Wands for Wildlife – Local Effort Gone Global

January 6, 2022 kstearns

When it comes to the environment and with many other opportunities in life, the
phrase, “One person can make a difference” is so true! Can saving one used
mascara wand from the landfill make a difference? You bet!
Mascara has the shortest shelf life of all beauty products ~ about three months to
help prevent any eye irritation or infection. So what to do with that wand? It can
be put to use caring for wildlife – seriously!
Wands for Wildlife is a nonprofit based outside Asheville that inspires people to
help wildlife and the environment through re-purposing discarded mascara
wands. The unique initiative started as a program at Appalachian Wildlife Refuge
and is now helping wildlife caregivers and animals through a worldwide base of
support. The organization engages people in ways to support wildlife caregivers
and encourages greater mindfulness of the impact from human activities,
including the use of plastics, on the environment. While the organization does not
work directly with the animals, the programs provide wands and support to help
wildlife caregivers in the treatment and care of wild animals.
Cleaned and sanitized mascara wands can help injured and orphaned wildlife in
many ways including to clean wounds and to remove fly larvae or other pests.
Wands have even been used on wildlife affected by forest fires to help clean soot
from their bodies. Plus, the brushes are great at cleaning equipment like syringes
and filters in aquariums. There is a resource guide on uses that is included in the
Wildlife Caregiver Resource Kit which includes wands and other supplies to help
in the care and treatment of the animals. In 2021, through a global pandemic, the
organization was still able to get out over 200 kits to home-based wildlife
rehabilitators and facilities across the country.

Kelly Doktor, Wand Ambassador & Tashi Brewster, Founder & Executive Director of Wands for Wildlife

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