If you care about animals, you should care about the environment. To live and be healthy, animals need a healthy environment. And that's one major reason why The Humane Society of the United States celebrates Earth Day.
Today, as you celebrate Earth Day and explore the many ways to lessen your impact on the planet, consider these actions to help animals and the environment.
- Share our "Don't Trash Wildlife" flyer (PDF) with friends, family and neighbors, which shows how to recycle or dispose of trash that can harm animals.
- If Buffalo Exchange has a resale clothing store in your area, drop off fur items for donation to Coats for Cubs, then shop at their Dollar Day Sale (April 24 at most locations) to benefit the Don't Trash Wildlife program and The HSUS's three wildlife care centers that rescue and rehabilitate wild animals.
- Ask Congress to pass the International Whale Conservation and Protection Act. Today The HSUS, Humane Society International and many local supporters are joining with partner organizations at a rally for whales on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., asking President Obama to reject a proposal that would reverse the ban on commercial whaling and undermine conservation efforts. But you can also take action remotely by asking your senators and representative to support whale protections.
- Be a conscious eater -- thinking about how your food choices affect animals and the environment. Start by practicing the Three Rs -- refining your food choices by wringing out the worst cruelty and not purchasing animal products from factory farms, reducing total consumption of meat (Americans eat more than 200 pounds of it annually, and even a small reduction will help animals and the environment), and replace animal products with plant-based foods where appropriate.
- Save a trip to the store by making your own pet treats (we've posted recipes for dogs, cats and birds). And you can easily repurpose many household items to make great toys for cats.
- Review our advice for making your backyard more welcoming to wildlife and keeping peace with your wild neighbors. Youth can participate in our Shoot to Save Wildlife project of Humane Society Youth, raising awareness about wild animals in the community and how to live peacefully with them.
- Bookmark our tips for how to help injured or orphaned animals.
- Make it official that your space (no matter how small) is a sanctuary for animals, either by joining our Urban Wildlife Sanctuary program or protecting your land through our Wildlife Land Trust. Or become a volunteer sanctuary monitor.
- See the new Disneynature documentary Oceans, which opens in theaters today, and sign the pledge to do your part to help save our oceans.
P.S. A reminder. You can watch the 24th annual Genesis Awards on Animal Planet on April 24 at noon ET/PT or April 25 at 1:00 p.m. ET/PT and celebrate the major media and celebrities who are raising awareness of animal protection and environmental issues. This HSUS production will lift your spirits, and give you a primer on the major animal issues of the day.
This post originally appeared on Pacelle's blog, A Humane Nation.