One of the most prominent ecosystems on our planet is the rainforest. Although they only take up a small percentage of the Earth’s surface, there are many reasons why we need to put the “rainforest conversation” at the top of our priorities.
Together as a community, it is our responsibility to promote sustainable travel and the health of our incredible flora and fauna. Unless the global community puts in a strong united effort, we won’t be able to enjoy them for much longer. After all, the rainforest is the oldest ecosystem in the world, and it is our duty to help them thrive.
Fortunately, there are already a few initiatives around the globe to ensure the preservation of the Rainforest. The World Rainforest Day, which happens annually on June 22, is a “collaborative effort to raise awareness and encourage action to protect the world’s rainforests”. But this does not mean you have to wait until June to start thinking of ways to save the rainforest. There are small actions you can take every day to ensure that this ecosystem stays preserved. Here are 5 things you can do today to save the rainforest.
Curious Facts About the Rainforest
Before we dive in and add saving the rainforest to your 2021 goals, let’s go over everything you need to know about these verdant green habitats and World Rainforest Day.
- Rainforests have existed for millions of years. Thriving in warm, humid regions, rainforests used to cover the majority of the world.
2. They are tall, hot, and are named for their continuous annual rainfall.
3. While they are one of the most important ecosystems in the world, they only cover 6% of the Earth’s surface.
4. The largest rainforest in the world is the Amazon Rainforest. It is over 5.5 million square kilometers, 1.4 billion acres, and extends over nine South American countries. The country with the largest part of the Amazon is Brazil with 60%, followed by Peru with 13%, Colombia with 10%, and the remaining 17% split between Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname.
5. Rainforests compose over half the plants and animals found on Earth.
6. Indonesia, the Dominican Republic of Congo, Malaysia, and many more countries also have large amounts of the rainforest.
7. The first World Rainforest Day was launched on June 22, 2017, by the Rainforest Partnership. The environmental holiday has been celebrated every year since on the date, June 22.
8. An area equivalent in size to the state of South Carolina or the Czech Republic is being destroyed every year according to satellite data;
9. About 17 percent of the Amazonian rainforest has been destroyed over the past 50 years;
10. It is estimated that within 100 years, there won’t be rainforests.
Now that you know the facts, it’s time to learn how to save our beautiful green rainforests around the globe. Here are the 7 easy steps that you can take to preserve them. The best way to start is by changing some of your everyday habits.
Things You Can Do to Save the Rainforest
Shop Local and Purchase Eco-Friendly Products
By shopping for local, organic, eco-friendly products you can reduce waste and use of harmful materials. While many global conglomerates make products that you may use regularly, try substituting those from major brands and opt for a boutique eco-friendly shop. Many local and eco-friendly based stores set amounts of their revenue aside to contribute to preserving the rainforest and other environmental causes. When you buy local, that also helps decrease the number of products that are shipped from remote locations. This also helps reduce your carbon footprint. Sources like Going Zero Waste can provide you with tips on what you need to know when it comes to shopping eco-friendly and organic.
Support Indigenous Communities
The rainforest is home to thousands of indigenous people and communities. Building strong relationships with these communities is one of the best ways to help save the rainforest. You can also start by supporting their rights that help protect their land and their homes. This will prevent large corporations from entering their territories, taking all their resources, and depleting their land. Without rights and proper governance, it is incredibly difficult for them to survive and keep their communities safe. Spread awareness and educate yourself on organizations like the Amazon Aid Foundation, you can help conserve these communities and regions from deforestation and forced removal from their homes.
Reduce your Carbon Footprint
The rainforest is very efficient at storing carbon, however, this also means it is at risk of the effects of climate change. Changing your habits like driving less and relying on public transportation help reduce your carbon footprint. You can also avoid things at home like adjusting your thermostat and leaving your electronics plugged in when they are not being used. There are many businesses that let you know that their products are services that contribute to offsetting carbon usage. Look up your favorite services and businesses and inquire about what they are doing to help reduce their own carbon footprint. You will then know what brands and businesses to use and promote, while also helping out the rainforest.
Promote Rainforest Sustainability and Ecotourism
Ecotourism and sustainable travel are one of the best ways for countries to generate revenue to fund rainforest preservation. By choosing to visit locations and destinations that have a relatively low economy or low level of domestic tourism, you can help boost income for businesses and countries. Your travel spending can go directly into preservation reserves and organizations. The proceeds of those businesses then pay for things like national and natural park maintenance and conservation. But while everyone wants to help and visit every beautiful place around the world, do your homework and make sure that the areas you are visiting and places you choose to adventure to really do promote ecotourism and sustainable travel. You can contact the local governments in each area you visit to see what ways you can help during your stay.
Educate Your Community
Sharing what you have learned about preserving the rainforest can go a very long way in saving it. Check out the websites of wildlife and conversation organizations like the Rainforest Action Network, Survival International, and more to see what you can do to support their missions and educate your own community. Tell your friend and have them share with one of theirs and so on until your network grows and grows. Teach your kids and their friends. You as an individual can make a global and long-lasting impact in seconds.
Avoid Foods That Drive Deforestation
The correlation between food and deforestation is tighter than you might think. In fact, many of the foods consumed around the globe are grown on deforested lands. As reported by Greenpeace, cattle ranching is the largest driver of deforestation in every Amazon country, and more than 38,600 square miles of the Amazon forest in Brazil were cleared out for farming from 1996-2009. But, aside from meat, there are other deforestation drivers, including palm oil — which is responsible for mass deforestation across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Africa —, soy, coffee, and cocoa, just to name a few. By shopping for local, and eco-friendly products you not only reduce waste, but you also have a more clear idea about where your food is produced, and therefore you can make more mindful choices.
Learn About The Effects Of Deforestation
Learning about the long-term effects of deforestation is one of the most important steps for anyone who’s committed to saving the rainforest. Forests are not only something beautiful that travelers marvel at while exploring a new destination. They’re home to several species of animals and other living creatures, from fungi to elephants. This means that when forests are destroyed, so are the creatures that inhabit them. The deforestation in the rainforest also disrupts the water cycle, leading to drier conditions and a warmer climate, aside from causing soil erosion, and water pollution, just to name a few.
Learning more about sustainable travel by both land and sea is crucial. Find more information about ecotourism on our blog and social media channels.
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