A new study has found that significant chunks of the Amazon Rainforest have started to emit more C02 than they absorb. The Amazon, home to the world’s largest tropical forest, plays a vital role in absorbing and storing the Earth’s carbon emissions, and this news spells serious trouble for the rainforest and the Earth as a whole as climate change takes hold.
How can you help the Amazon Rainforest?
There are things you can do to help turn this worrying tide – the more people that do it, the better the chances it will work, so send this to all your friends and family.
Here are four simple ideas to help the rainforest:
1. Make lifestyle changes
Beef, soybean, and palm oil are the main drivers of deforestation in the Amazon basin.
You can help by reducing your paper and wood consumption – think office paper, toilet paper, disposable cups, etc.
Check your food product labels for soy or palm oil ingredients, and buy alternatives when possible.
Another enormous part of the problem in the Amazon is cattle farming, accounting for about 80 percent of forest cleared in the Amazon.
An area the size of Ireland has also been cleared for growing soybean, which is then exported as cattle feed to support the beef industry around the world.
2. Donate to charities
Sending a little money to charities can go a long way to help their staff carry out crucial work.
Shop around until you find one you’re comfortable with – a few options are the WWF, Rainforest Action Network or Rainforest Foundation.
Remember, you don’t need to send a fortune to make a difference – if more people donated a small amount once a month or so, it would make a genuine difference.
Some charities – such as the Rainforest Trust – even have options for you to buy some land in the Amazon, which would mean it would be protected from logging, mining, and slash and burn agribusiness.
4. Get political
Email your MP them that they must use their position to put pressure on your own and other governments to take action.
When it comes time to vote, vote for a party that reflects your values on climate change.
You could also put your name to collective actions, like this petition from Greenpeace.
And if you can, join a protest to show those in power that you want to safeguard the planet.