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Caring for Wildlife and Animals Near Extinction - What We Can Do

June 05, 2020 0 Comments

Caring for Wildlife and Animals Near Extinction - What We Can Do

There are a number of articles and social media posts about how the Covid-19 pandemic has given our planet a much-needed break to slowly heal itself; even animals are said to have had a rare opportunity to experience life with minimum human interference. However, this short vacation from humanity’s consumerist habits is nothing in comparison to what has been occurring for years. Global warming, climate change and loss of biodiversity are still a major threat to wildlife, pushing a growing number of species closer to extinction.

"While it may seem unimportant if we lose one salamander or rat species, it matters because all species are connected through their interactions in a web of life. A balanced and biodiverse ecosystem is one in which each species plays an important role and relies on the services provided by other species to survive. Healthy ecosystems are more productive and resistant to disruptions," explains Renee Cho in a blog for State of the Planet (Columbia University).

It's important for us to understand that protecting the Earth's ecosystem is not just for the sake of saving nature, there is a close link between human well being, biodiversity, and the fate of all living species. Most people fail to realize or recognise, that any impact to our environment can have long-lasting effects on our basic necessities like food security and clean water, globally.

“Human actions threaten more species with global extinction now than ever before,” a report concludes, estimating that “around 1 million species already face extinction, many within decades unless action is taken,” says Sandra M. Díaz, an ecologist at the National University of Córdoba in Argentina.

So what can you do?
Here are 5 easy and effective ways we can help as individuals.

1. Educate Yourself; Be Informed and Aware 

Pat yourself on the back because reading this blog is a step in the right direction, being informed and aware of what’s going on is crucial.  Understanding the main causes of animal extinction (climate change, environmental pollution, loss of habitat, and poaching) and why they're important will help you understand what needs to change. 

You can find more useful information about endangered animals on the WWF website, visit: https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/directory?direction=desc&sort=extinction_status

2. Recycle, recycle, recycle

You may not be aware but electronics such as mobile phones and laptops often contain precious metals like coltan, and the demand for metals like this is causing issues for wildlife conservation. 

The majority of these metals are mined in the habitats of many endangered species, such as The Democratic Republic of Congo where mining has become one of the more "profitable" sources of income. The jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo are home to the bonobo, an endangered ape species that is considered to be one of our closest living relatives. Next time you think of buying that new phone or trendy piece of electronic equipment, take a moment to consider if you really need it, or if your old items can be recycled first.

Other things to consider:
- Recycle clothes and paper as much as possible 
- Use rechargeable batteries 
- Reuse glass jars and pots around the house 

Here’s a useful link to understand what you can and can’t recycle: https://earth911.com/recycling-center-search-guides/

3. Donate 

It's easy to think that because most of us live in a city, there's nothing we can do for the wildlife but donating to organizations working to help endangered species are making themselves known in cities worldwide. It’s so simple and so important! A small donation to organizations like World Wildlife Fund (WWF) can go a long way or you can shop our Gaia Bracelets where 10% of proceeds go to WWF.

Shop Gaia Bracelets here: https://niinstyle.com/collections/gaia-bracelet

 

4. Live sustainably 

Making more sustainable choices in life can easily help protect the environment and animals. When purchasing any items, food, clothing or otherwise, it’s a good idea to look at the labels or ask where things are sourced. Even though wood is considered to be “eco”, try to use upcycled wood or make sure you're being responsible by not choosing endangered wood such as:

- Murbu
- Sapele
- Wenge
- Ebony
- Brazilian Mahogany 
- Teak

Another thing to be aware of is palm oil. Palm oil is a major cause of deforestation and destruction of habitat. Unfortunately, it's in almost everything we consume from food to cosmetics, but we can minimise the use of it by being more diligent. Check out other factors to consider to try and live more sustainably below:



5. Signing petitions 

Signing a petition is a good way to show your support towards wildlife conservation and endangered species because you're helping these animals by making their needs and values heard.

Check out these petitions:

https://www.change.org/t/endangered-species-5
https://www.nrdc.org/save-endangered-species-act

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/six-skincare-ingredients-which-are-harming-the-environment

https://wwf.panda.org/knowledge_hub/teacher_resources/webfieldtrips/toxics/chemicals_affect_you/reduce_your_risks/

https://www.gofundme.com/c/blog/help-endangered-species

https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2019/03/26/endangered-species-matter/

https://www.bbcearth.com/modal/ways-to-help-endangered-species/

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/06/climate/biodiversity-extinction-united-nations.html

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/22/toxic-chemicals-everyday-items-us-pesticides-bpa



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