Today, some companies are concerned about the environment. These companies look for ways to reduce their impact on the world around them through recycling, using less energy, and supporting conservation efforts in other countries. If consumers like you and your parents support these companies by buying their products and services, the environment will be better off.
One way to learn what companies have responsible practices is to ask a local environmental group or do research online. Beware that some companies try to mislead people about their environmental record. It’s best to seek independent opinions on the environmental practices of a company rather than relying solely on what a company states on its own web site.
Another way to learn which companies are making efforts to reduce their environmental impact is to check whether their products have been eco-certified, which means that an independent group has evaluated the environmental impact of its products. Examples of eco-certification initiatives are the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for wood products, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for palm oil, and the Rainforest Alliance Marketplace for other products. None of these systems are perfect, but they are often better than the alternative: non-certified products. Be sure to do a little research about eco-certification, because sometimes companies use fake certification systems.
Some companies have established policies that exclude products produced by cutting down rainforests. For example, Nestle, Mars, and Kellogg's have promised that the palm oil they use will be free of deforestation.
Companies that support forest conservation directly
One way to determine the "eco-credentials" of a company is to learn whether it has has policies that minimize or "offset" the pollution it produces. In the near future, companies will be able to support rainforest conservation and "offset" emissions by sponsoring forest protection in tropical countries. The idea is called "avoided deforestation" or REDD (which stands for "Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation") and could become an important source of funds for global rainforest conservation.
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- May I use graphics from mongabay.com for my projects? Yes, you may provided that you don't remove the mongabay label from the images. You may use information from the site for class projects and can cite mongabay as the source.
- Is this web site credible? Mongabay is the world's most popular source for information on tropical forests. The site is highly acclaimed by a number of the world's leading tropical scientists. Mongabay Founder Rhett Butler has published several scientific papers.
- Can I interview the founder of mongabay for my school project? Unfortunately Rhett is not available for interviews. However he has answered some common questions on the Rainforest Interview page.
- Do you have any games or activities? Currently there are a few on the resources page.
- How can I help save rainforests? Some ideas are listed at Rainforest Solutions.
- Where can I learn more about rainforests? Check the main rainforest site.