Over the last few months, the Amazon Rainforest has dominated news headlines. People are outraged and appalled by the manmade fires that have burned down acres of trees in such a short space of time.
However, this is only part of the story. The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest on earth, and it experiences multiple fires every single year. As of right now, it’s reported that there have been over 72,000 fires this year alone - the most ever detected in the Amazon.
This is incredibly problematic as deforestation in this rainforest is believed to produce 8% of net global emissions. Additionally, there are multiple species of wildlife having their homes destroyed, pushing them close to extinction.
With all this in mind, people from around the world must try to help the Amazon Rainforest. But what can be done? Here are ten ideas that can have a significant impact:
Buy an OMA bracelet
Many people argue that planting trees is the best way to help the Amazon Rainforest. However, this results in a slow impact, which won’t help the animals in this habitat until the trees are fully formed. Instead, conservation is the better option. By supporting conservation projects, people can protect areas of the rainforest from deforestation.
Help protect land
Donating to charities - like the Rainforest Trust - can help purchase land in the Amazon. In doing so, this land can be taken away from any greedy corporate companies who would cut it down for monetary gain.
Decrease paper consumption
A staggering 200 million tons of wood is required to meet global paper demands every single year. Much of this paper comes directly from the Amazon and is then sourced throughout the world. Thousands of acres have been destroyed thanks to pulp mills that help create paper. This isn’t going to stop unless the global demand for paper decreases.
With that in mind, if citizens started decreasing their paper consumption, this could help slow down the rate of deforestation for paper. Use recycled paper products and commit to digital files instead of paper ones. These small steps could cause a giant impact if everyone followed them.
Many people want to know how to help the Amazon rainforest when they live thousands of miles away from it. One of the most accessible ideas is to sign online petitions. These petitions are set up to try to convince the government of Brazil to stop burning down acres of the rainforest for agricultural reasons. When petitions reach a certain number of signatures, they must be addressed by the government. So, a simple signature can force those in power to address this issue, which may lead to policy changes.
Purchase products that use natural and rainforest-safe resources
Too many modern products use materials or resources that come from the rainforest. To help protect this biodiverse environment, avoid purchasing products like this. Instead, buy alternatives that use natural resources - or that are rainforest-safe. If more people start doing this, then big corporations will take notice and change the way they manufacture their products.
Say no to palm oil
Palm oil is one of the most widely used ingredients throughout the food industry. How is this ingredient obtained? Through cutting down trees in the rainforest. The worst thing is, most food products contain this ingredient, but they don’t need to. Alternatives are available, so start checking the labels on the back of everything. Choose products that either contain sustainable palm oil or - preferably - none at all.
Raise awareness by sharing stories online
There has been a substantial amount of news coverage for the recent Amazon Rainforest fires. People all over the world became aware of it, which sparked an outcry leading to many world leaders offering help to combat the fires. This all came from the simple power of sharing stories online. If more users shared deforestation stories on social media, then the world would start to see the state that the rainforest is in. It’s simply being destroyed day by day, year after year. Nothing will change unless people know what’s happening, so start raising awareness by sharing things online.
Cycle and walk more often
Many of the rainforest fires are caused by the increased temperature of the planet. As such, reducing carbon emissions can help stop these fires from occurring. An easy way to do this is by cycling and walking more often. Driving a car or taking public transportation can result in many carbon emissions entering the atmosphere, which damages the ozone layer and heats up the planet. If more people walked or cycled to work every day, then global carbon emissions would significantly decrease.
Similarly, excess energy consumption at home will cause climate change and global warming. Consequently, reducing energy consumption is a fantastic way to help the rainforest.
The amount of fossil fuels being burned will drop, and carbon emissions also experience a decline. This stops the earth from reaching temperatures that make forest fires highly common.
Reduce meat consumption
The current Amazon fires were approved by the Brazilian government to make room for farmland. A lot of beef farms are present around the Amazon, and much of the meat is used in processed food products or fast-food meals. By cutting down on your meat consumption, you reduce the demand for it. Therefore, there’ll be fewer farmers looking for land, and this could help prevent a significant amount of deforestation in the Amazon.
It’s not too late to take action against the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest. For too long, people have been ignoring this issue. If any good has come from the terrible fires this year, it’s that more people are aware of what’s happening in the Amazon. To help reverse all this damage and preserve the world’s biggest rainforest, try out any of the ideas listed in this article.