Here at Penguino Travel, we love penguins! Our company is named after a special penguin who has joined our family on adventures all around the world. Penguino is a Humboldt penguin, a species native to the islands off the Pacific coast of Chile. Like many other species, Humboldt penguins need our help.
Penguins all around the world are vulnerable to changes in the environment caused pollution, overfishing and global warming. When we realized penguins are at risk, we decided to learn what we could do to make a difference! Here are 8 simple things every family can do to reduce your impact on the environment and help penguins around the world.
Be smart about energy
By using less energy, you can decrease your carbon footprint. This helps limit climate change! Here are some easy places to start:
- Calculate your family’s carbon footprint!
- Instead of driving in a car, walk, ride a bike or take a bus.
- Turn off and unplug appliances when not in use.
- When it’s cold outside, turn down the thermostat a few degrees. Wear a sweater and socks!
- When it’s hot outside, turn up the thermostat a few degrees.
- When you need a new car, consider an electric or hybrid car.
- Look for energy efficient products when you buy new appliances and electronics.
- Switch to energy efficient lightbulbs.
Switch to green power
Green power comes from the sun, wind or water – renewable sources that don’t create climate change. If it’s available in your area, pick green power. Or consider installing solar panels at home!
Go Plastic Free
Plastic never goes away! Most plastic does not biodegrade and remains in the environment for hundreds of years. Not only does the manufacture of plastic products contribute global warming, plastic pollution endangers penguins and other marine life. To go plastic free, just say no to plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic to-go containers, plastic takeaway cups and plastic straws!
- Switch to a reusable water bottle.
- Pack your lunch in reusable packaging.
- Use cloth or recycled paper bags instead of plastic bags.
- Eating away from home? Sit down and enjoy your email on a real plate!
- Avoid fast food and carry-out restaurants that use plastic or Styrofoam cups, straws and packaging.
Eat penguin friendly food
Penguins love to eat fish and seafood – especially herring, smelt, anchovies and krill. To make sure penguins and their chicks have enough to eat, you can be smart about how you eat.
- Eat local! By eating food grown near where you live, you use less energy.
- Choose organic! Pesticides pollute the water and contribute to climate change. Choosing organic food is better for your health and the planet.
- If you eat seafood, choose sustainable seafood. Learn more at Seafood Watch.
- Plant a garden! Growing your own food is one of the most penguin friendly ways to eat!
- Cook and eat at home. This saves energy!
- Eat more plants! Fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and nuts all take less energy to produce than meat, eggs, milk and other animal products. By eating lower on the food chain, you lower your carbon footprint.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
By consuming less and recycling more, we can help protect the environment for penguins.
- Recycle at home, school and work
- Buy good quality things and use them for as long as possible
- Shop at thrift and consignment stores
- Compost food and yard waste
Hug a tree
It may be a cliché, but trees and other plants are our allies in the fight against climate change! By planting trees and picking products made from recycled or sustainable sources of wood, you can you help.
- Plant a tree!
- Shop products made with FSC-certified wood and paper.
Wear your values
Did you know the fashion industry is not penguin – or people – friendly? The global fashion industry pollutes and contributes to climate change more than any industry other than oil. Pesticides used to grow cotton and chemicals used to make leather and fabric pollute the water. Today most clothing is made overseas and shipped to the United States on container ships. A single container ship produces as much pollution as 50 million cars! The good news is that it’s not hard to choose ethical fashion. There are more and more companies – big and small – making steps towards sustainability. Here are a few places to start:
- Pick organic cotton! Clothing made with organic cotton is better for people, the planet and penguins.
- Wear natural or recycled fibers. Avoid fabrics like polyester that are made with petroleum.
- Want to try a trend? Shop at a thrift or consignment store or swap with a friend.
- Take good care of your clothes! By washing on cold and hanging your clothes to dry, you will help your clothes last longer and save energy.
If an oil spill happens near you, you can get involved in the clean up by raising money. Connect with organizations like International Bird Rescue that are dedicated to the rehabilitation of birds after oil spills.
Speak up for penguins
Today there are new threats to clean water, protection of endangered species, and global efforts to stop climate change. It’s important to speak up to tell government leaders that you care about protecting penguins!
- Ask elected officials to add animal species such as penguins that are threatened by climate change on the endangered species list.
- Let your leaders know that you care about climate change! By limiting climate change, we not only protect penguins – we protect the world for people.
- Ask for tougher regulation on the ships and pipelines that carry oil to prevent oil spills.
Here at Penguino Travel, we are committed to social and environmental responsibility in everything we do. Wherever possible we are sourcing products from companies that share our values. As we grow, our desire is to do more! A few of our brand partners who are leading the way:
- Petite Collage designs beautiful coloring books, crafts and puzzles made with recycled and FSC-certified paper.
- Faber-Castell makes pencils with wood that comes from a sustainably managed forest in Brazil.
- Endangered Species Chocolate makes chocolate with fair trade, organic ingredients and gives back to protect endangered species.
As the Founder of Penguino Travel, I also plan to lead my family in making the changes on this list. We hope you will join us this Earth Day and every day in making small changes that have a big impact!