1. Don’t buy ivory. New ivory is strictly banned. Shunning antique ivory is a clear message to dealers that the material is not welcomed
2. Buy elephant-friendly coffee and wood. Coffee and timber crops are often grown in plantations that destroy elephant habitats. Make sure to buy Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber and certified fair trade coffee.
3. Support conservation efforts and organizations actively committed to elephant preservation. Here are a few:
• International Elephant Foundation
• Elephant Care International
• The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
• African Wildlife Foundation
• Amboseli Elephant Research Project
4. Be aware of the plight of captive elephants. This applies especially to your local zoo. Historically, zoos and circuses have offered elephants a life of indentured servitude. Zoos are starting to wake up but they have a long way to go in providing the right environments for their elephants. Circuses, even further. Boycott circuses that use animals, and zoos that offer insufficient space to allow elephants to live in social groups and have some control of their own lives.
5. Adopt an elephant. There are many organizations that offer elephant adoptions so that you get cute pictures of “your” elephant, and they get currency to fund their elephant conservation efforts. World Wildlife Foundation, World Animal Foundation, Born Free, Defenders of Wildlife and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust are good places to start.
6. Get involved with Roots & Shoots. Founded by Dr. Jane Goodall, Roots & Shoots youth program is inciting positive change for hundreds of thousands of kids in more than 120 countries, all working to create a better world. It’s a great way to get youth involved in conservation and pursue careers to help elephants and other wildlife.