about how to get your business involved and let us support you on your sustainability journey!
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