Saturdays with Shavara
Welcome back to another Saturday with Shavara green friends! I’m sure most of you have been reading or hearing about the treacherous fires ravaging the Amazon rainforest for the past 3 weeks. The Amazon is no stranger to fires and actually has them annually, however this year the Amazon saw an 84% increase in the amount of fires which has crept up to a startlingly high figure of 74,000 fires. Prior to the recent coverage of the Amazon forest fires I truly did not understand how important this forest is to our planet and thought it only right to share what I discovered.
The Amazon rainforest spans more than 5 million square kilometers, contains 10% of all biomass on Earth, and produces about 20% of the world’s oxygen. The Amazon is generally referred to as the “planets lungs,” because the forest functions much like actual lungs; where oxygen in the air is taken into the body, while also enabling the body to get rid of carbon dioxide in the air breathed out. The trees act as the lungs in the Amazon and take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere through absorption and release oxygen back into the air. Trees in general play such an important role in purifying our air, and because of the size of the Amazon it’s one of earths most important rainforest.
The fires currently burning in the Amazon are so incredibly detrimental to the environment because funny enough what trees naturally remove from our atmosphere... cough, cough carbon dioxide they also give back when burned, so to put it simply the trees release all that carbon dioxide back into the air that they so nicely collect for us.
Forest fires can, and do naturally occur because of drought and high temperatures, however many experts believe that the raging fires in the Amazon have been caused by accelerated deforestation. There are four main consumer commodities that drive the desire to clear land at an accelerated and environmentally dangerous pace in the Amazon; beef, soy, palm oil and wood products which in reality is so minute compared to the negative impact caused. Deforestation by definition is human-driven and natural loss of trees and effects wildlife, ecosystems, weather patterns and the climate. The trees in the Amazon contain up to 140 billion tons of carbon dioxide; which is equivalent to what humans produce in 100 years (woah)! Without rainforest the greenhouse effect becomes more pronounced, which is why this truly is a world issue.
Unfortunately, to some degree deforestation will continue as long as there is a demand for products that require large amounts of land to be cleared. As consumers it is our job to demand responsible methods that don’t so negatively impact our environment. We must continue to educate ourselves and others, speak out and bring awareness to environmental issues and as always live a lifestyle that honors our earth. My rant has come to an end green folks, but of course not before a friendly reminder to as always Reduce, Reuse and Recycle responsibly and frequently.
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