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Look at that face. Look at it. Over the centuries, people have derided sloths for being either stupid or lazy or a combination of both, but have you ever thought they might just be onto something? After all, they always kind of look like they’re smiling. Don’t you wish you could have that serene expression on your face every now and then? If you don’t, you should.

Everyone deserves to relax every now and then. International Sloth Day is in fact about two things: learning to take a lesson or two in being as cool as a cucumber from the sloths of the world, and raising awareness about the many sloths that get get injured, captured to be sold as pets, or even killed by humans. So help keep those sleepy smiles on sloths’ faces and take part in this year’s International Sloth Day!

The History of International Sloth Day

International Sloth Day was created by AIUNAU, a non-profit foundation dedicated to protecting all forms of wildlife. The AIUNAU members in Columbia have been working with sloths since 1996, as they became appalled to find out how many sloths every year were being killed by cars or power lines, and how many other were being captured to be made into household pets.

Once they rescue a sloth, they nurse it back to health, and then proceed to release it back into the wild, where it belongs. International Sloth Day was established in November 2010 as a way of helping people get to know a little more about these shy, quiet creatures that are known for their tenderness for one another and keep them from going entirely extinct, as several species of sloth have already.

How to Celebrate International Sloth Day

There are several ways you could celebrate International Sloth Day, depending on which aspect of the day you’d like to concentrate on more—learning to slow down and enjoy the little things in life, or help the sloths of South America. Ideally, you could do both. As far as charity goes, you could for example refrain from, say, buying that cappuccino you spend a couple of dollars on every day for one week and ten donate the money you saved to the AIUNAU.

And if you feel you just couldn’t survive without your daily dose of caffeine for a whole week, consider cycling to and from work every day for a week, and then donating the money you saved on fuel or bus fare. The possibilities are virtually endless.

Another important aspect of celebrating International Sloth Day is allowing yourself to just let go and relax every now and then. We live in a very fast-paced world where something is constantly happening—we receive tens, if not hundreds of calls, emails and texts daily, and we’re always in a rush: we rush to work, then we rush to pick up the kids, and then we rush home… On International Sloth Day, take the time to slow down.

Make sure you get enough sleep, take a walk through the park or a long bubble bath, make a real dinner instead of just popping some frozen lump of food in the microwave for 3 minutes. We humans should realize that although we may be the most intelligent of the species, that does not mean there aren’t things we can’t learn from other species. And who could possibly teach a better lesson about how to relax than the sloth? Exactly!

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