Updated: Sep 4, 2019
Many of us have heard the phrase, "save the rainforest" many times. Now more than ever it's important to get everyone involved in protecting the Amazon rainforest, also called earth's lungs.
As much as 20 percent of the oxygen we breathe is produced by the Amazon, the world's largest rainforest. Rainforests also keep carbon from being released into the atmosphere. The rainforest is home to millions of plants and animals -- most of which are on the verge of extinction. Many indigenous people, the traditional tribal groups of the land, still live in the rainforest and have been fighting to protect the Amazon, not only as their home and way of life, but because they know that the survival of the rainforest is crucial to the biodiversity and survival of the whole planet.
Although the Amazon is geographically far away, you can still do your part to save and protect it by starting at home.
1. Refuse products with Palm Oil
Palm oil is not just used in cooking, but in roughly half of products sold in grocery stores, including cleaning items, toothpaste, shampoos, and it’s even used as biofuel for vehicles that are supposed to be eco friendly. But conflict palm oil is not only responsible for deforestation, it’s production and farming is also the source of many human rights violations.
2. Eat less Beef
Brazil, being the world's largest exporter of beef, has bulldozed, and set on fire, many acres of rainforest and turned them into cattle farms. Even if you do not want to stop eating meat completely, you can still help by supporting local family farms instead of buying imported beef. Cows that are free-range and grass fed are also better for your health and have less negative environmental impact too.
3. Start a community garden
Get the whole community involved in becoming self-sufficient by helping each other grow your own organic food. The tribes living in the Amazon understand the delicate balance between nature, humans, and food, so getting back into this lifestyle of growing food together will help bring that kinship back.
4. Support indigenous crafts and fair trade, earth friendly products
By supporting the very people who call the Amazon rainforest their home, you are helping the guardians of the forest who put themselves on the front lines every day. These communities are often pushed aside and seen as "uncivilized" because they choose the jungle over modern cities. But they hold the knowledge of many medicinal plants and how to keep the forest alive.
5. Reduce your carbon footprint
The rainforest acts as a carbon sink -- the trees and plants soak up carbon for photosynthesis and is released back into the earth with fallen dead trees. But with greenhouse gasses and the rate of deforestation rising, rainforests just can't keep up. You can help lessen your own impact by reducing your carbon footprint and living more sustainably and regeneratively.
Written by Jan
About the Author
Jan is a travelling yoga teacher and writer who advocates spiritual growth while leading a conscious, earth-centered lifestyle, as close to nature as possible. She currently lives on an island in the Philippines surrounded by tropical jungles and white sand beaches. She and her partner conduct sound meditations and journeys while advocating sustainable and organic gardening practices.