Wildlife provides stability to the world’s ecologies, restoring balance where it may be lost in nature. Endangering wildlife and the habitats they live in reduces their numbers and destroys the balance they offer. There is a lot to be done in the field of wildlife conservation and protecting habitats, and there are a number of organisations already working in this arena.

But as an individual that feels deeply about this cause, there are certain steps you can take to protect natural ecosystems. We list 5 ways in which you can help protect wildlife habitats around you:

#1 Adopt a sacred grove.

You can adopt a sacred grove in the UK or anywhere in the world. These groves are biodiverse forests and ecologically sensitive spots that are managed by certain organisations through land purchase or leases or management contracts with local Governments and States. As a grove guardian, your contribution meets the needs of managing and protecting the grove cluster for 10 years. During this time, the grove’s habitat is protected and so are its inhabitants.

#2 Plant trees at every opportunity.

It takes a village to create a forest, but you can create a large green area simply by planting saplings and burying seeds in the ground at every opportunity. Don’t throw away the pips or the seeds from that orange or apple you ate for breakfast – place them on a patch of soil, water it and leave the seeds to take root. You can also partner with a local nursery to get saplings that can be planted in certain areas depending on soil conditions. What you plant today will grow a bumper harvest for the future, and it’s so simple to do – take care of it for about a year, and watch a forest take shape in front of your eyes.

#3 Clean up whenever you can.

We pick up after our pets when we’re out walking, but what about the plastic trash and other litter that liberally dot the pavements? Spend a Sunday morning with rubber gloves, a metal-hooked stick and a garbage bag, and clean up your street with your family and friends. Not only does this make the block look cleaner, it also saves animals. Plastic bags, twine and discarded food items can trap and poison animals. Besides saving animals, you make the neighbourhood look good, too.

#4 Adopt clean living.

Do you use chemical fertilisers to control lawn pests, or scented detergents containing a host of chemicals? These substances eventually find their way to rivers and oceans, polluting water sources and endangering marine life. Protect wildlife habitats and the seas by using natural or organic fertilisers, animal manure and detergents and soaps made of pure plant ingredients.

#5 Donate what you can, take whatever action is possible.

Several organisations working to protect wildlife habitats and endangered species need donations to continue their work, commission research and even pay staff salaries. Regular donations, as little as £5 per month, can go a long way in helping them manage their work better. You can pick an organisation whose work you admire and whose causes you feel deeply for, from poaching to deforestation. You can donate supplies and your time as a volunteer, too. Apart from this, you should take actionable steps for the causes dearest to your heart – this means making petitions and garnering support, writing to local politicians and State representatives to call their attention to specific issues, etc. These efforts help give voice to voiceless animals.