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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.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

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