finn-caroline-endangered-species-we-are-the-changeOkay, here is what you are probably thinking: Because of the title I am just another one of those people trying to tell you, “Yes! You can help save poor endangered species!”

And, like everyone else you want to help but you’re yelling at your screen saying, “No I can’t! I’m just a kid! I still have a bed time!”

Trust me I know how you feel, I am one of those kids! But think about it – we are kids!  That means, we are the next generation! We decide what happens with this luscious green world we are so lucky to inhabit! So, of course we can make a difference.

About 240 species are expected to die out in the near future.

finn-caroline-endangered-species-we-are-the-change-2Guys, we need to understand that this is OUR future. This is OUR world that is being destroyed. We are not the type of people to let that happen! Unlike gender, race, and religion, we all have one commonality…we won’t let mankind be the cause of extinction. We must not let this continue. This is OUR world we are shaping!

Think of this: We can never see the Paradise Parrot flash his rainbow wings at us…or a Tasmanian Tiger sprint through the forest, showing off its long, graceful strides. Extinction isn’t for a couple of days or years or even decades. Extinction is FOREVER!

Still not convinced you can help? Here are some easy things you can do:

  • Ask your parents if you can plant native plants in your garden as they provide food and shelter for native animals.
  • Create your own little habitat in your yard: hang a bird feeder and/or plant a Milkweed plant for Monarch Butterflies.
  • Volunteer to help clean debris from a nearby wildlife habitat area.
  • Compost! Nearly a third of what we throw away can biodegrade naturally in our gardens and it will help plants grow.
  • If you or a friend or family member live on a large piece of land or a farm encourage them to keep patches of land in their natural form as wildlife habitats, and to keep old trees standing, especially those with hollows that can be used for nesting.
  • There are many environmental foundations you can donate to and any amount you can donate is a help.
  • Learn about endangered species in your area and specific things you can do. For example, because of a severe decline in the Chesapeake Bay oyster population, an oyster gardening program was started in Maryland. Volunteers can grow oysters in a cage tied to their dock and after about a year the volunteers give the oysters to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to release as adults. If you don’t have access to a pier you can still help by saving oyster shells and taking them to one of the collection sites set up by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
  • Please DO NOT buy products made from endangered species!
      • And of course, there is always the classic: DO NOT pollute and remember to reuse and recycle whatever you can.

You never know – you could be saving a life! As you can see, there are many different things you can do and, for the most part, they take up very little time. I know it may seem like your small efforts cannot help our environment but every little bit helps and together it becomes a lot and we can make a difference! Every little thing you can do is working towards a better future and a healthier life here on Mother Earth!

Central Middle School 6th grader Caroline Finn is inspiring others to save endangered species.