Ideas for Action: Conservation Starts with You!

Ideas for Action: Conservation Starts with You!

You can take action in your daily life to make a positive impact for your local environment and the wildlife that calls it home.


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Ecology, Conservation, Geography

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National Geographic Explorers like Joel Sartore are working to help protect at-risk animals. You can also make a difference through one or more of the ideas described below to protect our planet’s species and ecosystems. And at each step, incorporate your own ideas and perspective to share your unique voice for the species you care about.

Act at Home
Create new habitats: Discover the native species that need protection in your neighborhood or backyard. Depending on where you live, you might realize that pollinators (like butterflies, bats, or native bees) or other animals are facing habitat loss. Once you identify the kind of wildlife you’d like to support, learn how to plant, restore, or sustain the environment they need. You could plant pollinator gardens, build bee houses or bat boxes, or take other steps to expand and sustain essential habitats for your local species.
Keep your local ecosystems pristine: One of the most preventable human impacts on ecosystems is pollution. It’s important to keep trash out of both land and water ecosystems. You can protect animals from eating harmful substances or getting trapped in trash by picking up litter on your own or in community clean-up efforts.

Act Locally
Raise awareness about the importance of conservation: Start a club at your school or in your local community. Work together with your peers and others to educate your community about the importance of wildlife conservation. As a young person, use your unique perspectives and creativity to inspire others to take action to protect wildlife.
Contribute to conservation efforts: Roll up your sleeves and help restore habitats by joining a group of volunteers in your area to remove invasive plants, plant native species, restore streams, or build trails. Explore opportunities with local and national parks, conservation organizations, regional and government agencies, and community groups. Find out what’s happening and sign up to pitch in.
Volunteer with wildlife organizations: Many zoos, aquariums, and wildlife rescue organizations rely on volunteers. If you prefer to work behind the scenes, you can volunteer to feed animals or provide backend website support. If you’re a people person, you can engage with visitors to inspire them to learn, care, and act. Either way, your effort will provide invaluable support to organizations committed to conservation.
Act Vocally and Visually
Be a voice for change: Work on your own or bring a team together to raise awareness, share stories, or inspire solutions. If you’re motivated by a deadline, get ready for the next Slingshot Challenge from National Geographic. Get ideas for how you can be an ambassador for endangered or threatened wildlife from other young people, such as previous Slingshot award recipients.
Raise awareness through art: Just as Joel Sartore photographs endangered animals to give them a voice, you can too! Grab your camera—or digital tools, paint, pencils, clay, even plastic litter—and find your own unique way to open hearts and minds in your community. There are many ideas to get your creativity flowing, but one starting place includes learning how and why Joel Sartore created the Photo Ark. Remember to promote conservation art projects that inspire you by linking to them, talking about them, and displaying their artistic messages.
Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Corinne Rucker, National Geographic Society
Sara Nachtigal, Ph.D., Educurious
Hanna Jaramillo, M.S. Ed., Educurious
Latia White, Ed.D., Inclusive Innovation Researcher, Global Inclusive Learning Design Reviewer
Rights Clearance
Jean Cantu, National Geographic Society
Production Managers
Margot Willis, National Geographic Society
Patrick Cavanagh, National Geographic Society
Clint Parks
Last Updated

July 10, 2024

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