Earth Day 2019 - Protecting Our Species

Posted April 22, 2019

This rock we call home is such a magnificent place. We all know the Earth is an incredibly complex and vibrant ecosystem, where living organisms interact with each other and the environment to create the ideal conditions for life. Earth has it all. Sometimes it’s warm, sometimes it’s cold, there’s lots of water and lots of land, but not too much of either. The Earth is actually quite perfect. And it’s in trouble. Which brings us to Earth Day 2019. This year is focusing their 2019 Earth Day campaign on “Protecting Our Species” and so are we.

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that a vast number of animals and plants have gone extinct in the last few hundred years due to human activity. Many others are in serious decline and threatened with extinction. Sometimes, we humans fail to see the big picture, like what animal extinction does to our ecosystem, among other things.

Everything is connected. The food chain, from the tiniest organisms to the largest creatures, such as blue whales, keep humans alive. When a species becomes endangered, it’s a sign that our ecosystem is slowly falling apart. Healthy ecosystems depend on plants and animal species. Without healthy forests, rivers, oceans and more, we will not have clean air, water, or land. If we allow our environment to become contaminated, we risk our own health.

So, what can we do? The good news is that us ordinary citizens can play a major role in helping wild animals by simply making the world a better place for them. Small acts really do have big impact. Start being an advocate through your words and actions by trying some of these ideas:

  • Learn About Endangered Species in your Area. Information is at the click of a button these days. Go online and learn how interesting and important the species in your own area are to the environment around you. Teach your friends and family about the wonderful wildlife, birds, fish and plants that live near you. Visit a national wildlife refuge, park, or other open space to learn about the endangered species and other animals who live there. Stay informed and support policies that keep these areas wild and protect native species.
  • Recycle and Buy Sustainable Products Be an educated consumer and think before you buy. Learn more about product choices that are better for animals and the environment. Choose products that are energy made from sustainable sources and don’t use products that cause harm to animals and habitats. Find out what’s recyclable in your area and recycle everyday items such as aluminum cans, glass and plastic containers, cardboard and paper products.
  • Reduce Your Water Consumption There are so many ways we can use less water in our daily lives, such as watering your garden in the early morning or evening, turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, or even look at installing a rainwater tank.
  • Watch Out for Products that Are Made from Endangered Species Sometimes when we travel, we don’t realize that the souvenirs we are buying are made from species nearing extinction. Avoid supporting the market in illegal wildlife.
  • Grow Native Plants Local species rely on local plants. Plant local flowers to attract native insects, like bees, to help feed declining honey bee populations. Invasive species compete with native species for resources and habitat, threatening biodiversity. They can even prey on native species directly, forcing native plant species towards extinction.
  • Stay Away from Plastic Products
    Use recyclable paper bags, reuse containers and properly dispose of plastic containers. Marine animals get easily tangled in these products. Animals end up ingesting plastic which builds up in their stomach causing them much pain and even fatalities.
  • Make Your Home Wildlife Friendly
    Secure garbage cans with locking lids, feed your pets indoors, clean bird baths often to avoid spread of diseases, slip the pesticides and more. There are many small changes that can make your home a place to peacefully coexist with wildlife.

On the 49th anniversary of Earth Day, let’s remember that the smallest of changes can make a difference. We just need to commit to them and make them a part of our everyday lives.