How to Save the Rain Forest

Four Methods:Shopping ConscientiouslyAltering Your LifestyleBecoming an AdvocateUsing the “TREES” Method

Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with annual rainfall between 98 and 177 inches (250 and 450 cm). It is estimated that between 40-75% of living species on Earth are native to rainforests. Unfortunately, massive deforestation has severely damaged much of the world’s rainforests, resulting in the extinction of plant and animal species and significantly contributing to global warming. You can help save the world’s rainforests by making the right purchases, committing to some lifestyle changes, becoming an advocate, and following the acronym “TREES.”

Method 1
Shopping Conscientiously

  1. 1
    Avoid palm oil and the products that contain it. Palm oil is the most commonly used vegetable oil in the world, and over half of the packaged products in most supermarkets contain it. Unfortunately, expanding palm oil plantations have led to widespread rainforest deforestation. The exponential use of cheap palm oil has also endangered many species of animals, and many palm oil companies are guilty of human rights exploitations.[1]
    • Begin to avoid palm oil by avoiding processed foods. Consume mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains.
    • Read labels and avoid products that contain palm oil.
    • Learn the sneaky names for palm oil. These include (but are not limited to): Vegetable Oil, Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmitate, Palmolein, Glyceryl, Palmate, Palmitic Acid, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Stearate, Stearic Acid, and Sodium Kernelate.
  2. 2
    Avoid wood products made from threatened rainforest woods. Despite the delicate state of the world’s rainforests, trees are still harvested to build guitars, furniture, and other products. Avoid products made of Mahogany, Rosewood, Ebony, and other tropical hardwoods. Instead opt for products made from White Ash, Black Cherry, or Maple woods.[2]
  3. 3
    Avoid paper products (or buy recycled). Paper products contribute directly to rainforest deforestation. Products like toilet paper, paper towels, coffee filters, notebooks, printer paper, and others are created from rainforest trees. Do your part by using reusable materials whenever possible (such as reusable coffee filters or coffee mugs). When you must use paper products, select products made from 100% recycled materials.[3]
  4. 4
    Refuse Brazilian beef. 60-70% of the deforestation in Brazil has been the result of cattle farming, and this number is rapidly growing. You can help save the rainforest by avoiding this product. If you choose to eat beef, select grass fed options local to your region, and say no to Brazilian-raised beef.[4]
    • Fast food chains use the majority of this beef. You can begin avoiding Brazilian beef by saying no to fast food burgers.
  5. 5
    Buy sustainable coffee. Consumption of coffee can have a negative effect on the world’s rainforests. Coffee farms, like palm oil plantations, have also led to deforestation, and have also been known for their poor working conditions and human rights violations. You can work to lessen the ongoing damage to our rainforests by selecting coffee that is sustainably farmed. Look for a “Rainforest Alliance” label to show that this coffee was produced under sustainable conditions.[5]

Method 2
Altering Your Lifestyle

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    Eat less meat. For every quarter pound hamburger that is found in fast food restaurants, approximately 55 square feet of rainforest land is destroyed. That's about the size of a small kitchen! Deforested rainforest land is being turned into grazing pasture for cows. You can help to save the rainforest by choosing to eat less meat.[6]
    • Start by having one meat-free day each week, then expand to two days.
    • You can make a dent by simply cutting the amount of meat you consume in half.
    • You can make a huge contribution by choosing to live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
  2. 2
    Reduce the amount of petroleum you use. Oil companies, with the intention of extracting oil from this land, have purchased nearly 70% of the Peruvian Amazon. When you purchase oil and other petroleum products, you support these companies and further the demand for such oil. You can help save the rainforest by reducing your use of oil.[7]
    • Purchase a hybrid or electric car.
    • Ride your bike instead of driving.
    • Turn down the temperature in your house by 1 degree.
    • Avoid Styrofoam, ballpoint pens, and bubble gum.
  3. 3
    Don’t use pesticides on your garden. When you use pesticides you support multinational pesticide manufacturers, who contribute to rainforest degradation. Furthermore, any use of pesticides contributes to the downfalls and destruction of non-GMO crops worldwide. [8]
  4. 4
    Eat organic food. The use of pesticides and GMOs in the rainforest have led to significant damage to the delicate ecosystems. When you consume only certified organic fruit, vegetables, and other products, you help save the rainforest by supporting sustainable farming practices.[9]

Method 3
Becoming an Advocate

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    Donate money to rainforest organizations. There are numerous passionate and legitimate organizations working worldwide to effect positive change in the rainforest. You can lend a hand by donating a bit of money to an organization of your choosing. Nation of Change, Rainforest Foundation US, and World Land Trust are just a few.[10]
    • If you don’t have a lot of money lying around, you can organize a lemonade stand, bake sale, or a talent show to help raise money for a funding organization.
  2. 2
    Participate in ecotourism. The International Ecotourism Society has defined ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people." Whereas "regular" tourism tends to cause damage, ecotourism is an educational experience that works to teach individuals, protect lands, and provide monetary to support conservation efforts. Ecotourism provides funding to organizations working to help the rainforest to heal.[11]
  3. 3
    Volunteer. Whether you choose to do trail maintenance in Costa Rica or rebuild indigenous rainforest communities in Canada, you can volunteer to save the rainforest. Through a number of organizations, you put your blood, sweat, and tears (plus some of your money) into important conservation efforts. Organizations such as United Planet, Environmental Quest,, and others can help you select the volunteer opportunity that is right for you.[12]

Method 4
Using the “TREES” Method

  1. 1
    Teach others about the environment. If you want to help save the rainforest, there are five steps you can take, represented by the acronym “TREES.” “T” stands for “teach others.” Education and awareness are the most powerful tools for change. You can take steps towards saving the rainforest by teaching those around you how important it is to do so![13]
  2. 2
    Restore ecosystems. The “R” in the acronym stands for “restore ecosystems.” Despite the devastation already experienced by many of the world’s rainforests, these lush ecosystems are still capable of healing. In order for the rainforest to be “saved,” efforts must be made to replant lost trees, and help these delicate ecosystems recuperate.[14]
    • One way that you can contribute aid to the restoration of the rainforest is through ecotourism.
  3. 3
    Encourage sustainable living. The first “E” stands for “encourage sustainable living.” No amount of restoration can help the rainforests if the practices of using rainforest resources don’t change. In order to save the rainforest, farmers, companies, and individuals need to learn and embody sustainable practices.[15]
    • You can help support these efforts by donating to a rainforest organization, or by participating in ecotourism.
  4. 4
    Establish parks. The second “E” stands for “establish parks.” National Parks are protected lands that cannot be changed, developed, or otherwise used for commercial purposes. Expanding areas of protected National Park land is one of the most important efforts toward saving the rainforest. You can sign numerous petitions through Rainforest Rescue to help establish and preserve rainforest National Parks.[16]
  5. 5
    Support companies that minimize damage. Finally, the “S” stands for “support companies that minimize damage.” This means purchasing products from companies that use sustainable practices and who work to support the rainforest. Some of these companies include Artisana Foods, Newman’s Own Organics, Rainforest Foods Company, and Amazon Herb Company.[17]

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Categories: Animal Welfare Activism | Environmental Awareness