Celebrate National Earth Day by Helping Animals
Earth Day is a great opportunity to learn and to teach others about taking care of the planet and making choices that will help the environment and the animals that live here!
In 1970, the first Earth Day was created by using the energy of the anti-war protest movement in order to make environmental concerns a priority. The holiday was founded by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin after he saw the huge oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans rallied for a healthy, sustainable environment, protesting oil spills, toxic dumps, pesticides, and many other environmentally harmful factors. The protestors’ efforts worked, as the first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Then, in 1990, Earth Day reached people globally- more than 200 million people in 141 countries got together to fight for the environment.
What You Can Do This Earth Day
- Organize a cleanup party for your local lake, stream, or beach. By picking up trash and other debris, you can help keep the water clean and free of pollution. Picking up the trash can also prevent animals that live in the water from getting hurt, such as a turtle’s neck getting stuck in plastic rings from a 6-pack.
- Spring means that it is time to start mowing your lawn. Before you mow, look carefully for squirrel and rabbit nests that may not otherwise be visible! The babies stay in the nests for several weeks until they can fend for themselves.
- Instead of using harsh chemicals, try an eco-friendly animal repellent. These repellents will deter wildlife from eating your plants or garden and will protect the environment.
- Plant native flowers in your yard to help feed declining honey bee populations and promote pollination. Additionally, flowers and vegetation provide a habitat for wildlife. Find your state flower here for fun!
- Switch from plastic bags to reusable bags in order to help protect marine life. Sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and eat them. Eating plastic bags can either kill turtles or cause serious health issues.
- Learn about endangered animals including bees, whales, elephants, and giraffes. It is our responsibility to protect wildlife! Find out more about endangered species here.
- Visit a national wildlife refuge or animal sanctuary. These protected lands provide a habitat for many species, and animal sanctuaries rehabilitate animals that cannot always be released back into the wild. You can often donate to these organizations if you wish to do so!
- Create a sustainable backyard. Plant trees, create compost or plant an organic garden without using harsh chemicals.