Digital and other ideas to celebrate World Animal Day during COVID-19

Last year’s World Animal Day was a huge success with millions of people taking part around the globe. Over our lifetime we’ve seen a steady rise in the power of digital to connect animal lovers worldwide and raise awareness about animal welfare. 

Due to the awful COVID-19 pandemic, this year we’re looking to further leverage the power of digital to make World Animal Day as big a success as last year, if not more so. 

With that in mind, here are some creative ideas about how you can participate as an individual or as part of an organisation. 

  • Get creative in the home and then share your creation with the world on social media with #worldanimalday. Produce a piece of confectionery perfection, draw or paint a work of art. maybe even create a short movie about your companion or favourite animal?

  • Take and share a photo or short video, or maybe even create a short movie about your companion or favourite animal and upload it with #worldanimalday. Share with us what you are doing to promote World Animal Day, or how you help animals.

  • Email Google - last year we attempted to persuade Google to create a Doodle to commemorate World Animal Day. It wasn’t picked up, but we’re not letting that dissuade us! This year, rather than a petition, we’re asking if you could use a little of the extra time you may have on your hands to email Google directly with a persuasive message. There are tips on how you can do so here and we've added a news item to provide more information. Please help convince Google's creative team to dedicate a fantastic doodle to animals on October 4 by sending an email to doodleproposals@google.com

  • Share your skills and knowledge - Last year, USA-based sanctuary, Big Cat Rescue, used a cloud-based programme to hold presentations about their work and show students how to help end the abuse of big cats. 
  • Harness the power of Zoom (it's free) to hold an online quiz with friends or members of your organisation. Here are some fun backgrounds to spice things up a bit.

  • Get outdoors and enjoy some wildlife spotting. If you’re taking children with you, you could even create a checklist of local species and see how many you can tick off together while you’re out walking.
     
  • Do something creative and follow a step-by-step video to learn how to sketch or paint your favourite animals. Or if you’re more experienced, why not create your own tutorial to share with other people?

  • Make your garden more wildlife-friendly. You could use your time at home to build a bird box or a hedgehog hotel, or plant flowers to attract the bees. There are plenty of simple ways to help animals feel at home.

  • Animals are such great company, and they’ve been a real comfort to many of us during this time. Share photos of your lockdown companions on social media, along with the hashtag #worldanimalday.

  • Make a pledge from home to set goals for the year ahead. Take a look at past pledges made for World Animal Day to get inspired, or share a pledge more personal to you. Add your pledge.

  • Do you know someone who makes an effort every day for the sake of animals? If you have a friend or family member who has done something heroic this year – like rescuing a creature in need, fundraising for animals or trying veganism – share why you’re proud of them on social media, along with the hashtag #worldanimalday.

  • Sponsor an animal. Many wildlife organisations have sponsorship schemes for animals in their care and need donations as much as ever. World Animal Day would be a great day to make a pledge to sponsor a wolf, whale, gorilla, etc.

  • Drop non-sustainable palm oil products. You have probably come across the Greenpeace advert on the television, voiced by Emma Thompson, which briefly explains why dropping dirty palm oil is crucial for the survival of orangutans and other wildlife. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil has stated why we cannot simply replace it: ‘although using other vegetable oils seems like a practical solution, it would create similar - if not even larger - environmental and social problems. Therefore, the best solution is to ensure you buy products that contain sustainable palm oil.’

  • Think about what you are consuming, which applies to cuisine, beauty products, household items and many more. We all must try to consider how our consumption habits are affecting the environment and wildlife animals. For example, when using sun cream, it is best to go for one that is eco-conscious and is reef safe – especially if you are spending time at the beach. Share any products that you recommend on social media using the hashtag #WorldAnimalDay

  • Create an informative bio of an animal that you love. The content in your bio could include the animal’s region, whether they are endangered or not and ways in which we can help to support them. Get creative and share your findings on social media to help raise awareness – again, using the hashtag #WorldAnimalDay.

  • Volunteer at your local dog or animal shelter. It might not be feasible to do this in person, due to social distancing restrictions, but contact your local shelters to see if they require any help, or if they need any new products delivered to them.

  • Cutting plastic rings from the tops of bottles is a crucial step to take before recycling. It only takes a few seconds to help to save our wildlife. Otherwise, birds and other small animals tend to get these rings stuck around their beaks and necks. Unfortunately, not every wild animal comes into contact with a vet and will die without help. Hence why it is crucial to reduce the risk of this happening beforehand. Once you have cut the ring, do not forget to recycle it. If you do not have access to scissors, please keep the bottle until you do. You can take these same steps with the plastic rings that hold cans together. 

  • Mascara users? Donate your clean wands to animal shelters. The Wands for Wildlife idea was launched by Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, who state that ‘old mascara wands are used to remove fly eggs and larva from the fur of wild animals. They work great because the bristles are close together.’ Check-in with your local wildlife rescue to see if they need any!

  • More ways you can get involved online.

  • Some of these ideas could be adapted to an online event.

The limit really is your imagination... 

Once you've got an idea - follow the steps below:

Register - it's free 

Add your event to the website

Get publicity

After the event

- May 5, 2020