Drill holes in some wood and put it outside. Good job — you just helped save the bees.

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.

Most Shared
True
Disneynature's Born In China

Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

popular

Gerrymandering is a funny word, isn't it? Did you know that it's actually a mashup of the name "Gerry" and the word "salamander"? Apparently, in 1812, Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry had a new voting district drawn that seemed to favor his party. On a map, the district looked like a salamander, and a Boston paper published it with the title The GerryMander.

That tidbit of absurdity seems rather tame compared to an entire alphabet made from redrawn voting districts a century later, and yet here we are. God bless America.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Maverick Austin

Your first period is always a weird one. You know it's going to happen eventually, but you're not always expecting it. One day, everything is normal, then BAM. Puberty hits you in a way you can't ignore.

One dad is getting attention for the incredibly supportive way he handled his daughter's first period. "So today I got 'The Call,'" Maverick Austin started out a Facebook post that has now gone viral.

The only thing is, Austin didn't know he got "the call." His 13-year-old thought she pooped her pants. At that age, your body makes no sense whatsoever. It's a miracle every time you even think you know what's going on.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Wikipedia

Women in country music are fighting to be heard. Literally. A study found that between 2000 and 2018, the amount of country songs on the radio by women had fallen by 66%. In 2018, just 11.3% of country songs on the radio were by women. The statistics don't exist in a vacuum. There are misogynistic attitudes behind them. Anyone remember the time radio consultant Keith Hill compared country radio stations to a salad, saying male artists are the lettuce and women are "the tomatoes of our salad"...? Air play of female country artists fell from 19% of songs on the radio to 10.4% of songs on the radio in the three years after he said that.

Not everyone thinks that women are tomatoes. This year's CMA Awards celebrated women, and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles saw the opportunity to bring awareness to this issue and "inspire conversation about country music's need to play more women artists on radio and play listings," as Nettles put it on her Instagram. She did it in a uniquely feminine way – by making a fashion statement that also made a statement-statement.

Keep Reading Show less
popular