The Amazon rainforest. A tropical paradise laden with tropical plants and extraordinary animal species. Once a haven for these creatures, it is now being destroyed at an astonishing rate. 20,000 square miles of the Amazon rainforest is destroyed every year, most of which is to create more room for farming and cattle ranching.
The Sumatran rainforest is another rainforest which is being destroyed to make room for huge palm plantations to supply us with palm oil used in all sorts of products we use daily including shampoo, lipstick, chocolate and biodiesel.
In addition, British Columbia in Canada is being destroyed for its highly sought after lumber.
As humans, we couldn’t even begin to imagine someone who is three-times the size of us coming in to our home and ripping it down from the inside out. Why are animals any different? The simple answer is; they aren’t.
Mountain gorillas, sloths, jaguars, poison dart frogs and black howler monkeys are just a few of the species affected by deforestation in the Amazon.
According to the WWF, there are only around 1,000 mountain gorillas remaining in the wild. With the staggering figures associated with the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, these numbers are only going to drop.
The Hawaiian Crow, Pygmy Raccoon and Darwin’s Fox are all extinct due to deforestation and they are only a handful of the species we are set to lose if we carry on at the same rate. In fact, up to 28,000 different species are expected to become extinct by the next quarter of the century. Not only are these animals cute, we have a moral obligation to look after one another, including animals.
It’s not just our furry friends who are affected. In the Western world, we have it easy. Simply pop down to the local supermarket, pick up some ingredients, then go home and cook yourself a tasty meal. For the tribespeople in the Amazon, it isn’t that simple. The indigenous tribes in the Amazon rely on the forest to forage for food and hunt for meat. If we take away the forest, how do they survive?
Imagine the UK government decided that one by one, every supermarket or food store is going to be ripped to the ground at a random time that we don’t know. It wouldn’t happen, so why are the tribespeople any different? They aren’t.
Let’s take a look at some more astonishing numbers:
- Our earth loses 18.7 million acres of forests per year, which is equal to 27 football fields every minute, according to the WWF.
- We lost 73.4 million acres of global tree cover in 2016, per University of Maryland, equivalent to just over 2.85 million tennis courts.
- It is estimated that within 100 years, there will be no rainforests left.
- 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon rainforest.
Also according to the WWF, half of the trees illegally removed from forests are used as fuel.
When these trees are burned for fuel, they give out carbon dioxide. When trees die, they release the carbon stored within them, adding to the ever increasing temperature of the earth and its atmosphere. According to Greenpeace, approximately 300 billion tons of carbon, 40 times the annual greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, is stored in trees. The more trees we destroy, the bigger effect it has on the planet.
Surely, there has to be another option?
Enter, renewable energy.
Why, in a world where renewable energy is so accessible and easy to produce, are we destroying our beautiful planet to power our lifestyles? It needs to stop.
Through technological advances, it is now easier than ever to build an offshore wind farm; not forgetting solar panels are becoming more and more common throughout the UK. In 2017, 27.9% of the UK’s total electricity usage was renewable.
Ending deforestation is the end goal, and by using only 100% renewable energy, we are taking a big step towards it.
Outfox the Market use 100% renewable electricity generated at British offshore wind farms. We want to make a difference, and by using renewable electricity, we’re on our way to doing so.
Switch today to the cheapest clean energy in the UK.*
*Source – uSwitch.com, April 2019.