Saving Asian Animals - Sun Bear

Saving Asian Animals

The Best Wildlife Conservation Programs


Before I begin, I have a confession to make: My name is Anna, and I have a soft spot for animals. Asian animals have become a particular favorite.


In the last three years, I have traveled across four continents. In every place we visit, I always check out what type of animal conservation programs I can visit.


Sadly, animal rights in Asia are almost nonexistent. Which is why supporting animal conservation and responsibly managed wildlife sanctuaries there is even more crucial.  In addition to making a difference, volunteering your services while you travel is also a great way to learn more about the local culture of a place.


So without further ado, here are a few of the best wildlife conservation programs helping to save Asian animals…

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Best Non Profit Organizations to donate to during the HolidaysGO GREEN TIP #119:

Best Non Profit Organizations

for Nature Lovers’ Holiday Donations


(This post was brought to you in part by Travelocity. But we will never compromise our obligation to our readers. Our opinions remain our own.)

Every year at Christmastime, my mother chooses and champions a cause. In lieu of fruitcakes, popcorn tins and kitschy socks, she sends out donations to what she considers the best non profit organizations in our honor.


It’s not that she isn’t festive, or doesn’t believe in Christmas traditions. But when it comes to gift-giving, she assumes that the bulk of recipients have handled their own food, drink and decor.


Instead, she gives something that embodies the true spirit of the holidays. Since she started this tradition, many friends and relatives have followed suit. Our Christmas gifts now carry much more meaning, because they’re more personally reflective than any sweater or box of chocolates I’ve ever received. They are gifts from the heart that also help to make the world a better place.


So perhaps this year, in a time when both national and international philanthropy seem crucial, others might be interested in picking up this charitable giving habit. Whether it’s nature/wildlife conservation or the rights of women, children, racial minorities, the LGBTQ community and/or indigenous people, we can all find causes we believe in to support.
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90th macy's thanksgiving day parade

90th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade


I’ve been dreaming of seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ever since I was a young boy, watching the annual broadcast from the cozy comfort of my family’s living room in Atlanta.


Despite the fact that it took me 48 years to make that dream come true, there was no shortage of child-like awe and wonder as Mary, my daughter and I made our way into New York City on Wednesday for a marathon 24 hours in the Big Apple.

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Standing Rock Sioux Tribe protesters

Standing Rock solidarity march in San Francisco, photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen, CC BY-SA 4.0,

How To Help The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe



Members of North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux tribe (along with thousands of their fellow American Indians and allied supporters) have been camped at the Standing Rock Reservation for over 6 months now.


They’re there to protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which they insist infringes upon tribal lands ceded to them in a historic treaty and which potentially will pollute the drinking water they need to survive.


Along the way the Standing Rock Sioux have faced attack dogs, rubber bullets, beatings and arrests in their attempt to protest peacefully. The weekend before Thanksgiving, the situation becalm even more charged with tension as Morton County police sprayed a crowd of nearly 400 people with tear gas and water as temperatures dipped below freezing.

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Taman Negara -Boats on the Bank

Boats on the Bank by Mohd Fahmi Mohd Azmi via CC

Taman Negara

Visting Orang Asli, the “Original People”


The shuttle dropped us off. We were an unassuming group of tourists– a scientist couple, two EFL teachers (Emma and I), and one braggadocios female backpacker with a distaste for guidebooks and other travelers.


We were in the transit town of Kuala Tembeling at the edge of the National Park of Peninsular Malaysia, more commonly referred to as Taman Negara.


Taman Negara, which literally translates as “national park,” is Malaysia’s oldest (est. 1939) and largest. It spans more than a million acres, much of which is primary jungle dating back over 130 million years. Our mission was to get into a wooden skiff and travel several hours to Kuala Tahar, a village established at the park’s border.


For travelers of a different pay grade, the trip usually ends with a comfortable stay in Mutiara Resort. As budget travelers, we were showing up with no reservation. We’d be dropped off across the river from the resort, where we were told cheaper rooms would be available. But once we arrived,there was no boat back until the next day…

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