The rainforest is the lungs of our earth. It plays such an important role for our world, not only absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen but home to over 50% of our worlds animal species. Now, more than 200,000 acres of rainforest are burned every day and more than 150 acres lost every minute of the day, and 78 million acres burned every year!
The main causes of deforestation are agriculture expansion, livestock ranching and logging. Palm oil is the largest cause of deforestation, especially in Indonesia. Farmers across Southeast Asia have been clearing huge areas of rich tropical rainforest to make room for massive palm oil plantation.
Forest clearing for livestock ranching is another contributor to deforestation. Alone, the deforestation caused by cattle ranching is responsible for the release of 340 million tons of carbon to the atmosphere every year. As the global demand for meat rises, so does the number of cattle needed to produce beef. Those animals need space and nourishment, so millions of acres of untouched land are cleared every year to make room for feed crops and grazing grasslands. But additionally, forests are cleared to produce feed for other animals, too, like pigs and chickens.
Logging also plays a vital role in deforestation. Logging is the process of cutting and processing tress to produce timber and pull to supply the world’s market for furniture, construction, paper and other products. Logging can increase the harmful impact of wind and rain on local ecosystems.
Removal of rainforests across the world effects loss of habitat for animal species, which can harm ecosystems. According to National Geographic, “70 percent of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes.”
Tropical forests like the Amazon rainforest promote a cycle of evaporation and rainfall. When rainforests get cut down they release carbon into the air, causing the result in warmer and drier climates near the tropics.
What can you do to save our forests?
–Plant a tree where you can.
-Use less paper
-Recycle paper and cardboard
-Use recycled products
-Buy certified wood products
-Raise awareness in your circle and in your community
-Buy only what you will use
-Don’t use Palm oil or products with palm oil.
Fortunately, there are environmentally and forest friendly businesses that are helping to stop deforestation. They need your support. Let’s encourage their efforts by being patrons their products.