Have you ever seen photographs from the famous monarch butterfly migration from America to Mexico? It’s quite a sight. And though some have been lucky enough to witness this in person, fewer butterflies returning for the migration every year. Not only is this detrimental to our ecosystem, but it can be a bummer if you always wanted to catch the migration. The cause of the dying monarch population is multifaceted, but there is something we humans can do to make our environment a little more hospitable for the butterflies. Here are a few things you can do around your own home and garden to help save the monarchs.
How To Save The Monarchs
Say No To Pesticides
Using harsh chemicals and pesticides in the garden is one of the leading causes of the depleting monarch population. Not only can these chemicals be harmful to the butterflies themselves, but pesticides and chemicals can kill native milkweed. Milkweed is the only plant suitable for monarchs to hatch their eggs.
As I mentioned above, the milkweed plant is one of the only ones suitable for hatching monarch eggs. But planting native milkweed around your yard and garden, you create tons of different places for monarchs to live and reproduce. Milkweed is an absolutely necessary part of their lifecycle. So don’t be afraid to plant plenty of it! Planting milkweed is called creating a “way station.” You can learn more about it (and how to create the ultimate habitat) by checking out the link here. Turn this into an educational activity if you want to get kids involved too.
Use FSC Certified Wood
Did you know that monarch butterflies rely on the forests in Mexico to provide shelter in the winter? It’s true, but illegal logging in the area is destroying the would-be homes of thousands of butterflies. You can help by refusing to support the companies that partake in this illegal logging by only purchasing FSC certified wood. This will ensure that the illegal logging industry is harmed while providing a safe home for the monarchs to return to.
Avoid Eating Genetically Modified Produce
Genetically modified produce bad for you and your health, but it’s actually pretty terrible for the monarch butterflies as well. Seeds altered with GMOs create an environment ideal for weeds, resulting in further use of pesticides and other chemicals. Avoiding GMOs will keep you healthy and plenty of monarch butterflies in the sky.