Do you consider yourself — or do others consider you — like, a kid? A pretty smart and unique kid, maybe around elementary-school age, maybe middle school or even older? At a time in your life when maybe you're deciding what you're interested in, what things you love doing and what you care about?
Are you deciding that you're interested in animals and plants, like being outside or exploring wild places, and are generally intrigued by the wonder of living on this green-and-blue planet surrounded by billions of stars?
And finally, do you feel the urgency of saving all these animals and plants, and the planet they (and we) live on?
Then you can be — or already are — a kid conservationist. Cool.
So ... what exactly is conservation?
The word "conservation" of course comes from "to conserve" — to preserve, protect, save, defend, support, maintain, sustain: the opposite of "destroy" (or letting something be destroyed).
We often say we want to "preserve wildlands" or "conserve water." When it comes to the environment — well, we want to preserve/conserve the whole thing.
That means, as conservationists, we're taking action to save the ecosystems around us (like oceans, forests and deserts), the species that live in them (from birds to bears to bugs), and our planet's climate (which shapes the weather patterns, and the life-support systems, that keep us all going).
We don't always have instant success when we try to protect a wild place or endangered species. But often, we actually do — and that feel amazing. The Center for Biological Diversity actually wins its legal cases for endangered species about 93 percent of the time ... which, trust us, is a lot!
The point is that even if we don't succeed in one step toward saving a species or its habitat, the goal of conservation is to keep trying, to save as much as we possibly can for as long as we can. Meanwhile, we learn from our losses and celebrate our big and small victories — and we feel good about what we're doing throughout it all.
What are we saving our environment from? Why is it so important to save? How do we do it? And what makes doing it so ... exciting? Click here to learn all that — and more.