This is not the first time Leonardo DiCaprio has been an advocate for the environment. In 1998, DiCaprio started the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Their mission: provide resources for the “long term health and well-being of the Earth’s Inhabitants. Since then, the foundation has funded over 200 projects and granted over 100 Million dollars.
What caused the Amazon Rainforest fires?
These are not the wildfires we are used to hearing about locally, like the wildfires in California last year. Each year fires are started in areas of the rainforest designated to ranching and farming. Farmers use fires to create new land for ranching, i.e. cattle, or use prescribed fires for grass and land management.
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So, What’s the Problem?
The problem is these fires are increasing exponentially year over year. According to CNet.com, this year marks the highest number of fires counted since 2013. The National Institute of Space Research in Brazil reported there are 72,000 fires this year, which is an astonishing 85% more than last year.
The Amazon rainforest is an essential part of our overall existence on this planet. It stores a “vast amount of planet-warming carbon dioxide and produces 6 percent of the planet’s oxygen,” The Atlantic. And that’s all before you factor in the 1 million ingenious people, 3 millions of species, and the billions of trees that call the rainforest home.
In July of this year, DiCaprio and a team of philanthropists founded Earth Alliance: ealliance.org. The new organization was created to “help address urgent threats on the Plant’s life-support system.”
What can we do?
If you don’t feel comfortable sitting by passively, there are ways to get involved.
- Research and consider donating to any of the following organizations:
- Reduce your beef consumption! The more we increase demand for cattle production, the more land farmers need to clear. Plain and Simple.
- Reduce paper and wood consumption
- Reduce overall waste. Check out our 10 Grocery Shopping Tips for a Zero Waste Kitchen