Party for the Planet: Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! Each week, starting today and leading up to Endangered Species Day (May 20), we will be sharing more about elephants’ vital role in the ecosystem, how The Elephant Sanctuary is doing its part, and how you can be a part of helping your community too. We will challenge you to connect with your natural habitat and practice conservation in your neighborhood with interactive activities week to week!

Elephants are the largest land animal in the world, which also makes them the largest seed dispersal animal in the world. Elephants are herbivores and eat a variety of different plants, from sugar cane, banana palms, fruits, and melons to tree bark, leaves, and grass. Much of the seeds and plant material an elephant eats passes through their 20-meter-long stomach, with less than half their food being digested. This leaves full plant material and seeds within the dung, acting as a natural fertilizer that helps the seeds grow in different places along the elephants’ paths.

How does The Sanctuary support the environment like an elephant? At The Elephant Sanctuary, all elephant dung is composted on site. The Sanctuary’s Staff members are also encouraged to compost any food waste they create while working each day, and the compost is mixed regularly. This healthy fertilizer is then used to plant the elephants' favorite snacks, like fruit trees and bamboo, that can become treats once they grow!

How can you be like an elephant? There are many ways you can help the environment, especially by using your food waste wisely. Here are a few ways you can reduce food waste or use it to your advantage:

  • Create a backyard compost.
  • Plan out meals to only purchase what you need at the grocery store (don't shop hungry, and don't overbuy!).
  • Freeze food before it goes bad.
  • Find ways to reuse the food in other recipes before throwing it away — for example, use vegetables in a vegetable soup with our Ele-Inspired recipe below!

Want more plant-based inspiration? Donate to our Feed an Elephant program and get access to additional Ele-Inspired recipes, delicious plant-based recipes for every season!

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