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Ten tips to help reduce your environmental impact

 

There are a lot of things we can all do to reduce our impact on the environment – and the Amazon rainforest – from here in the UK. Most are just small changes, but a lot of little things add up to a big impact. To help you make a positive difference every day – we’ve put together some top tips to reduce our impact on the rainforest.

Storm clouds gathering over Amazonas, BrazilA warming planet will have changed weather patterns – leading to stronger storms and freak weather. © Edward Parker / WWF-Canon

1. Choose FSC wood and paper

Did you know the UK is the fourth largest importer of illegal timber in the world?

The FSC label on a wood or paper product means it comes from legaland well-managed forests. Look out for it on everything from garden furniture to toilet tissue. And if you can’t find FSC products in your shop, ask them why not?

Local authorities are big buyers of wood and paper. But many of them don’t check where it’s come from, so they could be supporting illegal and unsustainable logging. E-mail your local authority via WWF and let them know how important you think it is to source forest-friendly wood and paper.

Tips on buying good wood

2. Reduce, re-use and recycle your electronics

Mobile phones and other electronic gadgets contain copper, aluminium, gold and other minerals that are mined in tropical rainforests. Mining causes deforestation and pollutes water systems, causing health problems in people and wildlife. Help protect the rainforest by choosing to upgrade your gadgets less often, by buying used products whenever possible and by recycling them when they’re broken.

Recycling your phone with a charity

3. Take action on climate change

Did you know that one of the biggest threats to the rainforest is climate change? As the world warms, there’s a serious risk the Amazon could reach a tipping point where the rainforest dries and trees start to die. In Europe and North America we emit a lot more CO2 than the rest of the world, so we can all do something to tackle climate change. Cut your greenhouse gas emissions by saving energy and thinking about how you travel.

Energy saving tips

4. Get out and enjoy your local park or woodland

While you’re helping tackle deforestation in the Amazon, don’t forget to enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife on your doorstep. Parks and woodlands are great places to exercise, play or just relax, and remind ourselves why we care about protecting the world’s forests. See the Sky Rainforest Rescue activities page to find events in your local woodland.

5. Steer clear of unlabelled, unsustainable palm oil

Palm oil is found in loads of supermarket products, from chocolate and biscuits to shampoos and soap. But most of it is grown on land that was once rainforest and habitat for animals like orang-utans and tigers. Wherever possible, choose products labelled as containing ‘sustainable palm oil’. And if you can’t find any in your regular shops, ask them why not?

The issue of palm oil

6. Think about the food you buy

The way we eat has a big impact on the planet. Food is produced on such a huge scale that changing what we consume really can help cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit damage to vulnerable species and environments. When available, choose products carrying Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance symbols which guarantee good working conditions and environmental standards. For more information and advice on what to eat, visit our main website.

7. Manage your investments

To save up for the future, most of us choose to put our money in bank accounts and pension funds. But did you know that the way we invest can have a big impact on rainforests and the climate? Before choosing a bank or pension provider, check out the portfolio of activities they’ll be investing your money in. And if it’s not to your liking, challenge them to do better.

8. Register your school for I Love Amazon Week

If you’re a primary school teacher or parent, why not get your children involved in helping protect the forest? Register now to I Love Amazon for Primary Schools and explore the Amazon with our fantastic free primary school resources for a week of rainforest-themed activities.

9. Campaign with WWF

Many of the threats affecting the Amazon are a result of governments, businesses or banks working in an unsustainable way. Sometimes we work with these organisations to improve their working practices. But we often need the backing of the public to make our voice heard. You can help make a difference by checking out our current campaigns online or by signing up to receive campaign updates by e-mail.

10. Pledge to be forest-friendly

The Amazon is the largest rainforest on Earth. But every minute, an area the size of three football pitches is destroyed. Forever.

Pledge now and we’ll help you get started with reducing your impact on the rainforest.

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