When devastating things happen in the world, it’s easy to feel like there is nothing you can do, and watching as countless acres of the Amazon rainforest are being lost to fire is definitely one of those things that can leave you feeling powerless.
George Takei — Twitter superstar and the original Sulu from Star Trek — suggests Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, should use some of his billions of dollars “to help save the very rainforest that bears its name”:
Crazy idea for @JeffBezos. Your company has taken some flak for not paying taxes and worker conditions. What an amazing gift it would be if @amazon stepped up and pledged a huge sum to help save the very rainforest that bears its name? It’s on fire, and the world needs heroes.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 24, 2019
While you can’t pledge as much as the world’s richest man, here are some things you can do, right now, to help the situation.
1-Make a Donation
Several different charities are dedicated to preserving the Amazon rainforest. Your donations can help protect the forest, support the indigenous people who call the Amazon home, and safeguard the millions of plants and animals that aren’t found anywhere else in the world. Charities to consider include:
- Rainforest Action Network
- Rainforest Trust
- World Wildlife Fund
- Amazon Watch
- Amazon Conservation Team
- Amazon Conservation Association
- One Tree Planted
2-Use Less Wood
Another way that you can help protect the rainforest is by consuming less of it. Cut down on your paper and wood consumption as much as possible, and check with the Rainforest Alliance to make sure that you are purchasing rainforest-safe products.
3-Change Your Eating Habits
You’ve heard it before, but the truth is you should eat less beef — and not just because that would be good for your health. More than half of the deforestation is due to converting land for cattle grazing, and Brazil is the world’s largest beef exporter. Consider changing your diet to include more plant-based options, and pay attention to where your meat comes from. Look for meat products that are produced and sourced in a sustainable manner.
4-Switch Your Search Engine
Switching to the Ecosia search engine ensures that more trees are planted in the Amazon and the rest of the world. For every 45 searches, the company plants one tree. If you think about how many things you look up during the course of one day, you can see how quickly trees will be planted. Plus, Ecosia’s servers run on 100% renewable energy.
5-Sign a Petition
A Rio Branco lawyer is collecting signatures in order to get an investigation into the cause of the Amazon fires mobilized. It has three million signatures already, and you can add your name to the list at Change.org. Greenpeace is also collecting names to petition the Brazilian government in the hopes that they will stop the destruction of the rainforest, and the World Wildlife Fund also has a petition to get the situation in the Amazon on the agenda of the G7 summit.
6-Contact Your Elected Officials
Call, email, or Tweet your elected officials and let them know that you expect them to take action. President Bolsonaro of Brazil and U.S. President Donald Trump have both expressed their doubts about climate change, and it is time that other government figures took a stand against that ignorance. Preserving the Amazon rainforest is crucial to combat the effects of climate change and global warming, and it must be protected.
7-Express Your Outrage
The fires were raging in the Amazon for weeks before the world took notice, and there is probably still a good portion of the population that aren’t aware it is happening. Take to social media and express your outrage, let the world know what is going on. Get more people motivated to pick up the phone, make a donation, or sign a petition.
Get the ball rolling, click here to share these 7 tips with your Twitter followers.