Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd and is a day to remind us to take care of our planet, not only for us, but also for the plants and the animals that we share it with. The Earth, its ecosystems, and its creatures are all deeply connected. Therefore, many species depend on others for survival, including human beings. What would the world be like without bees to pollinate the world’s food supply or corals to support our ocean ecosystems? We are all interconnected with the creatures of the Earth, and everything we do affects not only us, but them too. Everything, from how we dispose of our trash, to how much energy and water we use every day has huge effects on our planet. Can you imagine a world without some species of elephants, rhinos and whales? This will soon be a reality unless we start protecting our environment for the future. Habitat destruction, pollution, unmanaged fisheries, illegal hunting and wildlife trade are all threats that are increasing every year. Many scientists estimate that one species goes extinct every 15 minutes and up to 78 million acres of natural forests are lost every year. People have such an impact on the planet and its creatures that we can all make a difference. Simple acts you do every day can help the future of our planet and the animals that live here. Helping the environment and saving animals goes hand in hand. Below are a few things you can do to help the environment and the animals we share it with.
- Buy organic foods and products
- Reduce, reuse and recycle
- Don’t buy souvenirs made from wildlife
- Buy fair-trade and locally grown products
- Bring your own bags to the grocery store to avoid using plastic bags
- Make sustainable seafood choices
- Avoid using pesticides in your garden
- Pick up the trash on the street so it doesn’t get washed into our oceans
- Choose energy efficient appliances and unplug them when not in use
- Don't waste water when washing your hands, brushing your teeth and taking showers
- Choose eco-friendly cosmetics, household cleaners and laundry detergents
- Eat meatless meals at least one day a week
- Dispose of toxic waste the right way and never flush chemicals down the drain
- Volunteer to help cleanup beaches and riverbanks
- Use LED light bulbs to save energy
- Drive and fly less often to reduce your carbon footprint
By 2025 as many as one fifth of all animal species may be lost and gone forever. The time is now to be heroes to save the world and save the creatures.
**Photos taken by Stefanie
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