Every day, we hear about what’s happening to the environment on a global scale. The earth is suffering severe consequences due to the issues with climate change that have been ignored for years. The rainforest, in particular, has been highlighted recently, and with good reason. Parts of it are quite literally on fire, while others are dying or not growing at the rate that they should be. There are a number of different factors that play into what’s going on with the rainforest. But it can be difficult to feel as if you can help the rainforest when you’re as far away from it as Denver. Denver residents tend to care deeply about the environment; they’re surrounded by natural beauty in their hometown, even if the natural wilderness of Colorado is vastly different from the rainforest. However, they often feel as if their efforts to help the environment are futile, especially if they have specific concerns, like what’s happening to the rainforest right now. Many of them don’t necessarily have the spare change to donate a significant amount of money to environmental funds, and it’s not as if they can hop aboard planes and fly to South America to fight rainforest fires on foot.
However, there are things that Denver residents can do right now to benefit the environment, without leaving Denver and without breaking their budgets. The more people can do from where they live, the more likely it will be that we can actually save the environment, one step at a time. Without further adore, let’s explore five different ways that you can help save the rainforest, without leaving Denver.
1. Support Eco-Friendly Businesses
Denver prides itself on being an attractive site for a number of young entrepreneurs, and therefore a hub for growing small businesses. Fortunately, many small business owners and up-and-coming entrepreneurs come from generations that take environmental issues seriously. This means that we’re seeing more and more small businesses that not only try to minimize their negative environmental impacts, but seek to actively help the environment and the world at large. This is done in part by offering sustainable options.
“One trend that we are seeing as consumers seek more sustainable options, is that people love to not only choose eco-friendly options but to be involved in direct action that they can feel good about,” says Sam Franklin, CEO and Founder of Greenvelope.com. “For example, through a partnership with the National Forest Foundation, people who purchased holiday cards with us helped plant over 18,000 trees! That type of tangible reward is so important as people continue moving towards making greener purchasing and lifestyle choices.”
People like the idea of being able to take care of a need that they already have, while also contributing to eco-friendly efforts.
2. Shop Locally
Of course, you’ll probably find that a lot of eco-friendly businesses can be found online. But you can just as easily stay in Denver and support not only businesses with a mission, but small businesses in general and in the long term aid the environment. How does this work? Well, ultimately, shopping locally cuts down on the amount of fuel that you’ll end up using. Many of us shop online, and with good reason; about 80% of Americans rely on search engines to find local businesses. But once you find those local businesses, why not cut down on the fuel and energy spent on shipping products and go straight to the source itself, rather than buying the same products from big warehouses in other states? Consider the fact that each year, about 40 billion gallons of fuel are spent on transportation. If you can cut down on transportation in general by buying locally in Denver — as well as walking or biking when you can, rather than driving — you’ll cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and greatly aid the rainforest.
You don’t have to leave Denver to fundraise and aid charities and foundations that benefit the rainforest. You can start small — perhaps focus on bake sales, or maybe consider selling products that you make yourself, and donating at least a portion of the profits to rainforest-saving efforts. On a small scale, this is somewhat like what a lot of small businesses that benefit the environment are doing. Even by getting the word out about the issue at hand, you can make a huge difference.
4. Spread The Word
In this day and age, you don’t even need to leave your house to spread the word about what’s happening to the rainforest, and why people should care. Just by sharing a story online through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can let hundreds or even thousands of people know about the seriousness of the issue. Your opinion can matter a lot to your closest friends — if you vouch for a solution, they may be more interested in helping than they would have been otherwise.
5. Consider The Products You Use
Now, think about not just who you’re buying from, but the way that products you use affect the environment. You should use environmentally friendly products with natural ingredients, whether you’re cleaning or applying your own makeup. Ultimately, leftover product ends up affecting the environment, whether it’s airborne or simply thrown away. Small steps like these may not seem to affect you greatly at first, but they will ultimately achieve results on an environmental level.
“If everyone makes a simple solution or conscious change from something as small as turning off the water while brushing their teeth to growing their own food aquaponically it will create big changes in our environment,” says Dorie Morales, publisher of Green Living Magazine. “Everyone can make a difference.”
Denver residents have much more influence than they might think — and they don’t need to go far to have an impact. You don’t have to change your life to save the rainforest!