Why Save the Rainforest?
The National Cancer Institute has named many plants that protect against cancer, and 70 percent of these are found in the rainforest [Source: Taylor]. There are also many other active ingredients in today's disease-fighting drugs which come from plants found only in the rainforest. Vincristine, which is extracted from the rainforest plant called periwinkle, is one of the world's most powerful anticancer drugs [Source: Taylor]. It has dramatically helped survival rates for acute lymphocytic leukemia. This cause is close to my heart because my husband lost his life to leukemia. There are still so many species of plants that have yet to be discovered and researched in the rainforest. We could be losing cures to diseases by destroying the rainforest.
Fewer indigenous people now live in the rainforest, and medicine men in the rainforest carry a wealth of knowledge about plants that heal and enrich our lives. The ancient wisdom of the rainforest and the indigenous people that inhabit this land should be respected by all people on the planet and not be taken away at the expense of greed for mass consumption at short-term gain. Population has increased 30 percent since the 1980’s which means demand for resources can come at the expense of the environment. We can all must do our part to protect the rainforest and other natural ecosystems while still maintaining quality of life in the west.
What you can do at Home to protect the Rainforest
- Use less paper. Purchase tree free paper made from plants.
- Eat less meat. The rainforest is burned in order to make room for cattle. If you eat meat, buy from locally sustainable farmers. Most fast food industries get their meet from Central America.
- Use less oil. Petroleum is harmful to the rainforest.
- Only support companies that are environmentally responsible. Look for those sponsored by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
- Think globally and buy locally. Buy local, sustainable food. Only support Fair Trade and organic farmers.
- Always remember the three R’s….reduce, reuse, and recycle. Doing this will help the rainforest and all other ecosystems around the globe.
- Buy sustainable wood only.