💚 Can Chocolate Save the Amazon? 🍫

💚 Can Chocolate Save the Amazon? 🍫

By
Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:5 Minutes

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Stay impactful,

Happy Tuesday 👋

Here are the impactful insights that I have for you today:

  • Saving the Amazon Rainforest, with chocolate 🍫 
  • World’s first solar-powered haulage trailer 🚛
  • Get involved in Veganuary 🫛
  • And more… 💚

Do you like the taste of chocolate?

I have to admit that I love it, especially the ones made of 100% cacao.

But I find it fairly challenging to find Fairtrade chocolates that are sourced sustainably. And even then, they still have a significant ecological footprint.

Luckily, it looks like chocolate from the Amazon Rainforest is about to become not only much more sustainable but also to help the local communities!

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🍫 How Chocolate Can Help Save the Amazon Rainforest

1️⃣ The big picture: The indigenous Surucuà community in the Amazon Rainforest is the first to receive an innovative Amazonian Creative Laboratory (LCA), a mobile biofactory designed to help build the local bioeconomy. Individuals are being taught how to make chocolate from scratch using small machines instead of crushing local cocoa beans by hand. These products can then be processed, packaged, and sold using the biofactories. The scheme is part of a project set up by Amazônia 4.0 Institute designed to help local communities utilize their own crops and protect the surrounding forest rather than seeing the Amazon as a commodity for large industries elsewhere. 

2️⃣ Why is this good news: The iconic Amazon Rainforest is the largest carbon sink in the world, home to over 5,000 animal species and 40,000 varieties of plants. This area, roughly twice the size of India, is integral to our fight against climate change. Yet, approximately 20% of the Amazon Rainforest has been destroyed in the last 50 years, to make way for cattle and soy farming, among other industrial commodities. This new scheme focuses on improving local harvesting of native crops, such as cacao, açai, and cupuaçu, with all profits being invested back into local communities. Although the project is still in the early stages, evidence suggests that the local bioeconomy could grow by $8 billion a year, giving communities the incentive to stay there and protect the surrounding forest. 

3️⃣ What’s next: The idea of the project is to translate biological and cultural wealth into economic activity that’s not harmful or exploitative to the vulnerable Amazon Rainforest. To date, only one indigenous community, in the state of Pará, has received training and Amazonian Creative Laboratories but the results have been promising. So, the next step is to branch out to other local communities to build a sustainable economy in the Amazon Rainforest itself. 

Related: You can make a difference already by supporting one of the 9 Best Charities for Protecting the Amazon Rainforest!

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📢 More Good News…

🌳 US conducts highest number of inspections on polluting industries since COVID-19:

  • 2023 was a landmark environmental achievement for the US as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted more on-site inspections of polluting industrial sites than at any time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • The move comes after the agency announced that they are working to rejuvenate their assessment program after more than 10 years of budget cuts. 
  • The Environmental Protection Agency opened nearly 200 criminal investigations in 2023, which is an increase of 71% over 2022. 

🚛 World’s first solar-powered haulage trailer:

  • Swedish company Scania has developed a haulage trailer fitted with solar panels in a bid to decarbonize trucks.
  • Approximately 25% of all Europe’s emissions come from transport, with trucks lasting 15-20 years. This means that there are some fairly old trucks still on the road that would be costly to replace with more energy-efficient vehicles. 
  • A trailer covered with solar panels can act as an additional battery when fitted to hybrid tractors, storing around 200 kW (kilowatts) of energy. 

🧑‍🌾 Sumatra coffee farmers successfully brew natural fertilizer:

  • In response to rising fertilizer prices and the negative environmental impacts of chemical products, farmers in Indonesia’s Lampung province have developed a natural, organic fertilizer by repurposing farm waste and goat manure.
  • The Lampung province has lost 281,000 hectares of land (approx. 16% of its tree cover) in the last 20 years due to a depletion in nitrogen in the soil. 
  • The hope is that this new fertilizer will boost yield and soil fertility without the reliance on external (and expensive!) fertilizer importation.
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🫛 Event of the Month: Veganuary

👉 Did you know that this month is Veganuary? This event was founded in 2014 to inspire people around the world to adopt a vegan lifestyle and reduce their negative impact on the environment. 

1️⃣ The big picture: Veganuary was founded by Jane Land and Matthew Glover to encourage people to go vegan. This lifestyle change has been proven to reduce individual environmental impact, promote a greener planet, reduce food bills, increase human health, and promote kindness to animals. Today, the event has turned into a global movement, with millions of people and companies promoting a plant-based diet. In fact, 1,610 new vegan products were launched in 2023 alone, giving vegans more variety to choose from. 

2️⃣ Why is this important: Today, around two-thirds of farm animals are factory farmed, equating to nearly 50 billion animals a year. Most of these are kept in cramped enclosures, isolated, and subjected to cruel procedures in order to produce meat and dairy products for supermarket shelves. Additionally, livestock farming produces 37% of our global methane emissions and 65% of our nitrous oxide emissions. So, going vegan will help to protect animals and the environment as well as our own health. 

3️⃣ How can you get involved: The best way to get involved in Veganuary is to cook up your own vegan recipes and discover plant-based alternatives to your favorite meals. In addition, you can organize an awareness event in your own community on the benefits of going vegan or you can share your vegan journey on social media to inspire others. 

You can also check out the organizations below that are working to end the suffering of farm animals and improve prospects for farmers:

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📜 This Week in History

🎶 January 09, 2001: Tech giant, Apple, released iTunes, a digital media player for music that would go on to revolutionize the digital music scene, including the launch of the iPod

⚡ January 09, 1960: Construction began on the Aswan High Dam, Egypt. On completion in 1970, the dam was capable of generating huge amounts of electrical power, allowing for the control of the annual Nile flood

📹 January 09, 1839: The launch of the daguerreotype was proclaimed by inventor Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre of France. This became the first commercially successful form of photography. 

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💭 Quote of the Day

I have captured the light and arrested its flight. The sun itself shall draw my pictures.”

— Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, French artist and photographer

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Share the news with your friends to make a bigger positive impact on the world and society together!

Stay impactful 💚

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