We typically use this Wildlife Wednesday series as a forum to inspire our readers to care about animals and the conservation efforts we lead and support to save animals from extinction. Sadly, many of these animals are in danger because of the actions of humans around the world.

Did you know, for example, that sea turtles have been around for more than 100 million years, and it’s only within the last 100 years that their numbers have dropped dramatically?

The good news is that while humans may have helped create this crisis, we also can take action to turn things around to save both animals and our environment.

It’s Earth Month, so it’s the perfect time to take action! Across Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, our cast members take part in festivities all month long, to celebrate an annual tradition that recognizes our company’s longstanding commitment to conserve resources and protect nature.

Wild Africa Trek Cast Members Recycle Soft Plastic, Keeping Waste Out of Landfills and Protecting Our Planet.

Here are a few small actions you can take to help animals in your own backyard and around the world, while helping protect the planet for future generations.

  • Support fishing practices that are safer for sea turtles, sharks and rays by choosing sustainable seafood options.
  • If you live near a beach, turn off your lights when you don’t need them. Artificial light sources can disrupt sea turtle nesting. Even if you don’t live near sea turtle nesting grounds, saving electricity is a smart practice that helps conserve natural resources like coal and gas.
  • Use paper responsibly. Paper products are made of pulp from forest trees that wildlife need to survive. Choose recycled content and/or sustainably certified paper products, and reduce the amount of items you print and copy by going electronic.
  • Reduce waste in your own backyard by recycling cans, paper and plastics and choose reusable products to use in your everyday lives instead of disposable ones.
  • Saying no thank you to plastic bags and carrying a reusable bag instead is a great way to reduce waste and lessen impacts on your local ecosystem.
  • Build a backyard habitat for animals out of existing items. You can make pots out of repurposed materials, and then plant native flowers that attract butterflies.

Thank you for caring enough about nature to make those small changes.