What Is World Wildlife Day?
In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly declared 3 March World Wildlife Day. An annual celebration, this global event celebrates the Earth’s vast biodiversity. However, it simultaneously seeks to educate people about endangered plant and animal species, with the aim of reducing wildlife crime, human carbon emissions and exploitation of natural habitats for industry.
The theme for World Wildlife Day 2020 is “Sustaining all life of Earth”. This theme is especially pertinent as it examines the natural symbiosis between plant life, animals and humans, which has been tipped out of balance due to over farming, deforestation and poaching.
This World Wildlife Day seeks to highlight the drastic need to restore this balance to ensure our continued survival on Earth. The initiative intends to speak directly to the communities who live closest to the world’s most diverse biomes, thus opening discussions on threats these areas are facing and the urgent need for governments, civil society, the private sector and individuals to take actions to help conserve wildlife and ensure its continued sustainability.
Play Your Part
The smallest of actions can go a long way towards sustaining all life on Earth. This World Wildlife Day, do your bit by getting involved in one or more initiatives in your community. Here are a few unique ways you can celebrate the day with your friends, family and greater community:
- Get to know the animal and plant species under threat where you live, in your area or country. Find out more on the threats and challenges they and their habitats face, and what can be done to conserve them. Of course, in South Africa, we know that white and black rhino are under continual threat from poachers. To join the fight against rhino poaching and other wildlife threats in SA, visit the WWF SA website.
- Get a tattoo! What better way to campaign for wildlife conservation than by permanently inking an endangered species on your skin? Brave the needle this World Wildlife Day and become an ambassador for conservation. Check out our list of the best tattoo parlours in Joburg here.
- Visit your local botanical garden or wildlife reserve and encourage them to celebrate the day with you! Luckily, Joburg has a few nature reserves just on its borders for you to visit on the day.
- Spread the word on social media: share your thoughts and upload a picture of yourself and those closest to you using the hashtags for this year’s celebration: #WorldWildlifeDay #WWD2020 #SustainingAllLife #Biodiversity2020 #SustainableUse. And do follow the official Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts of World Wildlife Day.
Commit to sustainable living this World Wildlife Day and make it your motto to #DoOneThingToday for the rest of 2020. Let this be the start of 364 more days of personal activism and continual change. The smallest tweaks to your everyday life can make the biggest impact.
One of the greatest ways to make a change is by becoming a responsible consumer. Whether this means eliminating the use of single-use plastics in your home, recycling your waste or transforming your garden into a water-wise ecosystem.
This World Wildlife Day, we also encourage you to become conscious about where your clothing comes from. The fashion industry is one of the most destructive forces against natural habitats, often guilty of polluting rivers with harmful chemicals, over farming and exploiting vulnerable communities for cheap labour. Here’s how you can begin making changes to the way in which you consume fashion:
Better Cotton Initiative
Check your clothing for the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) stamp of approval. This worldwide initiative is working to “make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future“. You can get your own BCI approved wardrobe staples at Woolworths fashion stores. Woolies committed to BCI standards in 2017 and have since been steadily investing in lessening the harsh impacts of their manufacturing processes on the environment.
Cotton On also recently launched their own BCI basics range of tees and denims, helping you look your very best while feeling comfortable and making a difference.
All about keeping it local? Invest in a few choice pieces from one of these local sustainable fashion brands, for everything from work wardrobe staples, to active wear and formal menswear.
Giving Back For Good
Have you ever heard of the term ‘capsule closet’? A wardrobe that holds only the bare minimum – devoid of items that you rarely wear or are saving for that “special occasion”. This minimalist hack is an ideal way to clear your wardrobe of clutter and unnecessary waste, creating a clearer head space for yourself and helping to give back to those in need. Once your closet has been striped to its skeleton, donate your pre-loved clothes to these deserving NPOs this World Wildlife Day.
Alternatively, you can ditch fast fashion fads by going on a thrifting journey through Johannesburg. Not only will you save precious pennies, but you will be contributing to the fight against biodiversity loss, both on land and in the sea. Plus, thrift stores often stock one-of-a-kind pieces sure to help you stand out from the crowd.
Take your sustainable living commitment to the next level this World Wildlife Day by visiting the WWF SA online store. They stock a wide variety of men’s, women’s and children’s jackets and t-shirts made from sustainable cotton and recycled materials. Kit the whole family out in cute WWF SA panda tees and show your support for their wildlife conservation efforts. The WWF SA gift store also features a number of nifty items to help you along the way towards sustainable living. From re-usable coffee cups, to silistraws, tote shopping bags, thermal flasks and children’s toys, they have all you need to become an urban eco-warrior.
Well, there you have it! All the ways that you can contribute to a better, cleaner and greener environment this World Wildlife Day. If you have any other suggestions on how to contribute to this initiative, let us know about them!