Deforestation prevention has often been a grassroots environmental movement. There are many things people and communities can do to limit deforestation.
- Boycott Products connected to Deforestation
Many familiar products are potentially rainforest sourced.
- Palm Oil
- Wood Pulp
Always try to check where the things you buy come from. The following labels mean products are sustainably sourced. Also, effective boycotts are a community effort, so make pledges with friends and family about products or stores to avoid. Economics are the absolute main cause of deforestation, and removing this incentive removes the need for deforestation.
- Rainforest Alliance
- Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
- RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil)
2. Pressure Companies that Use Rainforest Products
Bad PR is a large incentive for companies to change their practices. Email companies with complaints if they have bad practices. Also, try to organize movements among multiple people. If there’s ever an environmental protest organized near you, consider attending it.
This chart shows the commitment companies have to removing palm oil that contributes to deforestation. Boycotting all these companies is probably asking too much, but bad PR through email and protest has proven effective at getting companies to change their practices. McDonalds changing their beef source is a great example.
3. Make Donations
There are many great organizations, committed to combatting deforestation, that you can donate to.
- International Conservation Union (IUCN) – An organization of both government and civil society organizati
- The Forest Trust
- the Rainforest Alliance
- Conservation International (CI)
- the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
- the Sierra Club
- The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
- the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF)
Organizations like these have many important roles. They conduct vital research and “act as mediators between various development interests, policy makers, local peoples, scientists, and activist groups in promoting conservation.” They also promote a “broad range of conservation-related activities, from arranging international conferences to establishing community-based conservation projects to maintaining parks and reserves.” Organizations like these have a large impact in the global community and are great causes to support.
4. Be Politically Supportive and Active
A Ranking of States by Environmental Friendliness and Conservation (Forbes). Washington is near the top of the list.
Many countries such as Norway and Germany have been very influential in preventing deforestation. The U.S. also has a lot it could contribute, but first, citizens have to show that the environment is an issue they care about. First, start in Washington state by supporting environmental bills. The Environmental Priorities commissions is especially looking at safe drinking water for both people and wildlife, protection from oil spills in the Sound, and better funding for the Model Toxics Control Act. If people continue to support environmental legislation in Washington, issues like deforestation can eventually become a national and then even global issue.
5. Be Well-Informed
Perhaps the most important advice is simply being aware of the issues affecting our world. If you stay of top of issues, you will be able to ensure that your choices correctly reflect your ideals and beliefs. Know where the things you buy come from, where the food you eat comes from, what the candidates you vote for support, etc. Someone with both knowledge and conscience can do great things.