Endangered species conservation may seem like a mission reserved for scientists and politicians. After all, tackling such an immense crisis on a global scale hardly seems feasible for the average citizen. However, there are simple ways that you and I can make a difference, and the sum of small actions in each of our daily lives has the power to protect the future of the world's wildlife. Here are 10 actions all of us can take, starting today.
1. Avoid Harsh Chemicals in Your Home
2. Reduce and Reuse
- Choose products with less packaging waste, and reuse household items whenever possible.
- Buy pre-owned items such as clothing, furnishings, toys, and electronics helps reduce the amount of energy consumed to create new materials and reduces waste production too.
- Opt for reusable beverage bottles instead of buying bottled drinks.
- Bring reusable bags to the grocery store, and bring your own washable container to restaurants for bringing food home.
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
- When throwing away trash, make sure it is bagged securely to prevent accidental littering.
- Recycle paper, plastics, glass, and metal cans at a local recycling center.
- Hazardous substances like paint, car fluids, pesticides, batteries, bleach, and other chemicals should be taken to a specialized facility for disposal.
4. Prevent Soil Erosion
When clearing vegetation, it's important to prevent loose sediment from washing into natural waterways where it can deplete oxygen from the water and destroy stream bed habitat. Use soil erosion control methods to protect nearby water resources for wildlife.
5. Create Healthy Backyard Habitat
- Plant native vegetation in your yard and seek the help of your local university extension agent to discourage the spread of invasive plant species.
- Discourage wildlife from the unhealthy habit of raiding trash cans and pet bowls by keeping garbage in secure containers and taking pet food inside overnight.
- Disinfect bird baths and feeders often to avoid disease transmission.
- Seek out safer alternatives to herbicides and pesticides.
6. Eat Sustainably Caught Seafood
7. Support an Endangered Species Conservation Organization
If you're passionate about a particular endangered species or imperiled habitat, visit the EEC Conservation Directory to find a conservation organization whose mission matches your concerns. Donate, volunteer, or adopt an endangered species you'd like to support.
8. Become a Conservation Advocate
- Join the Center for Biological Diversity's Action Network to receive action alerts and other information about how you can help influence government agencies that make decisions and policies affecting endangered species.
- Sign up for Conservation International's eNewsletter to find fast, easy, and effective ways to engage in citizen advocacy on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
9. Make Your Vote Count
Join the League of Conservation Voters, a national non-profit organization that works to turn environmental values into national priorities by advocating for sound environmental policies and electing pro-environment candidates who will adopt and implement such policies.
10. Lead by Example
The more you learn about ways to help protect endangered species, the more knowledge you will be able to offer others. Instead of bombarding your family, friends, and community with dos and don'ts, share your experiences and efforts you've made to protect the natural environment. Leading by example is one of the best ways to inspire people to start making changes in their own lives.