The Fight Against The Amazon Fires Begins With You

The Amazon fires have caused a rise in global environmental concern. These fires pose a threat on the environmental status of the Amazonian region, and they also affect climate change. They also negatively impact the emission of greenhouse gases as a whole. The Woods Hole Research Center and IPAM Amazonia estimate that the fires have produced 104 to 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide already, an equivalent of 22 million cars. Although you might not have the influence of advocate-celebrities in favor of protecting the Amazon, you can still help to solve our ecological disaster.

  1. 1. Calm Down your Meat Lover Soul

    Land clearing for cattle production has been a major cause behind the Amazon fires. Experts claim cattle ranchers have set the fires to utilize the land for business. Besides contributing to deforestation, the livestock industry is one of the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. A report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that about 15% of greenhouse gas emissions, mostly carbon dioxide and methane, come from livestock belching and their manure. Thus, reducing the beef you eat might help ease the global catastrophe called deforestation as well as climate change. 

  2. 2. Cut your Food Waste

    Food waste generation is, often times, unnecessary. It causes landfills to fill up. This results in the production of damaging greenhouse gases, which are mostly cleansed from our atmosphere by the Amazon rainforest (another reason why you should care about it). You can take action by creating a compost pile or freezing food waste until garbage pick-up day.

  3. 3. Give Up Plastic

    Plastic products are quite relevant in our day-to-day lives: food packaging, make-up, and water bottles are all terrible culprits. They don’t biodegrade and they take over 500 years to decompose (and these are just plastic bottles!). Plastic affects our lives in negative ways. It contributes to pollution and affects wildlife. Try skipping the plastic straw or finding a reusable alternative. If you really need to buy straws, buy reusable ones: like those made out of bamboo or metal. If not opt-out of them completely. Aim for sustainable makeup or at least makeup that comes in glass packaging. Bring reusable cutlery everywhere you go. You don’t even have to buy new ones: your kitchen knife and fork will do.

  4. 4. Get Out There and Vote!

    Your vote can make the difference. You have the power of electing politicians that protect the environment and have an action plan towards achieving it. Environmental issues transcend inactive public concern. They can be targeted through the implementation of environmental policies. For instance, politicians have been responsible for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act. Choosing politicians that don't support fossil fuel interests and that advocate for clean energy will result in substantial climate policy changes.

  5. 5. Spread Knowledge (and not Fire)

    Your knowledge can help increase public awareness. Change can only happen with education and I’m not talking solely about formal education. You can encourage your friends to live in an eco-friendly way by showing a youtube video. It’s as simple as that.

  6. 6. Start Donating: Our Planet Needs Your Money

    Rainforest Alliance, Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network: all of them advocate in favor of the Amazon, its land and its indigenous people. Your donations will contribute to having a better Earth for us as well as for the generations to come.

Saving the Amazon might seem impossible, but it begins with a simple task: increasing your self-awareness about making ecological choices every day. Though it could mean abstaining from the sizzling bacon or abandoning disposable smoothie straws, Mother Earth will thank you.