Junior Rainforest Rangers: Even Kids Can Help Save The Rainforest
Over half of the world’s plants, insects and animals live in the tropical rainforests, and over 20 percent of the oxygen we breathe is produced in the Amazon. Even though rainforests provide a wealth of other benefits to the planet, these two reasons alone are enough to realize how important rainforests are for our future. By teaching children early about the importance of the rainforests, we can help them understand why we need to find ways to protect them.
In spite of what you may think, children can be proactive in the quest to save the rainforests. Millions of acres of rainforests disappear each year. By understanding how certain actions play a role in the destruction of these climates, children can make positive changes that help to preserve these important habitats.
Reduce and Recycle
Logging companies are the number one problem when it comes to the destruction of trees in the rainforests. It takes trees to make paper. Children can reduce the amount of paper that’s wasted in the classroom and at home by making small changes such as using both sides of a sheet of notebook paper, encouraging their parents to use recyclable bags at the grocery store and using cloth napkins and towels instead of paper towels. When shopping for school supplies, kids and their parents can also reach for products made from post-consumer wastes and choose chemical-free products whenever possible.
Choosing Healthy Snacks
Instead of reaching for a bag of chips or cookies, children can ask parents to purchase bananas and other healthy snacks that are grown in a sustainable manner. Organic foods and beef that is grass-fed is safer for the environment and healthier for you. In many rainforests, vast swaths of land have been cleared in order to raise cattle for consumption in the United States. Most grocery stores don’t include where their beef is sourced from on the label, so there is no way to tell by looking where your beef came from. By reducing the amount of beef you eat, you can help reduce the need for farmers to feel pressured to clear more land in the rainforests for raising these animals.
Writing Letters to Local Officials
Letter writing not only teaches excellent communication skills in the classroom, it also provides children with an opportunity to use that time to write letters to their congressmen. Emphasize the need to stop deforestation and remind them of the many benefits of looking for sustainable natural resources. Another idea would be to write letters of encouragement to organizations working to protect the rainforests.
One special way to help protect the rainforests is by supporting conservation groups in tropical countries who work hard every day to stop rainforest destruction. Children can hold a school-wide fundraising event and donate the money to one of these groups. Adopt-a-Rainforest projects are geared towards specific regions, and each region may be different in the activities the group works towards.
The most important way to help preserve rainforests is through education. Read about other children who live near these rainforests and how the destruction affects them. Study facts about rainforests and learn where they are. Know what products are eaten and used on a daily basis that actually come from the rainforests and think about how life would be without these items.
Rainforests disappear at a rapidly enormous rate every second. If this continues, it won’t be long before the climate completely disappears along with the many plants and animals that live there. Even though most children don’t live near rainforests, these climates do affect everyone in some way every day. Teaching children respect for the rainforests and by teaching them how to change their behaviors to protect these climates can ensure that there will be plenty of tropical rainforests in the future. By simply educating individuals, reducing the number of resources used, and donating to resources that can help, thousands of acres of rainforests can be saved every year.