Sustainable living and social justice : Global stewardship

Donating money to fighting the fires

The best groups we can donate to are those on the frontlines, especially those who are working to protect indigenous land rights. These fires were deliberately set, and a large part of that is also an illegal attempt to force indigenous people out of the rainforest (1 million people live in the Amazon). Organisations you can donate to include Rainforest Alliance (who are sending all donations to frontline groups), Socioambiental, Rainforest Action Network, or Amazon Watch.

Support Ecocide law

This is one of the most impactful things we can do from far away, it takes 2 minutes and costs £5, so very accessible for many of us. There is a legal movement to make ecocide (destruction of the natural world) illegal in international criminal court. It would hold people personally responsible for setting fires, signing permits, and funding ecocidal practices, meaning it would be highly effective and widespread when it comes to creating change. The team is currently working with island nations who may be underwater in the next decade to get this tabled - all money goes towards the legal costs of making it happen. It has been tested as a criminal law thoroughly so we know that, once implemented, it would definitely work. I really believe it's one of the best chances we have - learn more and sign up to show your support here.

Change your bank account

A lot of people don't realise this, but mainstream banks are very involved with fossil fuels and the arms trade, as well as providing credit to a lot of Brazilian beef exporters who've been causing damage, and they use the money from our accounts to do this. There are however ethical banks and building societies that don't do this. I recently wrote a big guide to ethical finance which you can read here which has lots of information on how to switch.

Don't buy Brazilian beef

I'm absolutely not saying everyone should go veggie or vegan - that's an individual choice for each person. However, the UK imports a lot of beef from Brazil, which is the main driver of deforestation in the region. These fires were deliberately set to clear more room for cattle ranching. Luckily we're in Cornwall, so if you still want to eat beef then source it from local butchers (or people like Mark and Jo!) to avoid contributing to the rainforest problem. It's also worth asking your meat providers where the feed for their animals is coming from - the rainforest is also cut down for soy production for animal feed. So people using local and regenerative farming practices are generally a better option all round.

Other products

A lot of trees are also cut down for paper, so opting to go paperless where you can, and looking for FSC certified and recycled paper everywhere else, can also be helpful. For your home, I'd recommend Who Gives A Crap (you can use this link for £5 off) for toilet paper, tissues and kitchen roll. They're a lovely bunch of people and also plastic-free! 

Additionally, for those who want to mobilise with others, I would recommend following the work of Christian Climate Action. The closest branch is currently Plymouth, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Cornwall gets involved (or perhaps someone who is interested may want to start it!)

Francesca Willow

Check out Fran's blog :: for more articles on social justice and sustainable living.