Earth Day 2019 is all about protecting animals

This year’s Earth Day theme is “Protect Our Species,” which emphasizes the protection of endangered animals and save them from extinction caused by climate change and environmental destruction. According to the Earth Day Network, “[The] world is facing the greatest rate of extinction since we lost the dinosaurs more than 60 million years ago.”

We’ve seen news of a sea turtle with a straw up its nose; whales getting washed up on shore with bellies filled with plastics; and bees becoming endangered like in Bee Movie. Climate change and overfishing has also destroyed coral reefs all over the world. Just recently, Chinese fishermen harvested giant clams, destroying corals in the process, at the Scarborough Shoal.

You’re probably feeling hopeless and asking yourself, “How can I help?” You can start small—from using plastic alternatives to being mindful of your shopping habits. Here are some tips you can follow all year round to help protect several species, not just the endangered ones.

As much as possible, don’t use clothing and accessories made from animals

Well-known fashion brands like Coach, Maison Margiela, and Gucci have pledged to go fur-free as a stand against animal exploitation. You can also do the same by not purchasing items made from materials like elephant tusks and skins—any part obtained through inhumane means.

Humane Decisions listed down acceptable clothing materials you can use: linen, cotton, polyester, synthetic materials, rubber, and satin. Just remember to use them until they are unusable, don’t just throw them away when you’ve barely worn them.

Lessen plastic use

Start using metal straws, water tumblers, and other reusable items to lessen plastic wastes in the environment. As we briefly mentioned above, these pollute bodies of water and are consumed by marine animals.

Support cruelty-free beauty brands

Simply put: These are brands that don’t test on animals or use crushed insects to make pigments. If you want a full list of brands you can use, check out this list.

Adopt!

It’s a small act but adopting stray dogs and cats, especially those who are at pounds and shelters, can greatly help these animals. Some pounds actually euthanize them if no one claims them. The best thing to do is to rescue and adopt them. You can also foster them and put them up for adoption to loving families.

Volunteer in environmental orgs

There are organizations, like Save the Philippine Seas and World Wild Fund for Nature, that work to protect animals here in the country and also the world. You can check out their websites for volunteering opportunities so you can give back and take part in spreading awareness about animal protection.

 

Photo courtesy of Earth Day Network’s Instagram account

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