Drill holes in some wood and put it outside. Good job — you just helped save the bees.
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Disneynature's Born In China

You know what's great? Animals.

This is not new information, I know. But in case you need a reminder...

Exhibit A: A baby seal making an entrance.


Exhibit B: This slow loris needs you to just give him a minute, please.

Exhibit C: A hedgehog enjoying bath or stuck upside down but either way is adorable.

Exhibit D: LOOK AT THIS PANDA'S TONGUE.

And Exhibit E: in which this baby bat is me, all the time, always.

See? You'd forgotten how great animals were, hadn't you?

There are some animals who need our help, though.

As the environment comes under increasing threat of harm, so do the animals that live in it. The good news is, there's a lot we can do right in our hometowns.

Here are 25 easy things you can do to get started on your path to becoming a wildlife warrior.

1. Create or restore your backyard wildlife habitat.

Find out what species live in your area, then add places for them to eat, drink, and sleep in your backyard.

2. And once you've done that, set up another one wherever you work!

3. Build a bee house.

Bees don't need much to make a home — just a cozy hole in some wood. Drill holes in your spare lumber and scatter them around your yard to give them someplace to live.

Image via iStock.

4. Start composting your waste.

It helps keep the soil rich, which in turn makes sure animals' natural plant food is happy and healthy! (Plus it cuts down on garbage waste.)

If soil had a mouth, it would be watering. Photo via elbrozzie/Flickr.

5. Learn how (and why) to shop for local, sustainable produce.

Non-locally sourced food uses up a lot of resources traveling to the grocery store. It's a lot better for the environment (and the animals that live in it) to shop locally, buying only what's in season.

6. If you live near a bat population, build an easy bat house to give them a place to rest.

Bringing a bat colony to your backyard will also cut down on the amount of mosquitoes hanging around. Bonus! Image via iStock.

7. Take this World Wildlife Fund pledge.

By doing so, you'll be committing to raise your voice in support of various environmental efforts around the world — and the WWF will help you find out where your efforts are most needed.

8. And apply to become a panda ambassador!

If you're feeling ambitious, apply to work in partnership with the WWF in your community.

9. Make a butterfly feeder, then put it near a window so you can admire its visitors!

10. Avoid buying products with microplastics, like face scrubs with plastic beads.

Tiny plastics might seem harmless, but they pollute the environment with chemicals and are dangerous to animals that swallow them.

11. Join the Endangered Species Coalition's activist network.

12. If you have large glass windows or doors, buy decals to prevent birds from colliding with them.

13. Learn how to care for your lawn and garden without using herbicides or pesticides.

It's actually not that hard. Undiluted white vinegar is an alternative to weed killer, and you can spread corn gluten in the spring to solve problems like dandelions and crabgrass.

14. Disinfect your birdbath to prevent the spread of disease.

15. Plant native, bee-friendly flowers in your yard.

Flowers like lavender, white clover, and goldenrod — just to name a few — provide our fragile bee population with homes to pollinate and populate. (Just make sure you're not introducing plant species that aren't native to your area.)

16. Buying souvenirs? Make sure they're not made from threatened or endangered species, like ivory or coral.

Image via iStock.

17. Participate in Clean Ocean Action's annual Beach Sweeps (or go out and do your own sweep whenever you're in the mood).

Clean Ocean Action's annual event not only serves to clean up beaches, it also provides scientists with data on pollution patterns that help them design solutions for the future.

18. Always cut up your six-pack soda rings before recycling them, and never let balloons loose outside.

Releasing balloons can seem like a cool idea, but it's devastating to nature. Balloons and bags that end up in the ocean create a hazard to turtles and other sea animals that mistake them for tasty jellyfish.

Image via iStock.

19. Avoid buying single-use items, like coffee pods, plastic water bottles, and disposable utensils.

Even if they're recyclable, it's still better for the Earth to get the permanent version and wash it between uses. The plastics in single-use items put harmful chemicals into animal environments, and it takes valuable resources (like pollutive fossil fuels) to melt them down and recycle them.

20. Build a frog pond in your backyard.

Image via iStock.

21. Sponsor an animal at your local zoo or through the World Wildlife Fund.

22. Find out what bills are currently being proposed to protect America's wild animals, then call your congressional representatives and ask them to support them.

23. Conserve water and electricity in your house by taking shorter showers, turning off electronics, and buying energy-efficient appliances.

Keeping our carbon footprint small helps slow climate change, which causes harm to animals that need a cold climate to live.

24. Only buy MSC-certified fish.

Certain populations are susceptible to overfishing, so make sure you're eating the right ones. There are over 20,000 certified sustainable seafoods to choose from with the Marine Stewardship Council, so it shouldn't be too hard.

Image via iStock.

25. Above all, stay informed.

The best way to help any animal species is to do research, get the facts, and find out more about how to get involved with organizations that are working to help.

There are plenty of things you can do at home to help save wildlife. From fun projects to small tweaks in your routine, simply being more mindful of the environment we inhabit can help us understand better what the animals around us need.

Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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Image by 5540867 from Pixabay

Figuring out what to do for a mom on Mother's Day can be a tricky thing. There's the standard flowers or candy, of course, and taking her out to a nice brunch is a fairly universal winner. But what do moms really want?

Speaking from experience—my kids range from age 12 to 20—a lot depends on the stage of motherhood. What I wanted when my kids were little is different than what I want now, and I'm sure when my kids are grown and gone I'll want something different again.

We asked our readers to share what they want for Mother's Day, and while the answers were varied, there were some common themes that emerged.

Moms of young kids want a break.

When your kids are little, motherhood is relentless. Precious and adorable, yes. Wonderful and rewarding, absolutely. But it's a LOT. And it's a lot all the fricking time.

Most moms I know would love the gift of alone time, either away at a hotel or Airbnb or in their own home with no one else around. Time alone is a priceless commodity at this stage, especially if it comes with someone else taking care of cleaning, making sure the kids are fed and safe and occupied, doing the laundry, etc.

This is especially true after more than a year of pandemic living, where we moms have spent more time than usual at home with our offspring. While in some ways that's been great, again, it's a lot.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
True

"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

Keep Reading Show less