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Each year, Earth Day offers a chance to step back and consider our impact on the planet. Many of us choose to celebrate by making a donation to an organization or taking part in an event that benefits threatened wildlife. However, you don’t have to wait for a specific holiday to help endangered species — there are a number of ways, both large and small, that you can act to protect endangered animals all year long.
It’s important to protect wildlife because “everything is connected,” says Jennafer Bonello, spokesperson for the World Wildlife Fund. “People need to understand that the choices we make every day affect not only animals in the wild but humans too,” she adds.
If you want to help, you may not even have to look much farther than your own backyard: The National Wildlife Federation estimates that “more than 1,300 U.S. plants and animals already have been federally listed as threatened or endangered and protected under the Endangered Species Act.”
Donating money can certainly send a message of support for wildlife conservation, but it’s not your only option. WWF and NFW have some simple ways for you to reach out and make a difference — without leaving your home. Who knew saving the planet could be so easy?
Sign a petition. Through the WWF’s Conservation Action Network, you can learn about and join movements to protect threatened species. The network offers a wide range of causes you can support to help wildlife at home and abroad: You can sign a pledge to stop wildlife crimes, urge the New Zealand Prime Minister to protect Maui’s dolphins, ask Congress to stop cutting funds for endangered wildlife and environmental protections, and more.
Send a postcard. If you want to show support on a more individual level, you can also contact people directly involved in conservation work, to let them know you appreciate their efforts and encourage them to continue protecting wildlife. One way you can do this is by sending e-postcards to tiger rangers through the WWF website. Rangers work every day in hazardous conditions to protect tigers from armed poachers. You can thank them for keeping wild tigers safe by sending them a specialized message.
Tweet your support. While you’re sending messages, you can also spread the word about the importance of wildlife conservation to your friends and family. Keep the discussion alive all year long so that people don’t forget about endangered animals once Earth Day ends. "The more that people are aware of the issues and threats that affect wildlife and the planet, the more inclined they are to help!” Bonello says. She encourages people to share their efforts on social media, so that everyone can know what you’re up to and be encouraged to get involved.
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