You probably haven’t heard about it because not enough people are talking about it but the Amazon rainforest is in serious danger right now. It’s currently the dry season in Brazil and wildfires aren’t uncommon in the region, but these fires are being started by humans and this year has seen many more fires than normal — 84% more fires than this same time period last year according to the BBC. Most of the fires have been started illegally by people trying to deforest land for cattle and the situation is quickly spinning out of control.
People are asking why they need to be concerned when they’re thousands of miles away from the rainforest. Well, for one, the rainforest produces about 20% of the earth’s oxygen so if you fancy breathing, you better start paying attention. It’s also home to millions of species of birds, animals, fauna and hundreds of indigenous tribes — all of which are currently being threatened by raging fires. Instead of asking why we should be concerned, we need to be asking how we can help. To answer that question, we’ve come up with a few easy ideas everyone can partake in to help combat the loss of one of the world’s most amazing ecosystems.
Spread the word
The easiest way to help stop the damage being caused in Brazil is to talk about it. Sadly, this disaster is not getting a lot of mainstream media coverage so the more you can do to get information out to the masses, the better chance we’ll have of stopping the fires.
Tweet about it (use #AmazonRainforest and #PrayforAmazonia), tell your friends, tell your kids. Ask your neighbors how they feel about the loss of so much precious habitat and encourage them to talk to their friends and family as well.
If you can spare a few dollars, money always helps. Consider donating a little extra cash to one of the following organizations currently working to combat the fires:
Amazon Conservation Association
Amazon Conservation Team
Rainforest Foundation US
Rainforest Action Network
Call your elected officials and urge them to raise awareness and call for action on the issue. They have the platform to get this message out to a large number of people and they are in a position to help change the circumstances that led to this catastrophic event.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
These fires were started because of our demand for the region’s natural resources. Making small changes to your daily life at home will have a longlasting positive impact on the rainforest. Teach your kids to recycle, stop buying single-use plastics, run the AC a little less, eat a little less beef, bring a reusable straw with you to restaurants or simply swap out your grocery bags for reusable bags — all of these small actions have big impacts. If farmers in the Amazon region don’t have a need to produce more cattle or cut down more trees, we’ll allow the rainforest to begin its healing process and prevent catastrophes like this from occurring in the future.
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