Information overload? Here are the questions we've been asking... and the answers we've found.
The Amazon Forest is burning and that damage to the earth concerns for us as humans first, and as an ethical beauty company second. Carbon footprints don’t just come in personal size; we mind our beauty carbon footprint at every step.
There is a lot of information out there and we've collected all the facts in one place to help straighten out any confusion and improve things step by step.
SO WHAT'S HAPPENING?
The Amazon is known as the lungs of the planet, producing about 20% of the world's oxygen.
August through October are the driest season every year, and when local farmers clear land using fire. Sometimes these can spread and overrun the surrounding areas.
Over 72k fires since January 2019 have been a combination of small, controlled fires and others wildly burning the size of a football pitch. By the way, that number includes every fire in the country, with more then half were in the Amazon region.
As of August 25th, there were at least 9,500 fires currently burning in the Brazilian area of the rainforest.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?
Agriculture is the primary driver of deforestation and in Brazil. Farmers burn the trees because over thousands of years the soil has evolved to nourish the old-growth trees, and therefore isn't suited to agribusiness.
Compounding the problem is a president who publicly supports deforestationand a deregulated system preventing farmers from over-burning land.
WHAT ARE THE IMMEDIATE EFFECTS?
Already smoke from the fires have blown east across Sao Paolo and blocked out daylight.
They have released the equivalent of 228 megatonnes of CO2 already this year. (That measurement equalizes the impact that any greenhouse gas has on the oxygen to CO2 balance)
WHAT ABOUT THE ANIMALS AND PEOPLE?
One in 10 species on Earth lives in the Amazon. Or rather, used to live in the rainforest. Both long and short term problems arise from lost habitats and subsequently insufficient food supplies in the chain.
These same problems face the Amazon's Indigenous peoples, but the greater risk is the loss of medicinal plants, cultural way of life, and a physical sense of belonging in the world.
WHAT IS CURRENTLY BEING DONE?
The Amazon fires were top of mind for the G7 summit, with those nations pledging $20M to fight the flames. Despite Brazil claiming a lack of resources or manpower to combat the issue, there is currently a spat with France that's keeping the Brazilian president from accepting the money. Meanwhile fires continue to burn unattended and new blazes are starting every day.
The Brazilian military has been deployed to battle the blazes. They have been supported by Canadian and U.S. Supertanker planes that can drop 76,000 litres of flame retardant.
SO HOW CAN I HELP?
If you want to donate money, the best organization to contribute to are the Rainforest Trust (you can define the specific project earmarked for your donation) and Rainforest Alliance (100% of the donations stop deforestation)
From a consumer standpoint, you can choose to only purchase products that have the "Rainforest Alliance Certified™" seal on goods like coffee, chocolate, and bananas. There is a similar certification for wood products: Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Most importantly, you can choose to live more sustainably. By paying attention to your personal and household contribution to greenhouse gasses and your carbon footprint, you actually do make a difference.
- Consider walking or biking in any instance where you can when you might otherwise drive instead.
- If you fly often, look into options to buy carbon offsets: Monetary contributions that can be made to balance out the jet and travel fuel that puts carbon into the atmosphere.
- Reduce, first, your consumption of plastics which DO NOT break down in nature.
- Reuse the plastics you still have to purchase wherever you can.
- Recycle the plastics you can remove from your lifestyle or reuse.
One small change. One decision. One routine... that's how you create ethical beauty, and it begins with you.
We have more than an obligation to save the earth. It's literally our only home.
Please do everything you can to make this world better.
Founder/CIO Teal N Bronze