Making Climate-Friendly Choices

Conservation

September 16, 2021

As we near the end of a toasty summer in Chicago, it’s a stark reminder that cities near and far are experiencing extreme weather—from intense rain events to wildfires.

Deforestation and burning fossil fuels releases rampant amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This excess carbon dioxide builds up and acts like a thick blanket that traps heat around the world and disrupts the global climate, which has detrimental effects for species we care about—and for us.

Not only does climate change affect species of all sorts, such as melting sea making it more difficult for polar bears to hunt seals, it affects people too. Climate change is causing more extreme heat and cold, more variable precipitation with an increase in intense rain events, and fluctuations in lake levels.

How can you help mitigate the effects of climate change and help change the worst climate-change scenarios? Find out, below, and Take Action With Us.

Eat More Plants

Animal production has a large carbon footprint. Changing our food habits, such as what we eat and where we get it, is one of the most impactful things that individuals and businesses can do to combat climate change.

Start small by shifting one or two of your weekly meals to include fewer meat, dairy, and animal products or shifting the types of animal protein, like eating less red meat.

Shopping locally, such as visiting a farmer’s market, is also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Crowned lemur in exhibit

Reduce Food Waste

Did you know that up to 40 percent of the food in the U.S. goes uneaten? How can you reduce your food waste? You can reduce your food waste by:

  • Buying and cooking only what you will eat
  • Planning your meals and grocery shopping on a weekly basis
  • Using your freezer more
  • Composting food you wind up not using

Hoffmann's two-toed sloth in exhibit

Spread the Word

Open up the conversation! Be sure to tell family and friends how changing our food habits can help mitigate climate change and wildlife.

By coming together and making personal changes, as well as advocating for political and systemic change, we can mitigate some of the worst climate-change scenarios. Don’t forget to follow the zoo’s social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) to see ways you can Take Action With Us.