Earth Day 2019: Protect Our Species

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Happy Earth Day to our Earth Keepers!

Two weeks ago we saw Cape Town Unite for Animals at the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos (and all wildlife), and the trade in their body parts that are driving them towards extinction.

Globally we have seen a rapid decline in species, destruction of their habitats, and loss of biodiversity, as a result of the growing human population and human activity.  Scientists and conservationists suggested that we are already facing “The Sixth Mass Extinction”, which calls on us to take action now.

Today, we ask our faith leaders to take time out to reflect on our impact on the planet, to help restore the sacred bond between nature and humanity, and begin to work towards protecting our species.

One way of assessing your impact on the Earth is by looking at your Ecological Footprint. You can use The Global Footprint Calculator by The Global Footprint Network to understand your ecological footprint and its impact on the earth:

Here are a few ways you can reduce your Ecological Footprint this Earth Day:

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle

  • Reduce your plastic use in and out of the home by replacing products with more sustainable ones.
  • Reuse your plastic bottles in several different ways before sending them to be recycled.
  • Use non-recyclable waste to make Eco-Bricks and reduce the amount of plastic ending up in landfills.
  • Bring Your Own Bag when shopping. The Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) campaign is a conservation initiative to help conserve our oceans and beaches by reducing the number of single-use plastic bags handed out in our area each year. Join the Bring Your Own Bag group on Facebook for plastic-stopping tips and community campaigns to beat plastic pollution.
  • Support the petition to ban single-use plastics in South Africa.
  • Join the Zero Waste Movement to help eliminate waste and participate in the circular economy.

Reduce your meat and dairy consumption

  • Promote sustainable living and animal welfare by opting for plant-based alternatives.
  • Have Green Monday by cutting out all animal products for one day of the week and eating plant-based foods for that day instead.
  • Visit ProVeg South Africa for more information on the benefits of adopting a plant-based lifestyle.

Stop pesticide and herbicide use

Tree Planting and Sustainable Plant Products

  • Start a tree planting program in your faith community.
  • Support tree-planting and permaculture projects like Food & Trees for Africa, Greenpop, and Soil for Life.
  • Support native plants: Planting and growing native plants is a significant and cost-effective way to help save plants. They are best adapted to local environmental conditions, they require less water, and they also improve air quality.
  • Purchase sustainable plant products: Being an informed consumer and knowing your plants and plant-based products is an important first step. When purchasing teas, herbal medicines, beauty products or other plant-based products, make sure they have a sustainable certification logo.

Drive less

Photo Credit: Open Streets Cape Town

  • Use public transport, walk or carpool whenever possible.
  • Switch to an electric car if you are able to.
  • Join Open Streets Cape Town events

Reduce your Energy and Water use

Take Action

  • SAFCEI believes that people of faith have a moral imperative to speak out against the socio-ecological injustices that face Africa’s peoples and their environment. One way you can do this is by applying to join our Faith Leader Environmental Advocacy Training (FLEAT) workshop in South Africa in June.

For more information about Earth Day, visit Earth Day Network. Earth Day Network works year round to solve climate change, to end plastic pollution, to protect endangered species, and to broaden, educate, and activate the environmental movement across the globe.

Follow some of our friends and partners to get involved in events and campaigns geared at protecting our species.


Humane Society International - Africa

Animal Law Reform

Cape Town Unites For Animals

African Centre for Biodiversity

ProVeg South Africa



Greenpeace Local Group Cape Town

Greenpeace Africa