1. VOTE and make your voice heard
One of the most important ways we can promote conservation is to vote for public officials who support environmentally friendly policies—clean water and air; reducing carbon emissions and promoting clean energy sources, maintaining national parks; and funding critical conservation initiatives. For example, in the United States, the Multi-National Species Fund provides critical conservation dollars to protect some of the world’s most iconic species, such as gorillas, elephants, tigers and rhinos. You can tell representatives and senators that you think funding the MNSF is important.
2. Recycle cell phones and electronics
There are metals mined from gorilla habitat in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that are used in cell phones and other electronics. If you commit to recycling your cell phones and other electronics, this will help reduce the demand for these metals and the hunting that often occurs due to mining camps in the forests and thus help protect gorillas and their habitat. Eco-Cell is one recycling company that gives back to conservation groups. And of course participate in recycling of any other product that can be recycled!
3. Look for sustainable palm oil, wood and other eco-friendly products
Deforestation for wood or commercial agricultural projects like palm oil is having a devastating effect on forests in Asia and Africa. A good conservationist will look for products that either avoid palm oil or use palm oil from sustainable sources. Looking for products made from sustainable wood sources (FSC certified is a good label to look for) is also important to protect critical forests, as are other products that are eco-friendly and/or recyclable.
4. Spread the word
It is important not only to learn more about gorillas and the conservation needs of all wildlife, but to help others become more aware as well. Our natural environment, including endangered species, desperately needs our care, attention and awareness. Also, make sure everyone you know understands that wild animals do not make suitable pets. This will protect both animals and people, and help reduce the worldwide exotic pet trade. You can learn more about gorillas on our website, our “Learning and Fun” section is a great starting point.
5. Share this list on social media
Share this list with everyone in your social network to let them know of some of the ways to protect endangered species and their habitats and be sure to follow us on social media if you don’t already. Our handle is @savinggorillas!