Pop X: Population, Sustainability and a Wilder Future for All.
Climate rally

Earlier this month I spoke at the North American Social Marketing Conference about how we can leverage individual and collective action to transform the food system. If you're not familiar with social marketing, it refers to using traditional marketing techniques to "sell" people on behavior and social change. The Center's Endangered Species Condoms are a good example, and so is finding ways to mainstream food that's healthier for people and the planet.

The themes at the conference were part of a larger discussion: When we're facing big, scary issues, how we talk about them matters. This is true whether you're talking to your peers or your kids. It's not enough — and can even backfire — just to raise awareness about population and overconsumption. If we're going to get people to take action, they need positive, inclusive solutions to these often-overwhelming problems.

For the wild,

Stephanie Feldstein

Stephanie Feldstein
Population and Sustainability Director
Center for Biological Diversity

P.S. Today's world population is: 7,737,671,995. We can still save room for wildlife — spread the word and share this email.

Condom distribution

Crowded Planet / The Center honored World Contraception Day (Sept. 26) by giving away 10,000 condoms on more than 30 campuses across the country. We also released our newest Endangered Species Condoms design, the winner of our social media contest in July: "Before your clothes hit the floor, think of the California condor." Read more about the connection between birth control and birds.

Solar panels and sunflowers

Wild Energy / Transforming Rural Energy

Rural areas are often among the last to gain access to electricity infrastructure. In India this has created opportunities for communities to develop off-grid solutions that allow people to own their power and choose clean energy sources. In the United States, a parallel process is underway. Although the U.S. electricity grid is long-established, the co-op structure of many rural utilities creates an opportunity for communities to demand shifts from fossil fuels to community-shared solar programs.

In his latest piece on Medium, Renewable Energy Campaigner Shiva Patel breaks down how rural electric co-ops work and why we're launching a new campaign to advance community solar energy in the southeastern United States.

Food waste

Earth-friendly Diet / Supermarkets' Slow Road to Zero

Grocery chains have the potential to take a big bite out of the 40 percent of food thrown away each year in the United States with the decisions they make about what makes it from farms to shelves and how they handle what goes unsold. But a new analysis released by the Center found that 7 of the 10 largest chains still have not taken the first step toward eliminating food waste by 2025.

Through conversations with companies and a review of their public materials, we found that the grocery sector still lacks many of the basic commitments, tracking and transparency needed to curb food waste. Read Senior Food Campaigner Jennifer Molidor's summary of the report and why we're calling on supermarkets to speed up their efforts.

College students

Population / Contraception on Campus

According to the American College Health Association, only 54 percent of college students report using contraception. To help close this gap and support students in their reproductive choices, the Center is partnering with campus clinics, women's centers, student groups and sustainability departments on campuses across the country. We're hosting free events with film screenings, panel discussions and other activities to talk about why reproductive rights are important not only for people, but also for endangered species and wild places in peril.

The first three events are taking place at NC State University (featuring activist and former race car driver Leilani Munter), Bellevue College and University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

If you're associated with a college or university and want to partner with the Center to bring one of these programs to your campus, email Population Campaigner Kelley Dennings.

Energy Justice North Carolina Coalition

Take Action / Save the Endangered Species Act

Last week volunteers delivered more than 500,000 petition signatures to congressional offices asking their representatives to repeal Trump's regulations that gutted the Endangered Species Act. Keep the momentum going — call your representative today to urge them to cosponsor the PAW and FIN Conservation Act.

Mexican gray wolf by Joe Parks/Flickr.

Five Wild Picks / Animals to Love This Halloween

Although studies have shown that humans are the scariest thing in nature, many wild animals get a bad rap, especially during the Halloween season. But there are far more reasons to protect these five critters than to fear them:

1) Bats eat billions of tons of insects every summer, pollinate crops and spread seeds that help restore ecosystems. Despite how eerily important these unique flying mammals are, their populations are declining, and half of the bat species in the United States are imperiled.

2) Tarantulas are more likely to hide or play dead than bite a person, but their venom has helped researchers understand human pain and disease. Although some can live as long as 30 years, many aren't given the chance as they're either killed by people who fear them or poached for the pet trade by people who love them too much.

3) Snakes are fascinating predators that help keep rodent populations in check, smelling the air with their tongues and sensing vibrations in their jaw bones to find their prey. But they face a scary amount of persecution, along with threats from habitat loss, wildlife trade, invasive species and climate change.

4) Owls live on every continent except Antarctica and are known for their spooky nocturnal songs and superb hunting skills. But around the world they're losing habitat at frightening rates, as well as facing threats from invasive species, climate change and poisoning from ingesting pesticides consumed by their prey.

5) Wolves are beloved symbols of the wild for many people, but for others they evoke deep cultural fears rooted in folk tales and werewolf lore. Despite the fact that wolves are a keystone species that keeps ecosystems healthy, powerful threats like hunting and habitat loss still stand in the way of their survival.

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Photo credits: Climate rally by Cybele Knowles/Center for Biological Diversity; Stephanie Feldstein staff photo; Endangered Species Condoms distribution by Makenna Riley; solar panels and sunflowers by Aozora UmiDaichi/Flickr; grocery store by Greg Wass/Flickr; college students via Pixabay; bald eagle by George Gentry/USFWS; Mexican gray wolf by Joe Parks/Flickr.

Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702
United States