At the dawn of Earth’s sixth mass extinction, it is time to become aware of our footprint on the planet. Being responsible for biodiversity is not just for others! How many times have I heard “Yes, but anyway, it does not change anything as everyone does the same…” Yes, well guys, it’s 2018 and the 15,600 endangered animal species in the world are not a myth. Far from me the idea of making you the perfect vegan ecologists with this article. I just wanted to show you six things to do on a daily basis to save wildlife and the planet. Double dare you!
6 easy things you can do to save Wildlife
Palm Oil – the ordeal of Orangutans Plastic Straws- The plague of the oceans
Plastic on the menu for the whales Consume local, the polar bears will thank you
Protect your skin and the corals Clean your house with “clean” products
Palm Oil – The ordeal of Orangutans
On which planet are you living on if you have not heard about the ravages of palm oil on the environment ? This oil is present in many ready-to-eat foods, such as crisps, cookies, brioche or chocolate spread. To produce this oil massively, it is necessary to grow oil palms in gigantic fields. And to find space for its fields, nothing could be better than razing entire tropical forests, particularly in Asia and North America. A real disaster for all these ecosystems whose first victims are Orangutans.
The most blatant example is the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia, the scene of a real mass extinction. According to the figures, the population of orangutans has more than halved since 2000. The researchers estimate that if we continue like this the population will have halved again in 30 years. If orangutans are put forward in the fight against palm oil, they are not the only ones threatened. There are also Sumatran rhinoceros, Sumatran tiger and Borno elephant.
So what can we do?
Well, in addition to saving the orangutans, you will also take care of your butt. We all need to reduce our palm oil consumption by going softly on Nutella, Prinbles, Choccapic, Pepito and other frozen pizzas or nuggets. Of course, it seems impossible to totally stop consuming palm oil, because it is found in a lot of everyday products. But we can make a small gesture, can’t we?
Plastic straw – the plague of the oceans
If for many of us, plastic straws are synonymous with cocktails on a terrace, the reality is quite different. According to the Ocean Conservancy, straw is the fifth most collected waste on beaches. If the plastic straw has a lifetime of 10 minutes in our glass, it takes more than 200 years to disintegrate. The Ocean Conservance even added “Just over the course of last year, we found enough disposable plastic straws to put one in your drink every day for the next 1250 years.” The hardest thing in this story is that plastic straw isn’t a real need and it’s used only once and then thrown away.
Of course, in addition to polluting the oceans, plastic straws have a disastrous effect on animals. You have certainly seen the video of these two biologists removing a 10 cm straw for the nostrils of a sea turtle in Costa Rica. Unsustainable, certainly, but I want to share it for people who have not seen it yet.
So what can we do?
The answer seems simple to me, grab your glass with your hand, put a bit of power in your arm and raise it to your mouth. That’s it, you’ve just helped save the planet! More concretely, no more plastic straw and opt for a recyclable straw or metal straw that can be used many times.
It seems that big brands are starting to move too, since Mc Donald’s announced in June 2018, that they want to stop distributing plastic straws in France!
Plastic on the menu for whales
I talked about plastic straws in particular, but it’s obvious that plastic in general is slowly killing our planet.
June 4, 2018 2 – Thailand : ” A whale dies from eating more than 80 plastic bags “.
April 8, 2018 – Spain : “A sperm whale washed up dead with 29kg of trash in stomach”
February 4, 2017 – Norway : ” A whale runs aground with thirty plastic bags in the stomach”
Plastic waste kills an estimated 1.5 million animals a year and more than 30% of the fish have already ingested plastic. These news are often making the big titles of newspapers or websites and we react like “hoo noooo, it’s sooo sad!!” Yes, but we continue to go shopping with our plastic bags or buy an umpteenth bottle of plastic water, while we have more than 10 unused gourds in our kitchen.
So what can we do?
Well, we consume less plastic and we think about our planet. You’re going to tell me, easier said than done? In fact no, not at all … Here are some examples.
- Stop the plastic bottles and use reusable bottles
- Take a reusable bag to go shopping
- Avoid individual portions and buy at wholesale
- Buy your food in bulk
- Avoid fruits and vegetables cut and packaged
Consume local, polars bears will thank you
I admit it is very shortcut, but it is to give you the idea. In addition to being good for your health and your wallet, consuming locally significantly reduces the food miles and therefore the production of greenhouse gases. this is one of the factors causing global warming and all its misdeeds, such as melting sea ice and consequently, the disappearance of polar bears. Basically, by eating cherries in the middle of winter, you do not help the planet.
Here are two small numbers among many others to illustrate the point:
– a strawberry imported by plane consumes 24 times more CO2 than a locally produces strawberry.
– the average distance of food to arrive in your supermarkets is 2500 kilometers.
So what can we do ?
It’s quite simple, the answer is in the title : we consume locally. Local eating is often synonymous with eating seasonal products. For this, nothing better than a trip to the market? No, more seriously, it is so easy to buy fresh food that is not coming from the other side of the plant. Personally, I really prefer my farm cheese that I buy next door to the chemical cheese (and under plastic!).
Protect your skin and corals
“It is really important to put on sunscreen if you go to the sun, you must protect your skin!”. Yes, but now, sunscreen is a real danger to the oceans. According to the figures, about 5,000 tons of sunscreens are dumped into the ocean each year. As the sunscreen is composed of chemical filters, designed to protect you from the UV, which are responsible for coral bleaching. These particles are benzophenes and aminobenzoates and they boost the spread of a virus affecting algae found with coral. If the algae dies, the coral beaches and dies in turn. This is how the Great Barrier Reef was declared dead after 25 million years of existence. Obviously, sunscreen it not the only one evolved in this ecological disaster, but it plays a role.
The danger is such that, in Hawaii, a law has been voted in May 2018 and bans certain solar protections. An example to follow for many other countries in my humble opinion!
So what can we do ?
Of course, we continue to protect our skin from the sun! We are not going to replace the death of coral reefs with an increase in the rate of skin cancer. If 100% green sun cream does not exist yet, there are still more clean compositions than others. A label has not yet been created in Europe to clear things up, but it must be just a story of time …
Clean up your house with “clean”products
Household products are a real disaster for the environment and animals because they are particularly harmful. Dishwashing, laundry, pesticide… these everyday products have rather a dirty compositions for items that are cleansers. Solvents present in most of them, in addition to being largely harmful to humans, cause pollution of the water. In particular, phosphates cause an excessive growth of algae, a decrease in oxygen in the water and thus the death of living beings.
So what can we do ?
At first, we should reduce our consumption of household products, because we tend to use much more than necessary. Then we opt for natural and ecological products that are increasingly numerous in supermarkets.
Never visit animals in prison
To finish this article, I wanted to talk about a larger topic, but one that is so close to my heart. Animals should never be visited in prison, as this involves encouraging the capture of wild animals. That means, we avoid zoos, marine parks or circuses. The place of a wild animal is in the nature, not in a cage, ready to entertain you. I also wrote an article about the 6 world’s cruellest activities with animals.
I hope I have been able to give you some ideas and information on how your daily life can help! and save the animals of the planet. Feel free to share with me your good habits in the comment!