I am a full-time traveling registered nurse, fitness enthusiast, and nutrition expert. Every morning I wake up intending to bring awareness of the importance of health and spiritual wellness, especially to the traveling community. At Messy Bun Traveler, we promote travel that allows the traveler to either kick-start, maintain, or enhance a healthy lifestyle. So whether you're someone who travels for business, travels for pleasure, or new to travel and looking for health advice while on the road, this blog is for you!
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For further proof that climate change is a real thing and plays a crucial role in our lives, look no further than the shocking news of the Amazon Rainforest fire. Climate change is a real, pressing issue, and we as a society, cannot dismiss it any longer.
The Amazon Rainforest is often referred to as the “planet’s lungs” because it produces roughly 20 percent of the world’s oxygen. This beautiful and life-sustaining forest has been on fire for nearly three weeks now—and doesn’t show any signs of stopping or even slowing down. THOUSANDS of different fires across the forest have been spreading rapidly.
And, to not be selfish by only talking about our health, I also want to point out that our reckless decisions are affecting the jaguars, monkeys, reptiles, and other millions of unique animals that call the Amazon Rainforest home.
More than 75 thousand forest fires have been documented so far in Brazil this year, which is more than twice as many as 2013 and an increase of over 80 percent within the same period last year. During Brazil’s dry season, usually lasting from July to October, it is expected to see some fires in the area. But there hasn’t been anything like this. Amazonas has declared a state of emergency, and all across Brazil, you can see nothing but dark skies as a result of the ash and smoke from the Amazon rainforest fire.
There is much speculation as to how and why these fires started. Researchers believe the flames started from farmers, cattle ranchers, and loggers clearing this land for profit by cattle ranching, soy production, and logging. Brazil exports nearly 20% of the world’s beef, more than any other country!
Journalists have pointed to the policies of controversial Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate-change skeptic. He believes the Amazon Rainforest’s purpose is for commercial use. Since he took office, there has been an 80% increase in deforestation since January of this year. According to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, more than one-and-a-half soccer fields of the Amazon are being destroyed by fire every minute each day.
Environmentalists warn if the Amazon Rainforest burns to the point of no return, instead of supplying the world with oxygen it will start emitting carbon dioxide instead. Excessive carbon dioxide emissions are contributing to the warming of our planet. The Amazon Rainforest fire will spiral us deeper into a global climate crisis.
There have been calls for action across the globe. While we may not have as much impact as the 3,000 billionaires of this world; there is small, sustainable changes we can make to help change the current state of our environment:
The Amazon Conservation Team partners with the indigenous people and other local communities to protect forests and their culture to preserve it. They focus on ensuring that the forest, including its biodiversity, waters, and resources, is managed and protected for long-term health. The Rainforest Trust has a program to help save tropical rain forests, which provide habitat for some 50% of the world’s plants and animals.
Buy thrift instead of buying new (I personally like ThredUP as the source for my thrifting!). You can also buy products that feature the “Rainforest Alliance Certified” seal. Thousands of products from farms that met standards for sustainability have earned the seal — including coffee, chocolate, and bananas.
Drive less. Bike. Walk. Use a fuel-efficient car. Carpool with others.
You can also stop (or significantly reduce) eating beef. Brazil is a large exporter of beef products. Additionally, cows produce a greenhouse gas known as methane, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Cattle herding is responsible for 41% of all greenhouse gas emissions produced by livestock. Cattle herding, in turn, accounts for 14.5% of total global emissions.
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