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Actions Ideas to Save the Planet

1. Use reusable bags (save sea turtles)

A plastic bag can take from 15 to 1,000 years to break down, depending on the environment. An estimated one million birds, 100,000 turtles, and countless other sea animals die each year from eating plastic. The animals confuse floating plastic bags for jellyfish. Other animals drown after becoming tangled in plastic waste. 

2. Turn off the sink when you brush your teeth (save mountain yellow legged frogs)

This can save 5 gallons of water a day.

3. Choose refillable water bottles

17 million million barrels of oil are used every year to make disposable plastic bottles. 40 billion plastic bottles per year end-up in landfills, and can take 450 years to decompose. Some water companies drain aquifers and wells to fill water bottles, destroying wetlands and rivers.

4. When the buying stops the killing stops (save elephants, rhinos, tigers, bonobos, turtles and more)

Never buy or accept jewelry or products made from any wild animals, including marine animals. This includes shells and coral. More than 35,000 African Elephants were killed last year for their ivory. Only 3 Southern White Rhinos remain in the world. Only 400 Sumatran tigers remain. In our lifetime, 50% of all species could disappear. 

5. Use reusable containers for lunch

If you take a disposable lunch to school every day, you are creating 67 pounds of garbage a year!

6. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs

They use 75% less energy.

7. Eat less meat

Farm animals emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, and raising animals for food requires many times more land and water than growing food crops. Every time you sit down to a plant-based meal instead of an animal-based meal, you save about 280 gallons of water and protect anywhere from 12 to 50 square feet of land from deforestation, overgrazing, and pesticide and fertilizer pollution.

8. Eat locally grown food whenever possible (support a farmer and reduce pollution)

The average meal travels a long way to get to your plate - 1500 miles, but there are lots of foods grown close by. Eating local supports farmers and businesses in your own community as well as reduces the amount of fuel, air pollution and greenhouse gas required to move the food you eat from the farm to your table.

9. Plant a garden

10. Use cloth napkins or only one napkin when needed (save a tree)

Napkins contribute to the destruction of 34 million trees per year.

11. Choose products without palm oil (save orangutans)

Look at the ingredients of cereals, cereal bars and other products and don’t buy them if they contain palm oil. Over 50,000 orangutans have died as a result of deforestation due to palm oil in the last two decades along with countless other species. 

12. Compost your garbage

Over 60% of solid household waste is fit for the compost pile, heap or bin. Use compost for the garden.

13. Power down

Making little changes in the way we live can go a long way to reducing energy use—and carbon emissions. Try drying laundry on a clothesline or rack instead of in the dryer. Walk, bike, take the bus, or carpool to work or school. Turn off lights when you do not need them. 

14. Trim Down Trash

Remember that trash we "throw away" doesn't disappear. Garbage, especially plastic, is a major hazard for marine animals. Sea birds, turtles, seals, and other animals can mistake floating plastic for food or become tangled in it and die. Help prevent this by decreasing your family's throwaway habits.

15. Use filtered water rather than bottled water

16. Install a rain barrel to water your flowers and garden

17. Make your toilets low flow

Place a few containers with water in the toilet tank and it will use less water when you flush! 

18. Limit showers to 5 minutes

19. Install low water shower heads

20. Ditch the disposable lifestyle

Make a point to use reusable bags, beverage cups, and food containers. When you must use disposable items, reuse or recycle them whenever possible.

21. Never litter

Participate in beach or waterway clean ups to help stop the flow of trash into rivers and the ocean.

22. Be Water Wise (save ocean life)

All water on Earth is connected. Even if you don't live near the coast, water that goes down your drain or runs off from your yard can eventually make its way into the ocean. The Mississippi River, for example, is like a giant funnel collecting water from thousands of smaller rivers and streams. It drains 41 percent of the continental U.S. into the Gulf of Mexico. Because of run-off from farms and fields, the Gulf now experiences large annual dead zones, or areas with so little oxygen that sea life cannot survive there. You can help keep the ocean—and other waterways—healthy by reducing your family's use of chemicals inside and out.

23. Use as little fertilizer as possible (save clams)

Fertilizers (including manure) add nutrients to the soil and water that can be carried downstream or down the drains to the ocean when it rains. Extra nutrients can cause harmful algae blooms that disrupt the ocean's natural balance. Try to grow plants suited to the local natural conditions. They will grow with fewer chemicals.

24. Be Fish Friendly (save bluefin tuna)

Scientists estimate up to 90 percent of large predatory fish (those that eat other animals—and usually end up on our dinner plates) have disappeared since humans began commercial fishing. Marine animals are also caught and sold for aquariums and as souvenirs. Download a sustainable seafood guide to better understand what seafood is ok to eat. 

25. Learn more and share your knowledge

Research endangered species and pick at least one to protect. Then let everyone know how they can help. Together, we can do great things.

26. Do not eat frog legs (save frogs)

The frog leg industry is not regulated, and it has a huge negative impact on the wild population of frogs. 

27. Never release pets to the wild (save local frogs)

Snakes, frogs, fish, ferrets, guinea pigs, and others that don't belong can crowd out the local animals and disrupt the ecosystem.

28. Keep trash away from crows and ravens (save terns and plovers)

If you’re going to the beach (or anywhere in general) don’t leave out trash. Crows and ravens love to eat trash and their populations are out of control. Too many crows and ravens result in the death of birds like terns and plovers, as well as other species. They can also negatively effect burrowing owl reproduction. Crows and ravens are scavengers and extra food just increases their population, so don’t litter. 

29. Never release balloons into the sky (save a dolphin)

Balloons pop and fall as trash over oceans and land, and are eaten by all kinds of animals like dolphins, sea turtles, and eagles. Animals also become tangled in balloon strings, resulting in their death. 

30. Don’t kill ground squirrels (save a burrowing owl)

Ground squirrels play an important role in helping species like burrowing owls, which are endangered. Ground squirrel numbers are decreasing. 

31. Keep cats inside (save birds and lizards) 

Cats are one of the top threats to US wildlife, killing billions of animals each year, a study suggests. The authors estimate they are responsible for the deaths of between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually.

32. Add stickers to your windows (save migrating birds)

Bird collisions against windows are common. If birds have flown into your window, put-up a sticker or turn-off lights at night to help birds see better. If you live in a condo or apartment high rise, this is especially important. 

33. Vote

Support elected officials and policies that support conservation issues you care about. If you are too young to vote, get your parents to vote.

34. Respect all living things

35. Plant native species

36. Plant milkweed (save monarch butterflies) 

37. Be pet store savvy  (save turtles)

If you must buy a turtle or tortoise from a pet store, make sure it is captive bred. Do not support the pet trade of any wild animals. Even better, skip the pet store and adopt one from a rescue organization in your area. 

38. Start a school or home aquaponics system (save a river)

The conversion of forests into farmland is the primary cause of deforestation and habitat loss worldwide. In addition, inefficient farming practices drain water supplies and pollute the environment with toxic chemicals. In efforts to maintain nutrient rich soil, farms have to use a lot of fertilizers, those excess fertilizers eventually make it the rivers, where there are countless harmful side effects. Counteract this effect through utilizing aquaponics as a sustainable farming method. Find out more information about how to bring aquaponics to your school by clicking here.

39. Do not use poison to kill rodents (save foxes, hawks, owls and more)

Use traps if needed. Poison not only kills the rodent but all of the animals that eat the dead or dying rodent.