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In the lead-up to #EarthDay2019 we're highlighting a different threatened species every day. 🐾 An adult Whale Shark can live up to 70 years but has seen a population decline of more than 50% over the last 75 years. 😟 This species is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List due to targeted fishing operations, by-catch in nets, vessel strikes, and unsustainable tourism. 🐋 We must #ProtectOurSpecies, learn how you can join the campaign (link in bio). ☝️ Check out the IUCN @redlist_of_ecosystems 👈 #EarthDay2019 #Species #Environment #whale #whaleshark @natgeowild @unfoundation
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
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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