With fires burning in the biodiverse, climate-important Amazon and Indonesian rainforests, many are asking what they can do to help the world’s forests. Try these five ways you can help these essential ecosystems every day.
Look for this controversial ingredient: Palm oil is linked to deforestation in Southeast Asia that threatens orangutans and Sumatran rhinos. It is in almost half of packaged products. Channel your purchasing power to products that use Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Certified (RSPO) oil or avoid palm oil all together.
Try more meatless days: Reduce meat consumption, especially beef. Up to 80% of Amazon deforestation is to create grazing land for cattle. Land is also cleared to grow soy for animal feed for chicken, pigs, and cows. Try to swap out meat for other proteins where you can.
Watch out for waste: Forest-clearing is often driven by demand for agricultural land. However, a third of all food is lost or wasted. To decrease pressure on forests, avoid over-buying groceries and catering, and try to freeze leftovers. Additionally, use post-consumer paper and recycle where possible.
Support Indigenous rights: Indigenous peoples globally have traditional claims to 50% of land but have legal rights to just 10%. When Indigenous people steward an area, it is twice as likely to be left undeveloped, and has higher biodiversity and intact ecosystem services. Support NGOs that work to help Indigenous groups, and laws that ensure their sovereignty and land rights.
- Send a message with your money: Divest from companies that engage in unsustainable deforestation, or who buy animal feed, beef, or other products from companies that illegally clear forests. Invest in a fund that considers environmental and social impacts of companies.
At Domini, we have been hard at work for over 20 years to manage investment portfolios consistent with our goals of universal human dignity and ecological sustainability.
Learn more about the Domini Impact Equity Fund and our work on forests at www.domini.com/Forests.
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