Source: Pexels - Thierry Fillieul

Rainforest Rescue: 9 Ways You Can Help Save Our Rainforests Today

Rainforests are essential to the planet’s health, but they are disappearing at an alarming rate. Learn 9 simple ways you can help save our rainforests today.

Saving the Rainforest: Everyone’s Role

Our planet’s rainforests face increasing threats, with responsibilities spanning from individual choices to corporate actions and government policies. While our decisions matter, lasting change demands businesses embrace sustainability and governments prioritise conservation. It’s a collective effort, where every player, from consumers to leaders, must act. Here’s how these interconnected choices affect our rainforests and steps towards mitigation:

1. Beefing About Deforestation:
The problem: The Western appetite for beef has been a significant factor behind the deforestation in the Amazon and other rainforests. Moreover, while soya is a major crop driving deforestation, only 10% of the global soya crop is consumed by humans. A staggering 90% is used to feed animals (source).
What you can do: Consume less meat, especially beef. The food choices we make have a direct bearing on the Amazon. By embracing more plant-based options, not only are you opting for a healthier choice, but it’s also more sustainable.  Explore a vegetarian or vegan diet, or even simpler initiatives like “meatless Mondays”. If possible, source meat from local, sustainable farms.

2. Don’t Let Palm Oil Slip Through Your Fingers:
The problem: Palm oil, omnipresent in many products from food to cosmetics, results in large swathes of rainforest, especially in Southeast Asia, being cleared for plantations.
What you can do: Always review product ingredients. Make a conscious decision to select items without palm oil or those using certified sustainable palm oil. Websites like Palm Oil Scorecard can assist in identifying sustainable products.

3. Not All That Glitters Is Sustainable:
– The problem: Fast fashion is a significant culprit in rainforest degradation due to its sourcing of materials directly linked to these ecosystems. Learn all about it here.
– What you can do: Make mindful purchases. Choose durable, high-quality items and support brands with ethical sourcing policies. Purchasing second-hand or engaging in clothes swapping are sustainable alternatives.

4. Wood You Believe It’s Not Sustainable?:
– The problem: Western demand for tropical hardwoods results in significant deforestation in rainforest areas, much of which is illegal logging.
– What you can do: Buy furniture and other items made from sustainable or recycled wood. Prioritise products with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.

5. Tossing Out the Throwaway Culture:
– The problem: Many single-use items, from coffee cups to packaging, are made using unsustainably sourced materials or contribute to environmental pollution, indirectly affecting these ecosystems.
– What you can do: Opt for a greener lifestyle. Use reusable items and support policies and businesses that encourage recycling and waste reduction. Check out this article with 14 bits of plastic you can ditch today.

6. Investing in a Greener Future:
– The problem: Investing in companies with little regard for the environment perpetuates harmful industry practices.
– What you can do: Channel your investments into sustainable or ethical funds. To gauge the sustainability of your pension fund or bonds, you can refer to platforms like MSCI ESG Ratings that evaluate the environmental, social, and governance impact of investment funds.

7. Energising Change, One Watt at a Time:
– The problem: Traditional energy sources such as fossil fuels not only exacerbate climate change but also lead to habitat destruction, including in rainforests, as these industries expand their footprint.
– What you can do: Transition to green energy suppliers that rely on renewable resources.

8. Guardians of the Green:
– The problem: Indigenous communities make up around 5% of the world’s population but protect 80% of global biodiversity. Despite their critical contributions, they often face threats to their land, culture, and rights, making their preservation efforts challenging and precarious.
– What you can do: Respect their rights, recognise their stewardship of nature, and support organisations that work to protect indigenous rights and territories.

9. Turning Over a New Leaf with Knowledge:
– The problem: Limited awareness or misinformation can lead to unintended consequences.
– What you can do: Consume, share, and discuss literature on sustainability and conservation. Promote these dialogues in your community, enhancing overall awareness.

Bonus Tip! Counting the Cost with True Price:
– The problem: Many products we consume come with hidden environmental and social costs not reflected in their price tags. These unaccounted costs can have detrimental impacts on our planet, including rainforests.
– What you can do: Advocate for and support the concept of True Pricing. By factoring in the true environmental and societal costs of products, we can make more informed, ethical choices. Encourage businesses to be transparent about the externalities of their products and services, thereby promoting sustainable practices and driving positive change in industries.

By making conscious decisions and laughing a little along the way, we can collectively usher in a brighter and more sustainable future. Every small choice can have a significant ripple effect, so let’s make them count! And if you work at a corporate company or in policy-making; your actions at work can make a huge impact.

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