The Amazon Rainforest is seven million square kilometers (1 billion acres) in size and consists of half of the world’s rainforest, giving it the title ‘lungs of the planet’. One in ten species on the planet call the Amazon home, including 2.5 million types of insects; over 40 thousand types of plants; countless species of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles; not to mention the countless more that have yet to be discovered.
Deforestation of the Amazon started in the early 1960s, and today the rainforest is vanishing at a rate of 1.5 acre every second, and at that rate, it could virtually disappear in the next 40 years. Over 140 species are going extinct every day, possibly eliminating plant genomes that could cure cancer or other diseases. One fifth of our freshwater and more than 20 percent of the oxygen on our planet is generated from the rainforest.
When rainforests are burned or cleared, large amounts of gases are released into the atmosphere such as carbon dioxide along with other greenhouse gases, and are altering the earth's radiative balance, resulting in an increase in severe climate change.
It is time for humanity to stop flirting with disaster. If you would like to contribute to saving the Amazon Rainforest, it can easily be done by switching whatever online search engine you might use on a regular basis (such as Google) with Ecosia.
Ecosia was first introduced in 2009 by Christian Kroll as a simple tool to help save the rainforest. As stated on their website: "... it lets an essential and routine task – searching the web – double as an ecological contribution: not only are Ecosia search emissions offset, but every click on a sponsored ad within Ecosia translates into either cents for the environment - or cents for generating more cents for the environment." Ecosia donates 80% of this income to support WWF's work in the Amazon, and have so far donated around $400,000 to the cause.
So something as simple as clicking on the links above or the one below can help save the Amazon and our planet.