It’s World Wildlife Day! The theme for 2016, “the future of wildlife is in our hands,” is all about ending illegal wildlife trafficking. Our partners at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) have launched a cool new digital campaign using #InOurHands, which you should check out here.
But besides sharing gorgeous images of endangered rhinos, elephants and birds on social media, what can you do to help? True, you weren’t the one who killed that elephant mother for her tusks, but there are some actions you can take to encourage living in a way that’s sustainable for wildlife and reduce demand for illegal products.
1. Visit a zoo, a museum, a botanical garden or a national park to get motivated to help our beautiful planet.
2. Support local conservation projects, whether it’s a planting trees that provide habitats for birds and small animals, or cleaning up wetlands.
3. Don’t purchase anything made of ivory. Other, more sustainable materials are just as pretty.
4. Don’t purchase anything made of rhino horn. Horns are made of keratin, the same substance as fingernails, so the medicines made of horn have no effect.
5. Collect signatures for a “say ‘no’ to illegal wildlife products” campaign.
6. Organize a screening of wildlife films. Finalists from the International Elephant Film Festival will be screened worldwide starting today. Go to see these excellent movies and learn more about the conservation of elephants.
7. Research eco-labels in your area and buy seafood products that have been harvested sustainably. Here’s an interactive list from the Marine Stewardship Council.