The Amazon Rainforest is on fire: what is happening and what can we do?

To our horror, the world’s lungs are alight and have reached such astronomical levels that fire and smoke can be seen from space. Thousands of different fires are tearing their way through the world’s largest rainforest, pumping massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. While the Amazon does have fires every year, according to the Guardian, this year we’ve seen an 84% increase in fires compared to 2018. This substantial increase is seeing the rainforest burn at record rates, and we can’t stand idly by!

Image by Reuters

Why we need to care about fires in the Amazon:

The fires that have been lit are mostly illegal burn-offs, and they are turning the world’s largest carbon sink and most important home to the world’s biodiversity into a giant ash heap. 

Scientists believe that the Amazon is reaching a tipping point and that once hit will turn the rainforest into nothing more than a desert. To stave off climate change, we’re in desperate need of billions of more trees to absorb carbon. To lose this rainforest would mean losing one of our greatest hopes of stabilising the climate. 

We must not only slow the fires but help the reforestation of the Amazon and forests around the world.

NASA satellite images show the fires raging across the Amazon region. || Image from NASA

Here are some ways we can be part of the solution:

We’re outraged and heartbroken by what’s happening. Although it’s easy to feel powerless, there are things YOU can do – we’ve rounded up a list of ways we can be part of the solution:

ACT

  • Switch from Google (or whichever search engine you use) to Ecosia.org. This search engine plants a tree for every 45 searches you run.  
  • Stop printing so many pages! If you need to use paper or wood, make sure you’re buying rainforest-safe items. Check the Rainforest Alliance for more information. 
  • This will be unpopular but reduce your red meat intake and switch to a more sustainable diet! Beef, especially, is often linked to deforestation. If you love your hamburgers too much, make sure the meat is certified by the Rainforest Alliance.

DONATE

SIGN

EDUCATE 

  • Do your own research. False information is spreading as quickly as the fires, thanks to social media. If you see something that doesn’t add up, take a step back, consider reputable sources and do what you can to understand what is actually happening. Once you know the truth, consider whether or not your government is taking the proper stance and write to your local representatives!

The Luxe Nomad Cares

The Luxe Nomad has long been an advocate for sustainable living and travel. Having signed the Komitmen and ended the use of single-use plastics in our villas, we are constantly striving to find ways to better the world, and we will not turn a blind eye to what’s happening in South America. If the planet can not breathe, then neither can we. 

For the month of September, The Luxe Nomad will donate US$10 for every booking received to Rainforest Alliance. The organisation is currently directing all donations received to Brazilian frontline organisations working to defend the Amazon.

Will you help us save the planet?

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