April 3, 2012 § 1 Comment
Earth Day is a global event for individuals and organisations to work towards a sustainable future. As part of this, you’re invited to contribute and voice your support for green causes. You can do this by making a pledge specific to you and your lifestyle, or you can support Bloomtrigger’s pledge to help save 100 hectares of rainforest.
Whilst most of us like to think we do our bit towards saving energy, recycling and living sustainably, it can be difficult to figure out the best choices to make and what direct effect, if any, our actions have.
Take a popular pledge from the Act of Green campaign: Eat more local food. A stir fry may contain prawns from Indonesia, baby corn from Thailand, peas from Guatemala and Carrots from Zambia so it is easy to see that air miles contribute to its large carbon footprint.
People are rightly keen to reduce the amount of food they buy which is flown across the planet. However, food grown closer to home but in heated greenhouses can be more energy intensive than you may think. According to the Environmental Transport Association more energy is used growing tomatoes in Britain out of season than transporting tomatoes from Spain due to the warmer climate. The issue becomes more complicated when you realise that products such as fair trade cocoa or bananas are an important source of income for overseas farmers.
And what kind of bag do you use once you have bought your carefully considered food? Another top pledge is to use reusable shopping bags. Although canvas bags or a bag for life would be most people’s first thought, a plastic carrier bag is reusable too. The amount of usage a bag gets also alters the carbon footprint of a bag. For example, a cotton bag would need to be used 131 times for its carbon footprint to equal a plastic bag. The more you reuse the carrier bag and save it from landfill, the more its carbon footprint is lowered.
It’s certainly worthwhile to make a pledge, to make improvements to your lifestyle and to show your support, but there are complex ecological issues to think about.
Bloomtrigger’s pledge is to help save 100 hectares of rainforest which you can support here. Once you’re a member of the project you can see your pledge having a tangible effect. Your profile page shows the statistics of exactly how much CO2 you’ve saved and the area of rainforest you’ve helped to protect. The more you invest in ‘blooms’ the more impact you have on the Peruvian rainforest. ‘Blooms’ are our virtual currency for protecting forests. One ‘bloom’ costs just 50p and when you plant a ‘bloom’ onto the map of ‘the bloomtrigger project’ the money is then invested into a forestry community in the Amazon rainforest.
As well as looking at the figures, the rainforest tab at the top of the site is a reminder of why the rainforest is so important to us, and why we are contributing to the Billion Acts of green campaign by making this pledge.
Article by Bloomtrigger’s guest writer Emma Law
Click here to become a part of the bloomtrigger project and buy some ‘blooms’ to help protect your own part of the rainforest in Peru!