I would like to thank Pure Energies for sponsoring today’s post, and allowing me to discuss why it is important to talk to your children about the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon Rainforest Ecosystem is one of the most studied and monitored ecosystems in the world. This remote region is home to over 10 million species of plants, animals, and insects. It is also just a small fraction of the Earth’s surface area, but it produces nearly 20% of the oxygen on earth. The Amazon is also home to 400-500 indigenous tribes of Amerindians. Recently, the CEO of Pure Energies, an energy advising company in the US and Canada specializing in solar energy, visited the Kayapo tribe in the Amazon rainforest. They lived alongside the tribe for 10 days, and explored their independence from modern society. The Kayapo work to actively protect their territory in the Amazon. There is so much that can be learned from the Kayapo tribe—lessons we need to teach our children about the importance of our rainforests.
1. The Amazon rainforest is roughly the same size as the contiguous United States. It covers over 2 million square miles.
2. Nine countries in South America include part of the Amazon rainforest. The countries are: Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Venezuela, French Guiana, and Suriname.
3. Sadly, 20% of the Amazon rainforest has been lost to deforestation in the last few decades. Trees are cut for wood and paper products, and land is often cleared and burned for cattle ranching.
4. Astonishingly, 80% of foods routinely eaten in the developed world come from rainforests. The world’s second most traded commodity, coffee, primarily comes from the rainforest. It is also one of the leading causes of deforestation. Chocolate, vanilla, pepper, sugar cane, and nuts are some of the many foods we consume that come from a rainforest.
5. Plants from the rainforest have been vital to the development of modern medicines. They have been developed into drugs to treat conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
6. Deforestation slowly consumes the natural habitats of native plant, animal, and insect species. Roads constructed through the rainforest also separate habitats making it more difficult for species to travel. Animals are often poached from the rainforest. Many of these species are facing extinction if their habit isn’t protected. Jaguars, orangutans, poison dart frogs, and manatees are at the top of a growing list of species that are endangered in the Amazon rainforest.
7. There are lots of bugs in the Amazon rainforest. Can you imagine 2 million species of insects? It is estimated that 2.5 million insects call the Amazon home. They are vital to the maintenance of the ecosystem.
8. Tribes of indigenous people live within in the Amazon rainforest. They often have very little contact with other people. These tribes are also often threatened by logging, cattle ranching, and mining operations that seek to exploit the forest’s resources. Tribes such as the Kayapo work to protect the land.
9. The Amazon rainforest is home to the world’s largest river (by discharge; the Nile is longer in length), the Amazon. It is home to 4,000 known species of fish. There are billions of gallons of water that flow through the Amazon each day.
10. Studies estimate there are 400 billion trees in the Amazon, from 16,000 unique species. These trees provide the protective canopy for the Amazon ecosystem and it’s inhabitants. It is important to conserve these trees and protect their natural habitat.
There is so much that can be learned from the Amazon rainforest. One of the biggest lessons is sustainable living. We need to figure out how to consume fewer resources, and teach our children the importance of a sustainable lifestyle. Tribes such as the Kayapo have lived for centuries in the rainforest. They live with the resources that they have available, and take great pride in protecting the land.
Pure Energies provided a monetary donation and provided light to each household in the tribe in exchange for their visit. It is important for companies such as Pure Energies to study sustainable living so they can discover better ways to help consumers around the world live more sustainably. You can follow Pure Energies’ journey alongside the Kayapo in journal entries, photographs, and video on their website. They also have lots of information about ways that you can live sustainably, including information about solar power. I encourage you to follow their incredible and beautiful journey into the Amazon here.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, however all thoughts or opinions are my own.