This New Year's Day as you're watching the Tournament of Roses® festivities, remember Dr. Jane’s inspirational message that everyone can make a difference, and think about what you can do.
Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the Jane Goodall Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program, has some great ideas about how you can make the world a more sustainable place—for people, animals and the environment.
No matter where you are, after you’ve watched the parade and game, turn off the TV and get outside. Whether you go on a hike, a walk around your neighborhood or just step out for a breath of fresh air, take the opportunity to get up, stretch and appreciate the environment around you. Dr. Jane’s appreciation for the natural world came in part from the time she spent observing the chimpanzees in Gombe. Share her appreciation and make a commitment to get offline and go outside this New Year’s Day.
Do a household audit to measure your trash, food and water use. For trash, simply keep track of the number of bags of trash versus recycling you put out each week—or even use a household scale to weigh your trash. Do the same with your food. Before it goes in the garbage bin, weigh it to see just how much is going into our landfills. Can any of that food be composted? And for water, for a single day, or maybe a week, record the number of times you turn on the faucet or the shower—or even measure the length of time the water is on to see just how much you use.
When you have your results, set some family goals to reduce waste in these three areas by a certain percentage. See if you can decrease what’s going into the trash and increase the amount you recycle. Start composting some of your food waste and take shorter showers. Consider beginning with a challenge to reduce your waste by 10 percent—and go from there!
This time of the year, giving electronic gifts is pretty common, and often the new electronics replace old ones. Old electronics have many materials that can be reused or recycled, including metals and other minerals. Cell phones and smartphones are especially important to recycle as many include a mineral called coltan that is found in areas near great ape habitat in Africa, the same habitat that the Jane Goodall Institute and many others organizations are trying to protect. You can help preserve the great apes by making sure that your old cell phones and other unused electronics make their way to a recycling center in your community.
Many local city and county governments and stores in your area have programs that can help you. You can even find programs that allow you to mail in your electronics to earn money. This can be a great fundraising opportunity for your group!
This time of the year, many people are cold and lack the proper clothes to keep warm. It’s never too early for spring cleaning, so if you’re out of school on holiday or on winter break, clean out your closets and take the clothes you no longer wear to someone who can use them to keep warm.
For more than 20 years, Dr. Jane has inspired young people to make a difference by leading service projects in their communities to improve the environment and better the quality of life of people and animals. By completing one of the projects described above, you can support Dr. Jane’s vision and help spread Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots around the country and the world. Make a donation today to help advance Dr. Jane’s mission to inspire young people to become environmental leaders in their communities.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. You can check out the Roots & Shoots Project Center for more inspiration. The Project Center is filled with more than 3,000 projects completed by members just like you. Find other projects in your area or search for ones that tackle issues that are important to you.
Enjoy the Tournament of Roses® this New Year’s and don’t forget to tune in and take part! Check your local listings and catch Dr. Jane as the 2013 Tournament of Roses® Grand Marshal.