Our Rainforests Are Burning: Here Is What You Can Do
You may have heard from the news or elsewhere about the burning of the Amazon rainforest. The media seems to not be talking about it anymore, but this does not mean that the fires have been put down or that the damage has been undone. This is a disaster for the environment as burning the rainforest causes tons of emissions to be released into the atmosphere, and thus, making the whole world's air less breathable.
There is the saying that the Amazon rainforest is the Earth's lungs. But it is not the only large rainforest and clean air provider that is engulfed in flames. These are the other rainforests that have been and continue being destroyed at an alarming speed and here is what you can do about it:
But first, what caused the fires?
As you may or may not know, rainforests are very rainy and humid regions where fires are not likely to naturally occur, spread, and last long. But something very uncommon that happened to the world’s jungles is that they started to massively burn with the flames lasting for quite a long time. These fires have been mainly lit by farmers and cattle ranchers that need more land for utilization.
And what do trees do for us?
Trees store and trap carbon dioxide inside while exhaling oxygen, which is vital for all living life on Earth, including us. Cutting or burning them causes the carbon dioxide to be released back into the atmosphere. We are depenent on trees simply for survival.
Although deforestation is a problem that has been going on for over 50 years, now it is happening at alarming speeds, and the resources are running out. Trees are also home to many species that would go extinct if the current deforestation trend continues.
So where in the world are the fires taking place?
1. Amazon Rainforest
The world's largest rainforest has been having one of its worst times as this year the equivalent of cleared land is nearly 110 football fields per hour. There have been more than 130,000 fires since January 2019. If the land clearing continues at the same rate, we will lose a lot of vital resources. The Amazon is home to large ecosystems,indigenous populations and natural medicine.
2. Central African Rainforests
Central African rainforests also suffer from fires and African governments are not adequately prepared to fight the blazes. Thousands of fires have been identified. These have been the worst fires for Africa as well. The second largest tropical rainforest in the world is located there. The Congo Basin is home to rich fauna and some endangered species that inhabit the region.
3. Southeast Asia's Rainforests
Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and more countries in the region have a deforestation problem that has now become even worse. The Borneo rainforest, located on the island of Borneo, is one of the most ancient rainforests in the world. It has been in a process of rapid destruction for resource demands for the growing population. There have been around 35,000 fires recorded in Indonesia this year.
So there is nothing you can do… right? Wrong, and here are some tips.
1. Cut Down on Beef
The main reason for mass deforestation nowadays is the beef industry or other industries. Many of the fires in the Amazon are caused because there is more space needed for cattle. The global demand for beef is increasing, so is the need for more land. Brazil's beef industry is continuing to expand, but the resources are not. By reducing your beef consumption and encouraging others to do it as well, you will positively contribute to dealing with this issue.
An industry is fueled by the desire of the consumer. Therefore, you are the one who has the word for your own preferences, and the producer will respond accordingly. The less you consume, the less the industry is going to produce for you. If we cut down on products that are harmful to the environment, manufacturers are not going to make them.
2. Eat Dairy Products Less Often
As for beef meat production, the same is to say for the dairy industry. In general, beef is responsible for more than 40% of the livestock's greenhouse emissions. Around 17% of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down and destroyed by humans in the past 50 years, 80% of which is for cattle ranching in order to produce both beef and dairy, according to the WWF.
In order to decrease the negative impact of this industry, we would also need to reduce our dairy consumption. The environment would thank you and so would your body.
TIP: In case you develop cravings for dairy while trying to reduce your consumption, you can find numerous dairy alternatives on the market.
In conclusion, if we wish to continue living in a clean and livable environment, we need to save our trees. We are all responsible for the choices we make, how they affect the environment, and eventually - us. Nowadays we are the ones who can make a difference because each individual step counts.
© 2019 Tery Peta