While the Amazon forest burns at an alarming rate, rainforests in South East Asia are also up in flames, causing the thick, choking haze that takes weeks (or even months) to clear.
There are many factors causing this, one of which is land clearing activities using the slash-and-burn method by unethical corporations and farmers, largely in the palm oil and woodpulp industries. Everyone in this region suffers, and while we can always blame it on irresponsible corporations and slow government actions to clamp down on such methods, we as consumers have a huge part to play in this awful situation.
As much as possible, reduce the use of palm oil in your daily routine by checking labels before you purchase an item. Palm oil is a common ingredient in baked goods, body care products and toast spreads. Use wood and paper products that are certified FSC Recycled or FSC Mix to reduce the need for virgin woodpulp.
Lastly, do your part to slow climate change by adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. Forest fires are made worse with the hotter and dryer climate in recent years that makes putting them out even harder. We'll be sharing tips on how to do so in future posts, and we'll like to hear more from you too.
Remember, while we can escape from the haze by moving indoors with our air purifiers, the wildlife and rural communities in our rainforests have nowhere to hide. Endangered animals like the Orang Utans suffer with their depleting habitat, and we may no longer see them in years to come.