The rainforest is a relatively abstract concept for us Europeans who do not own a rainforest. Also virgin forest exists in Europe as good as none. Nevertheless, we are also responsible for preserving the rainforest. Only with global support can it be protected from complete destruction.
While these tips are aimed at protecting the rainforest, they are also aimed at preserving forests in other areas. At the end of the article you will find an infographic that visually summarizes all the possibilities.
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1. Eat less and higher quality meat!
The increased consumption of meat is a real problem for the rainforest. Especially the demand for concentrated feed (soy) exerts enormous pressure on the forests of this world. The amount of land under cultivation in meat producing countries is nowhere near enough to meet feed demand. Germany, for example, imports 6.4 million tons of palm oil. Tons of soy per year. The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) estimates that 65% of the destruction of the Amazon rainforest is due to livestock and their feed production.
The fact that vegans and vegetarians with their soy products are also responsible for the destruction of the rainforest is, by the way, wrong and only a justification argument of the other side. Soy production in Germany would easily suffice for the vegan alternatives. In most cases, vegan soy products also come from the EU because they are predominantly organic in quality.
Who cannot do without meat at all, should at least consume less and better quality meat. With the normal bio seal only a soy feed of 10% is permitted. If you want to be on the safe side, buy meat with the Neuland, Naturland, Bioland or Demeter seal. With these seals, feeding imported soy is prohibited.
2. Buy less palm oil
The issue of palm oil is tricky. On the one hand, the palm oil plant is very effective, more effective than other oil plants. On the other hand, the low price of palm oil has ensured that the oil is now present as a flavor carrier in many products that previously required no oil additive at all. Because of the surfactants, palm oil is also found in many cleaning products. Because of its high fat content, it is also used in cosmetic products.
However, palm oil plants can only be planted in tropical latitudes, which means that large parts of the rainforest have been cleared, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, in order to plant palm oil plantations. This not only destroys important rainforest, but also food bases for many animals threatened with extinction.
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As a consumer, palm oil-free products are unfortunately relatively difficult to identify. The WWF assumes that every second product in the supermarket contains palm oil. There is an EU regulation that makes it easier to identify palm oil products because the ingredients have to be stated exactly. Unfortunately you have to be half an expert to keep track here. The WWF helps on an English-language side further, which products and which designations refer to palm oil.
If you want to be on the safe side, you should also choose organic products here. Especially for chocolate, instant products and frozen food.
3. Consume local products
The farm store is slowly coming back into fashion. In many cities there are urban gardening projects, solidarity farms are no longer a rarity, and in some regions the organic box is a big hit. In addition, there is still the classic weekly market.
Think global, buy local&
The higher the proportion of regional products in your everyday life, the lower the pressure to grow in foreign regions. So also in the rainforest. In addition, transport emissions are avoided (depending on the means of transport to the farm store), local added value is created and mainly products are consumed that are growing at the moment, due to weather conditions.
4. Optimize your means of transport
Individual transport is doomed to failure, especially in the city. For a long time, people defined themselves by their cars and saw individual mobility as a sign of freedom. But this freedom is no longer worth much if everyone does it. This leads to permanent traffic jams and no longer to free travel for free citizens. The Ministry of Transport can also expand the freeway to 10 lanes. That will no longer be of any use.
Traffic must become more efficient. 95% of the time cars are just standing around. When they drive, they require a disproportionately large amount of land per person transported. But the extreme increase in individual traffic also has a major impact on the rainforest. Cars are largely made of aluminum. The production of aluminum requires a lot of bauxite, which is often mined in the rainforest. Melting down requires enormous amounts of energy. The extracted oil destroys the environment. Although we Germans import relatively little oil from rainforest areas, demand also increases production. This makes it more lucrative to tap oil reserves in the rainforest. And unfortunately there are enough of them.
Then there is the admixture of bioethanol, which is produced from plants. Since our own land areas are not sufficient to produce bioethanol for gasoline, a lot is imported from rainforest areas in this area as well. If you have a petrol car, please do not fill up with E10. Here, 10 % bioethanol is added, in SuperBenzin "only" 5 %.
Therefore, try to get around mainly on foot or by bike. Medium distances can be covered by public transport and long distances by long-distance bus or train. If you have to use the car, at least offer the ride in the popular car-sharing agencies. This not only saves money, but also greatly increases the effectiveness of the car as a means of transport. Perhaps then also the one or other euro remains to compensate for the emissions.
5. Buy less products with metals and rare earths
Gold, aluminum, diamonds and many rare earths are found in rainforest areas. Some mines could be prevented again and again with enormous protests. If the demand for these raw materials does not decrease, these areas can no longer be maintained. 78% of gold is used for the production of jewelry and thus for wasteful pleasure.
But also our technical devices need metals and rare earths. Therefore, one should ask oneself whether it always has to be the latest smartphone, PC or tablet?
Many technical devices can be operated much longer than we currently use them. In addition, there are numerous providers, especially in the PC and smartphone sector, who sell used devices refurbished and with warranty. The market is so big that Amazon itself, for example, has already entered it.
In some cities there are also so-called Repair Cafes. Here, tech-savvy people help fix broken equipment. In some cities there are also "free stores" where you can hand in functional, discarded devices, but also find them.
6. Minimalism is the trump card
Although it has been around since 1960, the minimalism movement is only now slowly becoming socially accepted. Numerous authors, youtubers and filmmakers have jumped on the bandwagon and are promoting minimalism.
Minimalism means above all renunciation of consumption. Really only owning what you need. This also relieves the mind. But above all it relieves the environment. The most sustainable product is the one that never had to be made!
7. Recycle properly
Even if the recycling industry does not always cover itself with glory, recycling is an important instrument to meet the demand for raw materials without further disturbing nature.
For example, recycling the gold and rare earths from your smartphone makes opening a mine in the rainforest a little less profitable again. Besides, with the increasing demand, with finite raw materials, we will anyway have no choice but to implement a circular economy.
8. Use Ecosia as search engine
A very simple way to reforest rainforests is to use Ecosia as a search engine.
And of course, every hour, hit the donation box on Blog2Help. These merely do not know the English colleagues who created the infographic (see below)&
9. Plant trees (get planting)
Very simple, but so brilliant. Of course, if you want forests, you should plant trees.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best is now!
Since it would not be very effective to fly to the rainforest to plant trees, there are great organizations that do it for you. The price of a tree starts at 10 cents.
10. Support indigenous peoples
In our vernacular, they are known as "natives". However, indigenous peoples is the correct term.
Studies have found that forests inhabited by indigenous peoples have two to three times lower rates of deforestation than areas not inhabited by them. Of course, from Germany, it’s hard to show solidarity to indigenous peoples. However, many organizations like OroVerde work closely with indigenous peoples. In addition, there are petitions every now and then where you can help indigenous peoples politically.
Switch to Naturstrom now and promote the energy transition!
Especially in the cities of Berlin and Bonn there are regular conferences and workshops where you can meet indigenous people. Here’s where you can join the conversation and give them moral support or ask how else you can help them.
11. Talk about rainforest destruction
The rainforest issue was big in the media and in people’s minds for a while. Unfortunately, this has gradually disappeared. Time to change this!
Talk to your social network offline and online about the issue of rainforest destruction and how they can help. ( A good step would be to share this article& )
12. Get democratically involved!
Politicians often live in their lobby bubble. If you don’t tell them that you care about rainforest and environmental degradation, they simply don’t know. Talk to your MP and MEP about this when they are back in the constituency. Compose letters to politicians and ministries. Tweet at them, write mails and participate in petitions and demonstrations!
13. Always stay positive!
Even though the fight against rainforest destruction, climate change deniers, environmental degradation and so on is sometimes tiring and grueling, try to stay positive and healthy. The world needs your power to make it a better place!
The inspiration of this blog post is due to the following infographic:
Please click on infographic to enlarge!
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