Five ways to help save rainforests and the planet
Prevent global deforestation
Deforestation, by converting land to other uses, such as agriculture, has accelerated the current climate crisis. Forest degradation, through logging, mining and unsustainable infrastructure, is also a major contributor. In the Amazon, for example, forest degradation exceeds total deforestation. It has also multiplied the likelihood that wildfires and traditional burning cycles will quickly spiral out of control.
When purchasing a product or ingredient potentially linked to tropical deforestation (beef, soy, palm oil or cocoa for example), or forest degradation (wood, paper-based products) choose certified products. Certification can be a powerful tool alongside other interventions to help ensure brands have considered the impact of their sourcing operations on the environment. In particular, look for deforestation-free commitments from recognized accrediting bodies.
Consumers should look for certified products, like the Rainforest Alliance’s Little Green Frog. This seal indicates that farmers and companies have taken steps to make the product in their hands more sustainable.
watch what you eat
Cattle ranching and the production of soybeans for animal feed contribute the most to commodity-based production. Deforestation. Increasing the number of plant-based meals you eat will really help reduce your carbon footprint.
A study A study conducted by the University of Oxford found that meat-based diets account for almost twice as much greenhouse gas emissions per day as vegetarian-based diets. Which is about 2.5 times more emissions than vegan diets.
One of the worst culprits is beef, the meat that has the biggest impact on the environment. Compared globally, beef accounts for approximately 65% of all emissions from the livestock sector. Brazil is the world’s largest beef exporter and illegal cattle ranching in the Amazon has increased deforestation there, in one of the world’s most important ecosystems. The production of soybeans for livestock feed also causes significant deforestation globally.
Take the train
A simple way to reduce your emissions is to avoid air travel whenever possible. Although difficult for long journeys, there is often an alternative to the train for short journeys.
On average, traveling by train produces less emissions than flying. For long-haul flights, carbon emissions per passenger per kilometer flown are about three times higher in business class and four times higher in first class, according to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This is why some countries even make it illegal in certain cases to use planes when there is an alternative to the train. France was the first country to do so, banning domestic flights on routes that can be covered by train in less than two and a half hours.
Reduce waste and recycle
Recycling our used products, such as plastics, can help ensure they are reused and not thrown away.
Food waste is also a concern. For example, UK households are responsible for 6.6 million tons of food waste each year and by weight this represents 70% of total food waste United Kingdom. This means that all the energy, water consumption and products used to grow this food have also been wasted.
Reducing waste helps us live in a more circular economy, which in turn helps us limit our environmental impact. Instead of wasting energy in food production, we can reduce our emissions. Instead of extracting new materials and using more land, we can recycle those that have already been extracted.
Sign up for the Rainforest Alliance 30 Day Challenge
For more ideas on how you can make a difference, subscribe to Rainforest Alliance 30 Day Challenge. You will receive many tips to encourage you to make more environmentally friendly decisions by adjusting your daily habits. Advice ranges from conserving water and switching to a plant-rich diet, to choosing alternative energy sources like wind and solar, and reducing your energy consumption.