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5 Ways to Help Planet Earth for Earth Day

It’s Earth Day and we are so thankful for this planet that we get to call home. We rely on the Earth’s water, oxygen, wildlife, climate, and sunlight to survive. The vibrant colors, breathtaking landscapes, melodic songs, and incredible diversity across the globe add joy and enrichment to everyone’s lives.

Sadly, our Home is being heavily used and mistreated, at a rate that is not sustainable for future generations. The turmoil affecting Earth as a whole is also the reason Toucan Rescue Ranch exists; wildlife habitat is disappearing, droughts and forest fires are running rampant, climates are becoming too hot too quickly for wildlife to adapt, cars and roads are taking over wildlife pathways, and fossil fuels and mining enterprises are polluting the air and water sources.

Loss of wildlife and biodiversity upsets delicate ecosystems, which trickle down to affect every living thing.

It can be scary and overwhelming to think of the scale of the climate crisis, and it might feel like nothing we do can make a difference, but that is not true! We can ALL MAKE A DIFFERENCE, and it is amplified with every person who makes an effort. Individuals as a collective can create a great amount of change! So don’t lose hope, there are many ways you can help!

Here are 5 main things you can implement and share these changes in your life and your community starting this Earth Day:

1. Research what your bank stands for and invests in. Many banks use your money to invest in fossil fuels and deforestation. If possible, switch to a bank that shares your same values and isn’t contributing to the climate crisis.

In addition, there are personal investment services that allow you to invest more sustainably. Ellevest, for example, offers an Impact Portfolio option, that invests in public equity portfolios that “prioritize gender equality, racial justice, and climate action”.

These are the World’s largest banks that are increasing and decreasing their fossil fuel financing  

2. Make your home Bird-Safe! Windows are extremely dangerous for bird species all over the world, but you can help reduce fatal collisions by implementing some or all of the changes:

  • Put an outdoor insect screen over your windows and keep any external shutters closed.
  • Place stickers in a grid across the glass, 1.5” apart.
  • Refrain from placing bird feeders near windows. This will only attract birds closer to the glass.-Install Bird-Safe windows! These are manufactured with lots of tiny dots that are visible to birds so they can perceive glass as a barrier to be avoided.

Learn all about this problem and more detailed solutions by listening to this podcast from 99% Invisible

3. Switch to products with less packing and/or more sustainable packaging. Soaps, shampoos, and other detergents tend to come in large plastic bottles. However, these products are available in bars, which have little to no packaging, and there are even laundry sheets that come in one small recycled envelope. They work just as well, are less drippy, take up less space in your home, and are better for the environment!

4. Save water by building daily habits!

  • Don’t let the faucet run unnecessarily while brushing your teeth, washing your hands, or doing dishes. 
  • Fix faucet leaks promptly; don’t procrastinate! You can also install more efficient faucets. 
  • Water plants during the morning or evening, when temperatures are cooler. The plants will lose less moisture to evaporation.
  • Use full loads in your washing machine whenever possible!
  • Set a timer to take shorter showers, even saving one minute a day adds up! Try timing yourself taking a normal shower, then next time set an alarm for one or two minutes shorter.

5. Save energy whenever possible!

  • Install energy-efficient light bulbs! LEDs use up to 90% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
  • Hang up your laundry to dry. It seems most households in the US have an electric dryer, but once you get in the habit of hanging up clothing, it’s really easy and helps your fabrics last longer as well!
  • Remember to unplug and turn off appliances when not in use! We’re looking at you,  TVs, toasters, and microwaves… 
  • Look to install skylights whenever possible! It’s always nice to have natural light, not to mention better for house plants!

About the writer: Emma Covill was born and raised in Montana, United States, and is the marketing and communications intern for Toucan Rescue Ranch. With a background in graphic design and biology, she supports the marketing manager with carrying out the marketing, awareness, and fundraising activities of the rescue center and sanctuary.

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