Hey there everyone!!
Happy March!! Two months down already, and it feels like I was doubting my new year’s eve resolutions just yesterday. I hope everyone has had a good start to this month?
Anywho, my ongoing challenge to tackle a new sustainability or eco-friendly goal for every month of this year means that it’s time to tackle March’s challenge. Now I puzzled and puzzled about what goal I was going to choose because obviously, there are a few things that I need to take into consideration. Being at home instead of a university means that when it comes to all things food/energy/water-related, I need to take my whole family into consideration, making a lot of the challenges I want to do a lot harder. So, depending on how the pandemic continues to play out and when I’ll get back to university, that will determine whether I can take on these challenges myself or whether I’ll have the Herculean task of getting my entire family to try and get on board too.
I was doing some research to help me decide which eco-friendly goal I wanted to pursue next when I realised that the 3rd of March is World Wildlife Day, so what better topic for me to blog about today than to choose something wildlife-related as my goal for the month?
Now last month, Pitching plastic, was relatively easy in terms of there are definitive things you can do to reduce plastic consumption, such as avoiding single-use plastic products, using your own reusable bottles or travel mugs, so while it can be quite hard to implement that into your lifestyle, it is an easier challenge because you know exactly what to do. Use less plastic, right?
For this month, though, to achieve my goal is slightly more complicated because supporting wildlife and biological diversity is a lot harder!! I mean, if I had superpowers, I would try and suck up all the greenhouse gases and CO2 emissions that are heating the planet and melting the ice caps so I can save the polar bears. Or somehow fish all the plastic out of the oceans, or put a protective bubble over all the remaining wildlife habitats that are being destroyed by human activity such as the Amazon, the Congo rainforest, coral reefs and all those other beautiful, natural wonders that are home to our world’s phenomenal creatures. Sadly, I don’t think that will happen anytime soon (although a few hundred more chicken wishbones, four-leaf clovers and shooting stars might do the trick….), so I’ve had to be a little more creative.
Nature walks where possible
Sadly, Johannesburg isn’t exactly the best place for walking because it’s not safe but also just so impractical. I mean, to get to my closest grocery store is 3km away, and I have to cross two major roads (as in 3-4 lanes worth of cars) to get there… However, I can walk around my street, in my garden and at the one or two parks between my boyfriend’s house and mine. Just taking the time out to appreciate nature, even if it’s only in small doses that are available to you, is a great start, so I plan to do at least a short nature walk at least three times a week.
Visit a national park
Whilst walking is a lot harder living in South Africa, visiting National Parks is a hell of a lot easier because we have loads and they aren’t too far to get to. My boyfriend and I love going to the bush (South African slang for safari/national parks/game reserves), so we try to go out whenever we can, and my parents do too. Visiting a national park is also a great way to support wildlife conservation because the entrance fees go towards maintaining fences and supporting anti-poaching units, so not only do you get to see and appreciate wild animals in their natural habitats, living life free as they should, but you’re also helping to ensure that their protected habitat stays safe. In fact, once my university term ends, my family, boyfriend and I are going to the Kruger National park, for a few days with my parents, a week or so with just my boyfriend, then my parents and brother will join again.
Honestly, national parks are amazing because they help open your eyes and appreciate how truly magical wildlife is and how they can flourish if their habitats are protected, so honestly, if I could do anything, I would triple the number of national parks in the world so that people have more chance to see these animals, but in their natural habitats that are protected from human harm.
Be a baby activist
It can be hard to be an activist when it comes to wildlife conservation, or the climate crisis or anything for that matter and covid certainly hasn’t helped. I mean, I’m definitely not David Attenborough or Greta Thunberg. However, there are ways that we can all become baby activists in our own way. For instance, committing to never buying that encourage illegal trade of wildlife parts or have anything to do with unethical wildlife practices. Another thing to do is to use your platforms to make a difference. Sign petitions where you can, use your social media to share campaigns or just your thoughts about wanting to make a difference. You could even take pictures of your nature walks or trips to the national park to show how beautiful the natural world and how vital wildlife conservation is. This month I’m hoping to do as much of this as possible. Even though I’m awful with social media, I’m at least going to do what I can to sign petitions and share things here.
Litter is a killer to all wildlife, no matter where in the world—the beach, rivers, national parks, regular parks or even in your neighbourhood. Somewhere, a wild animal could mistake it as food and swallow it and die, or end up getting trapped in it and injured, or worse. I’m thus making a vow to pick up litter wherever I see it, particularly in places that could have wildlife, such as parks. I will definitely be getting some gloves (or a more eco-friendly option? Tongs?) to keep in my bag and car, and I encourage all of you to do the same thing.
Donate (to the right place)
Lastly, an easy way to help is to donate to wildlife conservation efforts because your money can genuinely help to protect not only animals but their habitats as well. Yes, our small actions like picking up litter and signing petitions are still important, but donating also helps to give people with a bit more power the support to do things that maybe you can’t. However, just make sure to do your research and donate to the right places, as some organisations may not give the money to the places they’re promising. The one site that I always contribute to is WWF, which you can check out here, but there are plenty of other options depending on what your passions or interests are.
And so there you have it! This month’s challenge is definitely a little more abstract than last month’s, but wildlife conservation is something I am incredibly passionate about and today just felt like the perfect day to take on this challenge! I encourage you all to also join in this challenge where you can, and if you have any ideas of ways or things I can add to my wildlife month challenge, please don’t hesitate to pop me a message in the comments. I’m sorry I’ve been so slow at replying but don’t worry, I will get to them, I promise!
Have a fantastic wildlife month, everyone – together, we can definitely save the polar bears (and all the other animals and their homes that are under threat).
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx