Turn the Lights Out on Extinction

Black Rhino, Lake Nakuru, Kenya, by Patrick Shah; Flickr / CC-licensed: The Far Horizons - Journeys Discovering Africa

By now I’m sure you have heard the sad news that the Western Black rhino is now officially listed as extinct. If you haven’t heard, I’m terribly sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Losing yet another member of the animal species is truly a tragedy and one that could have definitely been prevented; the story doesn’t end here.

But now is not the time to shed tears and count our losses. Yes, the Western Black rhino may be gone, but there is a lot of work and effort to be done in order to preserve the future of other rhinos. We may have lost one battle for this creature, but there are many more animals and plants that face the same fate every day. Other rhinos such as Africa's Northern White rhino and Asia's Javan rhino are also facing a grim future if we do not act now. They are said to be "teetering on the brink of extinction" and "making their last stand" against poaching and lack of conservation.

Not only are these animals endangered, but our environment is in trouble as well. Plants such as the Chinese fir, a type of yew found in Asia, and the Coco de Mer, a palm tree, are all classified as endangered. In recent studies, 79 tropical plants in the Indian Ocean archipelago—a cluster of islands—found that more than three quarters of those plants were at risk of extinction.

It’s true that some of these species are being driven to extinction due to human actions such as agriculture and illegal harvesting, but other species are simply sensitive to the changes in their environment and atmosphere. Little do people realize that our energy consumption and our everyday routines can have a tremendous effect on the delicate ecosystems of our planet. It’s time to bring people’s attention to their carbon footprints and make a conscious change!

It is 100% necessary to understand that every little action we do counts towards our carbon footprints.

Important Questions that weigh into these actions:

  1. How much do you drive your car and what type of car do you own?
  2. What kind of light bulbs do you install in your home? Incandescent or LED?
  3. What household appliances do you use and are they constantly plugged in?
  4. What type of food do you eat? Do you support local produce and farms?
  5. Are you recycling your plastic, aluminum, cardboard, and other reusable materials?
  6. How much waste do you produce in a month?
  7. How are you conserving water and energy sources?

All of these things contribute to our personal impact on the world’s environment and being aware of our own habits and lifestyle becomes the key to making a positive change for our planet. Compound that by the number of people that are alive and we have a lot of people adding to the greenhouse gas emissions that affect climate change.

So let’s turn out the lights on extinction for our planet and our animal species alike. Next time you leave your home, be sure to think twice before leaving an unnecessary light on. That one flick of the switch may just be the key to keeping our plants and animals off the endangered and extinction list!

 

Calculate your carbon footprint with these helpful websites:

Read the rest of story of the western black rhino at CNN Environment.

 

The ISF Environment Team wants to hear from you! Have questions or inspired by the article? Send us an email at Environment@isfoundation.net to share your thoughts and comments.

 

 (Image: Black Rhino, Lake Nakuru, Kenya, by Patrick Shah; Flickr / CC-licensed: The Far Horizons - Journeys Discovering Africa)

 

-Written by: Inés de Sequera