Did you know our spokesanimal Zen is a Grevy’s zebra? Grevy’s zebras are among the most endangered species of zebra, and their population continues to decline due to hunting and loss of habitat. At Zebra Pen, we believe that animals make our world colorful. We’re committed to doing our part to help save endangered species and ensure that animals continue to flourish for generations to come. This year, we are partnering with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE). The AZA SAFE program’s mission is to keep endangered species safe by increasing conservation action, engaging the public and spreading awareness. Here are 10 simple things you can do to help save animals and their habitats.

1. Visit a Zoo & Aquarium

Visiting AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are great opportunities to learn about animals and their habitats. Zoos and aquariums provide a variety of experiences and interactive sessions designed to help visitors of all ages learn about animals. Teaching children about the importance of saving species early on is great way to foster a lifelong love of animals. The AZA believes in creating a better future for animals and wildlife, and it all begins with education. Visit AZA’s website to locate an accredited zoo or aquarium near you.

2. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Make an effort to reduce your use of disposable plastic products including straws, coffee cups, and more, as these items can end up in our oceans, threatening wildlife that live there. Plastic products negatively impact the lives of marine animals and can lead to death if ingested by animals. Invest in metal straws, reusable water bottles, reusable grocery bags and containers to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in oceans or landfills. Also, make sure you are actively recycling the plastic products you do use.

3. Turn off your Lights!

Something as little as remembering to turn off the lights as you leave an unused room in your house can lower your carbon footprint substantially! Much of our electricity still comes from fossil fuel power stations, and lowering your electricity consumption means less destructive particles in the air. Everything on earth is connected in some way, and conserving energy in your home can lead to a greater chain reaction.

4. Make a Donation

Making a small donation to organizations that actively advocate for endangered animals and help protect their habitats is a great way do your part to help save species. Thanks to the AZA, many species have the opportunity to thrive under the care of wildlife experts. Experts also can learn and research these species firsthand, gaining a better understanding of how to protect and their habitats. Donate to AZA/SAFE (insert link to donation page) to make your own impact and encourage friends and family to make a donation as well.

5. Volunteer

Volunteer your time to protect the important wildlife in your community. Get together with friends and visit parks, local zoos and aquariums and wildlife sanctuaries to pick up litter, help organize events, and more. Many zoos and aquariums have volunteer programs allowing for participation in conservation events, educational programs, professional services and more.

6. Be an Informed Consumer

Many endangered animals are threatened by illegal wildlife trafficking. When shopping or traveling, you may come in contact with items that are or could be made from animals, like ivory, turtle shells, and furs. By learning more about the wildlife trade, you can make informed decisions about animal products that may have a negative impact on species.

7. Reduce Animal Product Consumption

One action that has a big impact on the preservation of the environment and endangered species is to reduce your consumption of animal food products. The animal farming industry is the number one cause of water consumption, pollution, and deforestation. Livestock has a higher greenhouse effect on the atmosphere than fossil fuel consumption. The farming industry is the main cause of rainforest deforestation, soil erosion, habitat loss, species endangerment and dead zones in the oceans. Enormous amounts of food, water, energy, and land are required to raise animals for food. By choosing to lower your animal-based food consumption, you’re directly making a significant impact.

8. Limit use of Toxic Chemicals

Try to limit your household use toxic herbicides or pesticides. Certain herbicides and pesticides are horrible pollutants that cause severe damage to the environment. Find alternative ways to keep your lawn and garden beautiful without polluting the local environment and having a negative impact on the wildlife in your area.

9. Advocate for Action

Try joining different volunteer and activist groups and make educated purchases by buying products from cruelty-free companies. Volunteer at local animal shelters and attend fundraising events that will directly benefit local and global animal conservation efforts. Learn about different laws and legislation put in place to protect animals and habitats, and you’re your support by calling your local government. When it comes to mobilizing to help save animals, the possibilities are endless.

10. Share Information to Spread Awareness

Share this post and other related articles in order to spread the word about actions that can be taken to help save wildlife. We all share the same planet, and we can all do our part to make it a better place to live for all living creatures. Animals don’t have a voice, so it’s up to us to speak for them.