Things you can do to help the planet

Here's are some ways you can give nature and our wildlife a helping hand.

14th April 2022

The future of our planet depends on how we treat the world around us and the creatures we share it with. It’s not hard to see that we are at a critical point and losing animals and plants at an alarming rate due to deforestation, exploitation, urbanisation and climate change. But together, we can help change this! Everything we do, from the big to the small, can have a positive impact on our environment, help save the planet and protect all the creatures that call it home.

Here's how you can give nature and our wildlife a helping hand.

Reduce your waste

Recycling and reusing as much waste as we can will help reduce the amount of new material that needs to be used. Here are some ideas and small changes that will have a lasting effect on the environment.

  • Use a reusable bottle or cup for drinks on the go
  • Use reusable bags as and when you can
    • Bonus: keep some in your car for those unexpected trips to the shop!
  • Buy or upcycle second hand items from shops, car boots and websites
  • Donate your unused goods that others might love having
  • Start turning your household plastics into Ecobricks

Pick up litter

Between 2020 and 2021 RSPCA received, on average, 10 calls per day about animals injured or caught up in litter, and we can help prevent at least some of these! Why not join a local litter pick or, if out walking your dog, collect and dispose of any rubbish you see as you explore the great outdoors? While it might not seem like much, you never know who or what might have found themselves trapped in what you cleaned up.

Did you know up to 95% of plastic pollution in our oceans starts off as litter in our towns and cities?

Please don’t forget to keep yourself safe while collecting any litter. We recommend using safety gloves, a litter picker and a bag while doing your good deed.

Travel responsibly

Travelling responsibly is one of the most efficient ways of lowering your environmental impact. This means choosing a more sustainable way to get to and from wherever you need to go. So, instead of driving to your favourite dog walking spot, are you able to walk there instead? Or maybe stick to more local routes and head to your special walks as an end of week treat.

Opting to cycle or use public transport wherever you can also helps to cut air pollution and save you money in the long run.

  • Leave the car at home and walk, cycle or use public transport wherever you can.
  • Cut back on flying and try to take the train if travelling around the UK or to Europe.

Watch what you buy

From its journey to your door to the packaging it comes in, everything we buy impacts the planet in one way or another. This is true for the things we eat, the things we wear and everything in between! Luckily, we can change the way we consume in order to be kinder to the Earth.

  • Make a list of ingredients needed for meals and stick to it when you shop. Over one third of all food produced globally goes to waste!
  • Choose products with less packaging, or sustainable packaging, where you can
  • Buy sustainably sourced goods whenever possible
  • Eat as locally and as seasonally as possible
  • Check your cat or dog food ranked by environmental and ethical factors
  • Buy unpackaged food where you can
  • Shop for long-lasting, good quality items
  • Shop with brands that align with your beliefs and green aspirations
  • Buy products, such as clothing or pet products, that use recycled and/or sustainable materials to create them

Donate to charities

Give to charities and projects helping the planet recover or those who work to protect the animals we share it with and the habitats they need to survive. Here at Animal Friends, we are proud to be working alongside some truly inspiring organisations that are fighting to protect vulnerable ecosystems, educate communities and build sustainable solutions to help everyone.

  • Choose a charity and set up a monthly direct debit if you can
  • Donate goods to charity shops so that they can use the money to support their work
  • Buy gifts and products from charity shops so they can repurpose the funds to support more projects
  • Donate anything that might be of use to animal shelters instead of throwing them out
    • Towels
    • Bedding
    • Blanket

Protect green spaces

Green spaces (no matter how small) absorb carbon dioxide, reduce flood risk, provide homes to thousands of important species and have multiple benefits to public health. Here are just some ways you can help create, protect and enjoy the spaces around you.

  • Plant a window box or add plant pots to your outdoor space with nectar-rich flowers
  • If you have a garden, try to include a variety of plants to help support different kinds of wildlife
  • Ever made a seed bomb? Check out how with the Wildlife Trust
  • Let a part of your garden grow wild if you can
  • Volunteer to look after a green space near you
  • Pay to plant a tree to help breathe life into the world
  • Care for the wildlife that visits your space by:
    • Build building a hedgehog home
    • Put up a bird box
    • Put up a bee or bug hotel
    • Avoid using harsh chemicals (this can benefit your pet, too!)
    • Peg your pet’s hair to the washing line after grooming for birds to nest with
  • Pick up after your dog with compostable bags and dispose of these correctly.

Did you know? Animal Friends has donated £50,000 to The Tree Council to help enable the planting of up to 3,333 trees or metres of hedgerow to help wildlife thrive across the country.

Make your voice heard

Conversations are a great way to spread big ideas and you never know who might end up listening! Talk to your family, friends, and colleagues about any changes you’ve made and why you’ve made them. But don’t stop there, talk to those with the power to make a change. That includes local businesses, big corporations and your local council, MP or school. If you’re really passionate, join a social movement or find a campaign that focuses on climate change action. These groups can also be really good for tips on even more changes you can make to help benefit the planet.

 

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