I’m so thrilled to be joining the Dawn Wildlife team again this year (2016-2017) as an ambassador! Long time readers will recall that I represented Dawn two years ago in spreading the word about the work they do to save wildlife. I traveled to Sausalito, California in the Bay area to learn about the dish soap’s role in helping animals at the Marine Mammal Center.
In case you missed the posts I shared following that experience or if you want a recap, make sure to head back into the archives where I wrote about environmental stewardship, the amazing volunteers at the Marine Mammal Center, and witnessing the release of two sea lions as they made way back into the wild Pacific Ocean.
Throughout the next year or so as an ambassador, I’ll share more stories of Dawn’s role in helping wildlife along with seasonal information about wildlife and animals in general. In honor of World Animal Day occurring this year on Tuesday, October 4th, I decided to compile a bunch of ways that families can get involved to make a difference in the lives of animals. Picking just one of the following 25 ideas will impact animals, whether that’s right in your backyard, throughout your region, or around the world. Some ideas might impact one animal while others will impact millions! Some are life changing decisions and actions, while others might just take a few minutes of your time.
Whatever you decide, I hope you’ll consider celebrating this day along with me! Let me know in an email or comment what you plan to do–I’d love to hear about your commitment and inspiration. Also, if you’d like to pledge your support, visit the World Animal Day website, and make a promise to the animals (it’s free)!
25 Things Families Can Do to Improve the Lives of Animals
- Volunteer at an Animal Shelter. Take dogs for a walk, play fetch, socialize with the kids, or cuddle a rabbit at your local humane society!
- Participate in a clean-up or trash pick in your region. Beaches, creeks, rivers, and wetlands can all benefit from your efforts.
- Visit an aquarium or zoo to learn about animal conservation. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums provides a list of those facilities with accreditation and commitment to conservation. Not all zoos and aquariums are created equal, so be choosy and careful who you support!
- Use less plastic. Drink from a reusable water bottle. Pack lunches in reusable containers.
- Visit the library or bookstore, and pick up a few books about oceans and marine life. See what you can discover!
- Volunteer to stencil storm drains with pollution prevention messages. Motor oil, anti-freeze, detergents, litter, paint, pesticides, and pet waste should stay out of and away from storm drains.
- Cut up plastic 6-pack rings. Animals can become entangled in these rings, and suffer helplessly.
- Take some time to make sure your car is not leaking fluids.
- Walk or ride your bike to work, school, or to do errands when you would normally drive your car.
- Support organic farming.
- Use non-toxic household products (soaps, cleaners, detergents, etc), or learn about how you can incorporate them into your home more. Check the Environmental Working Group’s guide for more information.
- Learn about and buy only sustainable seafood. Visit Seafood Watch (by the Monterey Aquarium) for recommendations.
- Go to an event such as a beach naturalist talk or guided exploration of a natural area in your region.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. They use less energy, reducing your carbon footprint, and will save you money on your energy bill!
- Learn about, and consider composting your yard waste and kitchen scraps. For more information about composting in the US, visit the US Composting Council. Many cities including Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, and New York have (mandated) curbside composting making it very easy to take up this practice.
- Contact the National Marine Fisheries if you see illegal fishing practices or a wild marine animal being mistreated by calling 1-800-853-1964.
- Support legislation that benefits wildlife.
- Adopt a wild animal. There are several organizations that allow to symbolically adopt an animal:
- Organize a fundraiser for your favorite wildlife cause or animal charity.
- Take a walk and admire the wildlife of your region.
- Try going vegan or vegetarian for a day to raise your own awareness.
- Don’t feed wild animals! Yes, that includes ducks and chipmunks.
- Go watch the movie Deepwater Horizon to learn more about how this oil spill impacted wild animals.
- Help raise awareness of World Animal Day by taking a photo with your pet, and posting it on your favorite social media channel & using #WorldAnimalDay!
What will you and your family do celebrate and make a difference in the lives of animals for World Animal Day? I’d love to chat more in the comments! You can learn more about Dawn’s involvement in saving wildlife by visiting their facebook and twitter pages!
This post is sponsored by Dawn dish soap, but all opinions expressed here are my own! I put together this compilation of things families can do to improve the lives of animals through research from the following organizations: National Geographic, Save the Whales, the Seattle Aquarium, the World Animal Foundation, and World Animal Day.
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