Ways That we can Help the Amazon Rainforest

We need to save this ecosystem for all of us

Aug 30, 2019

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Organizations, communities, and individuals have been coming together over the past two weeks to mitigate the current fires burning in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. The Amazon is an amazing ecosystem that everyone depends on for the health of the planet

This year, there has been an over 80 percent increase of fires throughout the country; that means that every minute about three football fields are destroyed. Although the situation on the ground is complicated, there are some important ways that we can help.

While it's hard to be so far away from a crisis, in today’s globalized society we have more power than ever. By changing our consumption and empowering communities on the ground, we can reduce deforestation and show solidarity.

Consume sustainably!

A way that we can consume more consciously is by purchasing coffee and chocolate that are Rainforest Alliance certified. This certification ensures us that the food we are consuming did not cause forest destruction and that workers are paid a livable and just wage.  Plus, Rainforest Alliance chocolates and coffees are delicious!

Unfortunately, many of the fires around the world are happening around farmland or to make space for new farmland. Fires in the Amazon are lit in order to create space for cattle grazing and feed. In Indonesia, much of the fires are to make space for palm oil plantations, which go into snacks and processed foods.

While it may be frustrating to hear that these forests are being cleared for global food supply, the great news is that we can actively play a role to limit those products by reducing our intake of them. By consuming less beef and avoiding products with palm oil we are moving our money away from these agro-businesses and towards better food systems - such as a local farmer’s market.

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Donate to Organizations that Support the Amazon

Leonardo DiCaprio just pledged to donate $5 million to indigenous communities in the Amazon through his non-profit called Earth Alliance, which he co-founded along with Laurene Powell Jobs, wife of the late Steve Jobs and Brian Sheth.

The group explained that “These funds will be distributed directly to local partners and the indigenous communities protecting the Amazon, the incredible diversity of wildlife that lives there, and the health of the planet overall.”

Financial donations can play an important role in rehabilitating communities and wildlife, mitigating loss, and reforesting damaged lands. Funds can also help local communities develop new economic models for living more sustainably off the land. Plus, some organizations, such as Amazon Watch, will use some of the donations to help encourage more environmental policies in the region. Market Watch compiled a list of five top-ranked Amazon charities that you can donate to.

And for those who are looking for a creative way to donate, you can use the search engine Ecosia instead of Google. For every 45 searches, Ecosia will plant a tree. They have even committed to planting 1 million trees within the next 6 months.

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HILLA BENZAKEN, CONTRIBUTOR
Hilla Benzaken is a dedicated optimist. Her happy place involves cooking, acting, gardening, and fighting for social justice. She writes about all things sustainability, innovation, and DIY.