WARRENTON — Since 1988, Rainforest Trust has been protecting imperiled tropical habitats and saving endangered species by establishing protected areas in partnership with local organizations and communities around the globe. With its partners, Rainforest Trust has safeguarded more than 34 million acres of vital habitat.
This April 22 marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. The celebration of this day occurs in uncertain times, as the world continues to fight the emergence and spread of COVID-19, a zoonotic disease that is the direct result of our destruction of nature. As the urgency to improve the environmental health of the planet escalates, Rainforest Trust has committed to 30 by 30, a global initiative to conserve and protect 30 percent of the planet by 2030.
“Last year, nearly one acre of forest was lost every second, that equates to an area the size of Pennsylvania that is simply gone, up in smoke. The biodiversity is lost and the carbon once stored is now contributing to climate change,” said James Lewis, Rainforest Trust vice president of conservation. “Creating and maintaining protected areas is the simplest most cost-effective solution to reduce climate change, Rainforest Trust has been doing just that for nearly 34 years.”
Because the need is so dire, Rainforest Trust has created a special fund this Earth Day. The Rainforest Climate Action Fund has been launched to fund critical projects fighting forest loss. This Earth Day, contributions will be matched 1:1 up to $100,000.
While not everyone can actively conserve land in the tropics, there are simple things that everyone can do to make a difference for our planet, the climate and to conserve nature. Rainforest Trust suggests:
Cut down on food waste
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 30-40% of the food supply is wasted every year. Consumers should be aware of their purchases and reduce the amount of food that’s wasted. Instead, find ways to cut down on purchasing and waste.
If you must throw food away, create a compost bin or pile for personal food scraps and other compostable materials. Talk to your landlord about providing a green bin for your apartment building. Start a community composting program. Composting is a process that decomposes organic matter like leaves, vegetable scraps or tea bags into soil conditioner that helps plants grow. It naturally enriches soil and prevents plant pests and disease.
Support Eco-Friendly Companies
With consumers connected to their devices, there is so much information available at our fingertips. Take the time to read reputable sources and be cognizant of how the world is changing around us. Knowledge is power; one of the greatest ways to have an impact is to be aware.
Donate to the right organizations (if you can)
There are many organizations that are working tirelessly right now to protect our planet. Do your homework and select one that is making a difference. No matter how small the amount, every dollar you give makes a difference and can help to save our planet.