The Amazon rainforest is on fire and finally getting some news coverage. Here are seven ways in which you can genuinely help the communities affected and the people trying to minimise and repair the damage.
1. DONATE ACTUAL CASH
Lots of people have set up their own Facebook donation pages so you can feel like you're doing something where you can see a slight difference, but you can also donate to top charities like Amazon Frontlines or the Rainforest Action Network who are doing all they can to minimise the damage. Activists like Gina Martin have detailed more information on their personal accounts. In addition various other charities and organisations such as Amazon Watch, the World Wildlife Fund, the Rainforest Alliance, and the Rainforest Trust all have emergency donation buttons set up on their home pages to make it quick and easy.
Yes Extinction Rebellion do go on a bit but they've got a point. Join them, sign your allegiance, add your name to the growing number of people who are standing up to say they care about the environment. Protests have already started to urge governments to take note of what's happening to the rainforest, and they'll only get bigger and more noticed if we all do our bit. There's also Greenpeace, very much the Backstreet Boys to Exticnction Rebellion's N*Sync, still doing good work but you were momentarily distracted by the newcomers.
3. EAT LESS BEEF
The reason so much of the rainforest is being cut down is to make room for cattle farming, and this is often done by controlled fires, which, as you may have guessed by now, don't always stay under control. The less demand for beef worldwide, the less land will be created to provide it.
4. BUY MORE CONSCIENTIOUS AND SUSTAINABLE BRANDS
It sounds like a bit of research, but visit this Rainforest Alliance page which tells you which companies, products and businesses are rainforest-safe and sustainable. A few simple changes by all of us, long term, could make a difference, as well as showing brands what people value in their purchases when we're experiencing a climate emergency.
5. RAISE AWARENESS
Nobody likes the word 'clickivism', but if that's all you can do, do it. Shout about it on social media, if you've donated, share that you have and why. Retweet news articles, share what's going on wherever you can. This is only as big as we make it.
6. RECYCLE, REUSE, AND REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
If you can take fewer flights do it, recycle everything possible. Walk wherever you can, use public transport if it's available if we all make these decisions the tide will slowly start to turn and we can all change what at the moment seems to be certain disaster.
7. TELL YOUR GOVERNMENT YOU CARE
The USA has pulled out of the Paris Agreement earlier this year which was a huge step backwards in tackling climate change. Trump said
“As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord—and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country,”
No matter how small, whichever country you're in, write to your local MP or your local council and ask them what they are doing to save the environment. Ask their policy on sustainability. If they're getting more and more correspondence about it, they'll realise people care.