What is World Rainforest Day?

Did you know that rainforests cover less than 3% of Earth, yet produce over 20% of the oxygen in our atmosphere?

Or that over 25% of modern medicine originated from plants found within rainforests?

Rainforests play a crucial role in keeping our planet healthy. They’re home to half the world’s animal species, provide oxygen through billions of trees, and are essential to keeping our climate stable. World Rainforest Day (WRD) was created to celebrate and make a collaborative effort to take action towards the preservation and promotion of these precious gifts to our planet.

This year’s World Rainforest Day falls on June 22nd. “This year’s event is more than a celebration of rainforests or a call for change. It’s an unprecedented act of collective action and collaborative coalition-building,” explained Niyanta Spelman, CEO of Rainforest Partnership.

The day is relatively new, created in 2017 by the Rainforest Partnership. The Texas based organization works directly with Indigenous Peoples living in and around rainforests to help launch projects to regenerate and restore rainforests and their local communities. World Rainforest Day serves as a platform for those affected by the destruction of rainforests, to speak on behalf of the environment that gives so much to them and our entire planet.

person riding brown boat

The Benefits of Rainforests

Keep reading for the best ways you can take action on behalf of World Rainforest Day, but first let’s learn a little more about what rainforests do for our planet.

Rainforests keep our climate stable by absorbing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and releasing oxygen. On top of that, they also regulate our water supply, and are home to over half of all animal species found on land. They’re a diverse ecosystem filled with natural wonders.

Just some of the benefits rainforests have on our planet home include:

  • Rainforests are a natural climate regulator, absorbing carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen, and maintaining temperatures.
  • Rainforests play a huge role in maintaining our Earth’s freshwater supply.
  • Rainforests are a source of livelihood for many communities, including around 70 million indigenous people.
  • Rainforests provide us with awesome foods, including bananas, acai, cinnamon, coffee beans, chocolate, and more!
person holding brown and black seeds

How can we Celebrate World Rainforest Day?

Shop Local and Purchase Planet-Friendly Products 

Shop for local, organic, and planet-friendly products that will reduce your waste and use of harmful material. One ingredient to always avoid is palm oil. You might have heard of palm oil before, as it’s in many things we use everyday, from cleaning products, to food, to sunscreen. Palm oil drives large amounts of deforestation, as rainforests are chopped down to clear land to grow palm. Help rainforests and their inhabitants by opting for palm-oil free products. Here’s a handy list of some great products that substitute palm oil for less harmful ingredients, such as olive oil!

Many global manufacturers make products we use regularly, but by simply making the switch to planet-friendly small businesses, we can support endangered rainforests and communities with our habits. Many local and planet-conscious brands set certain amounts of revenue aside to contribute to preserving and protecting the rainforest and other ways we can live better. The more local you buy, the less distance your items need to travel to you. This helps reduce your carbon footprint and protect our precious rainforests at the same time. Check out our “Eat Better” section at Planet Home to learn more about how to shop planet-friendly, local, and organic.

people walking on market during daytime

Support Indigenous People and Communities 

The Amazon is known as the “lungs of the planet.” That wouldn’t be possible without the living bodies that make up Indigenous groups who do so much to protect their home. The rainforest is home to hundreds of thousands of indigenous people and their respective communities. Creating strong relationships with these communities is one of the most effective ways to support rainforests. Support their voices, support their rights to protect their land, and support their fight to save their homes. Spread awareness and educate yourself on the people and organizations fighting to preserve these communities and regions from deforestation and the uprooting of thousands of homes. 

woman in white long sleeve shirt smiling

Practice and Promote Ecotourism 

Ecotourism is a form of tourism that involves responsible travel to natural areas. With travel opportunities slowly getting back in stride, this will become one of the most important ways you can support rainforests. Ecotourism is one of the best ways for certain countries to generate revenue that can go towards the preservation of our rainforests. Choose to visit locations and destinations that would benefit from your patronage. The proceeds made from the money you spend on things like tickets, food, etc., can go towards the maintenance and restoration of surrounding areas and communities, as long as you spend your money in the right places. Make sure you do your homework not only on places to buy, but how and where you spend your time. Do some research on finding experiences that aren’t invasive to local ecosystems and communities. For more information on how to be an ecotourist, check out this Planet Home piece.