How to Help the Amazon From Where You Are

Monkey holding her unconscious baby Photo Credit: Avinash Lodhi

Monkey holding her unconscious baby Photo Credit: Avinash Lodhi

The destruction and death happening in the Amazon is an incalculable loss and an unbearable tragedy. Actually, it’s murder and that’s how it should be discussed. The disrespect and decimation of this great rainforest has been happening for decades, but the destruction from this fire is unprecedented. We desperately need to make changes.

It can feel pretty disempowering and overwhelming to watch the jungle burn from afar. But there are small adjustments to daily life we can all make to protect and respect the Amazon. Both during this crises, and after the flames have been extinguished.

  1. Donate to credible organizations that defend the Amazon including the plants, animals, and indigenous people who live there. Here is a list of credible organizations working on the ground now. If you need a shortlist option, Rainforest Trust has strategically purchased and protects 23,091,559 acres of land in the tropics. Rainforest Action Network is a long-standing trustworthy organization that breaks up cheap beef contracts sourced from the rainforest and pressures snack food companies to use palm oil responsibly. JungleKeepers educates and employs former poachers, farmers, and miners in conservation roles on their continuously growing protected preserve. Survival International works in partnership with tribal peoples to protect their lives and land. Rainforest Alliance is sending 100% of its funds donated in August to local groups at the front lines in Brazil. Your donations are tax deductible.

  2. Consume wisely. When you buy products made with paper or wood, check for the FSC label. FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council®, a certification system that means the forestland was responsibly managed when farming these materials.

  3. Don’t buy anything with palm oil. The demand for palm oil drives massive deforestation to clear for plantations and illegal logging. It's been killing Orangutans for decades. It’s unbearably heartbreaking. Watch the video above to understand how inhumane this is.

  4. Reduce or eliminate beef from your diet. The largest contributing factor to deforestation is clearing land for cattle ranching. Wildfire is not a natural phenomenon in the tropical ecosystem. The majority of fires in the Amazon are started by ranchers. Lastly, cows are choking our planet to death by contributing to the greenhouse effect with their methane farts. It’s not just disgusting, it’s deadly. Seriously.

  5. Raise your voice. Take five seconds to sign this petition drafted by the World Wildlife Foundation calling on South American countries to take action to put out the blaze and prevent future destruction. This global crisis requires a global response.

  6. Educate your ignorant friends and family about climate change. See Bill Nye’s Climate 101 below. If we don’t wise up, this won’t stop. The consequences are materializing everywhere. From the Amazon Rainforest to Paradise, California, from Greenland’s Helheim glacier to the western Antarctica ice sheet, from the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock to the Fukushima meltdown. Our planet needs a break from the toxic violence of the anthropocene.

  7. Vote to make sure people like Mother Earth fucker in chief and lil Mother Earth fucker Bolsonaro can't continue to destroy our planet. Vote to make sure the asshats that silence science and pillage the earth for profit can’t hold office. Vote to make sure this endangered planet stands a chance.