April 22nd 2018
The Earth does not belong to us. We belong to the Earth. ~Chief Seattle
In my travel series, I often enjoy taking pictures of the world around me and highlighting the natural beauty of the places I travel. However, my travel series and my traveling adventures would not be nearly as valuable without the beautiful environment in which we live. However, in recent years, I have been watching as the world we live is getting abused and destroyed. That is why, this year I decided I want to create a bit of an informative post to encourage you to think twice about how we treat our world.
One thing that I find incredibly jarring is the current endangered species list. It pains me to know that humans are largely to blame for so many amazing species teetering at the brink of extinction. This March, the last male Northern White Rhino passed away, marking what is sure to be full extinction for the species. It upsets me to know that this species deteriorated at the hands of poachers who killed these beautiful creatures for sport.
And Northern White Rhinos aren’t the only species at risk! In a few short years, we could be losing beautiful species such as Malayan Tigers, Orangutans, and Sumatran Elephants among a wide array of critically endangered animals! However, there is so much we can be doing to improving the world we live in and saving future animals from extinction.
One thing we could be doing is starting the efforts from home. Look into what animals are native to your region and see how they are doing in terms of population stability. See if there are any initiatives you can take part in at home that can save a species from extinction. Your help will radiate outwards and if everyone did their part in their own communities, a world of difference could be made.
You can also help by cutting down on your use of single use plastics. I have read that 100% of all species of turtles have some sort of plastic floating around in their bodies as a result of consuming trash that is in our oceans. On top of that, single use plastics are wasteful and take a lot of resources to produce. I am personally, slowly but surely, trying to eliminate single use plastics from my every day routines and encourage you to do the same.
Another thing you can do to help is donate. It is really hard to find the right places to donate to nowadays, but I did find this list online of 12 Environmental Organizations who are using their donations for the greatest good! My personal favorite however is World Wildlife Fund because I have only ever heard positive things about them and their initiatives! (But please feel free to correct me if you know anything different. I am learning and trying my best to help the world but sometimes there are just things I don’t know.)
My favorite thing about WWF is their species adoption program where you donate directly to a species you are passionate about and in return you get a certificate and a plush of the animal you are supporting. I personally want to symbolically adopt River Otters and Sea Otter because Otters of any species are my favorite animals and the North American River Otter has disappeared from 11 states since 1980 due to habitat loss! However, there are so many different species to choose from that you could find your own personal cause that means something to you!
If you don’t want to donate to a specific species, there is also the option to donate once or donate a set amount monthly. My goal, once I get a full time job, is to donate at least $10 a month to wildlife efforts! These donations not only help the animals but also the environments in which they live. But today, I plan to make a donation anyway for the greater good of the world I live in.
To end off this post, I am going to leave you with a few statistics that I found online that will hopefully help you see the importance of saving our environment:
- The penguin population has dropped 60% in recent years.
- 5 surviving tiger subspecies are endangered and 3 subspecies are already extinct
- The US hosts about 5% of the world’s population while consuming about 30% of the resources. This occurrence, happening on a widespread scale, can result in large scale extinctions.
- There are areas of the world in which the air pollution is so high, it is actually deemed hazardous for your health.
- If the New York Times used recycled paper for even one day, it could save up to 75,000 trees. (Not sure how true this one is, but if it is true then DANG)
- Sea World covers up the sunburns of their Orcas using black zinc oxide.
- 62 dolphins have died at Sea World in the past 10 years.
- Many penguins in a specific zoos were on antidepressants because “they were so unhappy in their living conditions”
- Every minute, a forest the size of 20 football fields can be destroyed.
- 50% of the world’s original forests have been destroyed, much of which has taken place in the past 3-4 decades.
I hope this encourages you to take the time out and see what you can be doing to support our Earth and our animals.
Here are some additional resources including ones I have previously mentioned:
Top 12 Environmental Organizations
More facts and statistics about the destruction of our environment and species by TreeHugger
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