Certified Wildlife Habitat: Lizard


The Benefits of a Certified Wildlife Habitat


We’ve been interested in learning how to create a DIY wildlife habitat in our back yard ever since 2011, when we first wrote about it. But it wasn’t until our self-imposed 6-month break from travel that we had the time to do the manual labor involved in transforming our suburban yard into a haven for nature and wildlife.


It all started in March with GGT writer Jonathan Engels’ Permaculture Garden Guide, which offered simple step-by-step instructions for us to follow. We tilled the soil by hand, added compost and mulch from the woods behind our yard, lined the beds with fallen pine logs, made worm towers, and used organic fertilizer to improve soil quality without harmful chemicals.


We covered more than half our yard with cardboard to kill weeds and grass, then covered it with pine straw. We surrounded the yard with flowering plants to attract bees and butterflies. We added a birdbath, and feeders for regular birds and hummingbirds. We pruned the overgrown fruit trees and created a massive pile in the back of our property, to provide shelter from predators.


We’ve still got a good bit of work left to do, but the results we’ve seen in just 6 short weeks are pretty amazing. Our first-ever garden is flourishing, with enough fruits, vegetables and herbs growing to feed our family for the second half of this year. We find ourselves working and eating outside more than ever, enjoying Atlanta’s wonderfully temperate Spring weather.


But the unexpected benefit of our work has been the increasingly frequent wildlife sightings we’ve seen in our back yard over the last few days. There have been hundreds of birds, including Hawks, Woodpeckers, and a Great Blue Egret flying overhead.


We discovered a Possum living in one corner of our yard and an adorable pair of Chipmunks living on the opposite side. We’ve seen Tree Frogs, Skinks, and this handsome Lizard, who sunned himself atop our wheelbarrow yesterday. And the grand total of our investment, including all the plants, fertilizer, pine straw, an electric chain saw, and a tree pruning tool, has been less than $400.


It’s been a lot of work, to be sure. But the cost and labor involved in creating a certified wildlife habitat has paid off in spades, making our back yard a much more enjoyable space for our family. And the fact that we can grow our own food while also providing a haven for these animals just makes the process all the more rewarding. –Bret Love


If you enjoyed reading about the Benefits of a Certified Wildlife Habitat, you may also like:

GO GREEN TIP #114: DIY Permaculture Garden Guide 

GO GREEN TIP #108: Using Permaculture Principles in Travel

GO GREEN TIP #99: How to Make a DIY Vertical Garden 

GO GREEN TIP 97# : DIY Rainwater Harvesting Tips

GO GREEN TIP #91: How To Attract Birds To Your Garden

GO GREEN TIP #87: How To Compost At Home

GO GREEN TIP #60: How to Create a DIY Wildlife Habitat


Green Global Travel in New Orleans

What Is Fair Trade?

Our Next Big Adventure


We started Green Global Travel in November 2010. Our mission was simple: We wanted to help “Save the world, one story at a time,” inspiring people to travel and live in a more sustainable fashion. We wanted to help them go green gradually, making simple changes one step at a time.


After our site took off in 2012, we took a close look at our business model. We didn’t want to deluge our readers with ads and sponsored posts, and we never have. But how would we earn a decent living?


After some inspirational talks with our friend Tom Edwards of Tune Up and Travel, we decided that opening our own e-commerce Fair Trade Boutique seemed like a natural fit. To understand why, let’s take a quick look at what Fair Trade is and how it aligns with our mission.

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How to Save Water: 15 Simple Conservation TipsGO GREEN TIP #115

How To Save Water: 15 Simple Conservation Tips


The woes of the world’s fresh water supply are proving increasingly problematic. Aquifers are drying up. Due to rising temperatures, snowpack is failing to provide enough sustainable surface supply. Municipal water sources have moved beyond questionable to full-on toxic. Because we all depend on H20 to live, learning how to save water has never been more important.


In short, we need to pool our efforts and begin working to combat water waste. Wherever we may live, if we think of water conservation as a choice rather than a necessity, we’re likely consuming far more than the average global citizen. And while we might not be able to fix the water issues plaguing the planet at large, we can each do our part to maintain this vital resource.


Whether water conservation is new to you or something that you are hoping to delve into deeper, here are some simple tips on how to save water that everyone can use…

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Animal Selfies

The Problem with Putting Ego Over Responsibility


The selfie culture has become a worldwide phenomenon over the last decade, fueled by a narcissistic need for people to share every second of their life on social media. Coupled with a sense of self-entitlement and a complete lack of awareness, this has led to increasingly irresponsible travel behavior in the form of animal selfies, which contribute to wildlife exploitation and animal abuse on a global scale.


Far too many travelers setting off on their round-the-world adventures have dreams of getting their picture taken with a cute baby sloth or a panda. People will often venture to a specific destination just to get a selfie with a tiger or elephant, filling their social media feed with pictures of how awesome they are to impress their friends and family back home.


They see their photo of them straddling a grown tiger or hugging a cute little koala bear as evidence of their love for animals and proof of their amazing adventures. And of course making friends jealous via Facebook or Instagram can be a massive boost to the ego. But at what cost?


Here, we’ll take a look at the rise of animal selfies and the myriad ways in which they contribute to the abuse and exploitation of wildlife.

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Things to do in Indonesia, dive Raja Ampat

Photo by Jonathan Chase via CC

Top 5 Things To Do In Indonesia


Made up of over 14,000 islands, the world’s largest archipelago extends from the tip of Southeast Asia to just off the coast of Australia. The country crosses three time zones and offers an incredible variety of landscapes, cultures, and traditions along the way. As a result, there are a million different places to go and things to do in Indonesia.


Most people traveling to Indonesia fly into Jakarta, the capital of both the country and the island of Java.  Java, the world’s most populous island, offers endless plains filled with smoking volcanoes, temples, charming towns, and bustling markets. Bali, another popular tourist destination, is beloved by sun- and surf -seekers, with a uniquely distinctive indigenous culture and laid-back vibe.


But for this story we want to move beyond the well-trod Bali/Java path and showcase some of the country’s best ecotourism attractions, from Sumatra to West Papua. You’d need several months (or several shorter trips) to explore the country in-depth, but these are a few of our favorite things to do in Indonesia:

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Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

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Destinations We’ve Covered:

Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Madagascar- Ring-tailed Lemurs at Anja Reserve
Morocco- A Journey into the Atlas Mountains
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

How To Get To Antarctica w/out Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
Borneo- Sabah Ecotourism Attractions
India- Ranthambhore National Park
India- Tibetan Culture In Ladakh
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Malaysia- Orangutan Conservation at Sepilok
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
Australia-Maria Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Photo Gallery
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tahiti- Swimming With Sharks in Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities


Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

America’s Best Volcanoes
AL- Fishing Mobile Bay
AL- Mobile Carnival Museum
AK- Denali National Park
CA- Hiking The John Muir Trail
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
FL- Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
HI - Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions
LA- Lafayette Cajun Food Tour
LA- Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday
LA- Voodoo Museum
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Asheville's Top Ecotourism Attractions
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
TX- Sea Turtle Rescue, South Padre Island
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Cancun- Swimming with Whale Sharks
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba