The nonprofit Earth Day Network is seeking support for their Protect our Species campaign for Earth Day on April 22, 2019.
According to the book “Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity,” the Earth is currently in its largest period of species extinction in the last 60 million years. Naturally between one and five species will go extinct annually; however, the Earth is currently experiencing multiple extinctions daily — 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than normal.
Earth Day Network is focusing on endangered and threatened species vital to ecosystems
- Bees are essential for human survival and important pollinators, which provide one in three bites of food Americans eat.
- Home to 25 percent of marine life, coral reefs feature plants and animals that are being used in new medicines to treat cancer, heart disease and other conditions.
- Elephants maintain biodiversity where they live in multiple ways. By flattening grasses as they travel, they create habitat for smaller species. Some animals also use the water holes that African Elephants dig.
- Standing 15 to 20 feet tall, giraffes spot predators in the wild before any other animal and act as a warning system to the others. When giraffes run from danger, they are protecting animals like zebras and gazelles who start running from the threat too.
- While they can be seen as pests to humans, insects are a food source to thousands of animals and also play a role in pollination. Without them are global ecosystems will disintegrate.
- In addition to a whale’s role in marine ecosystems, whale watching is a four-billion-dollar industry that supports 13,000 coastal jobs worldwide.
Species decline due to many reasons
There is overexploitation of some species due to human consumption, use or sport, such as trophy hunting for ivory elephant tusks. As temperatures rise due to climate change, it puts more animals in danger as well. Habit degradation like pollution also plays a role and can keep animals from thriving in their natural environment. Lastly, as humans continue to dominate land, sea and resources, the survival of species are constantly being reduced.
Easy ways to protect the Earth and animals
Being conscientious in everyday choices may not have an immediate impact that is visible to the eye; however, as more people make eco-friendly changes in their lives, it will slowly but surely protect the environment. Although they seem like small changes, these are five easy ways to start taking action and save the animals:
- Switch out cleaners for non-toxic cleaning products. Some plant-based and biodegradable brands include Branch Basics, Simple Green and Honest Company.
- Beat plastic pollution by using reusable bottles, cups and bags.
- Reduce your carbon footprint by eliminating food waste. Organize your fridge, freezer and pantry by expiration date. If you find yourself with a surplus of food, freeze items for a later date.
- Limit electricity usage with LED and CFL lightbulbs. Turn lights off when you leave the room and unplug items that aren’t in use.
- Save water by only running the dishwasher and washing machine when you have full loads. Fix leaky faucets and turn the water off when you brush your teeth or shave.
Go green for the 8.7 million species of plants and animals, the 7.7 billion people and future generations living on Mother Earth.