(This is a guest post by Jessica Schessler)
Obviously, rainforest destruction is a heated topic of discussion. Many popular websites claim to plant trees in exchange for donations, and even Dell has hopped on the bandwagon. When you buy a new computer you can select “plant a tree for me” as you checkout and help offset your carbon footprint. Planting trees can be a good thing, but are we really making progress if we do nothing about the source of the problem? Sustainable Harvest International is heading straight for one source. This small non-profit organization “has worked with nearly 1,000 families and 900 students in Honduras, Panama, Belize and Nicaragua implementing alternatives to slash-and-burn farming, the leading cause of rainforest destruction in the region.” Malnutrition is a huge problem in this area of the world, and many vegetables are considered a luxury item. SHI teaches new farming techniques to the local families, such as alley cropping, organic vegetable gardening, and seed saving and storage.
Since 1997, SHI has successfully:
* Planted more than 2,000,000 trees.
* Converted 6,000 acres to sustainable uses, thereby saving 30,000 acres from slash-and-burn destruction.
* Improved nutrition through the establishment of more than 200 organic vegetable gardens.
* Increased farm income up to 800%.
* Built 165 wood-conserving stoves (saving 1,650 trees per year)
All summer it’s possible to eat yogurt, help save forests, and help the farmers in Central America become more sustainable! Stonyfield Farm is featuring SHI along with two other non-profits on their yogurt lids this summer. Vote for your favorite non-profit and help direct funds their way, while getting cool prizes! “We’re very honored to be chosen by Stonyfield to be featured in their Bid with your Lid campaign. We are the smallest non-profit to ever take part, and that underscores our low overhead and effectiveness as we strive to mitigate global warming,” said Florence Reed, SHI’s President.
Visit http://www.sustainableharvest.org/yogurt/ for more information on SHI and Stonyfield’s “Bid With Your Lid” program as SHI continues “planting hope, restoring forests, and nourishing communities.”
Jessica is a 21 year old college student majoring in International Affairs, and is attempting to learn Japanese through self study courses (no easy task). She is, among other things, a private pilot, musician, poet, and gamer. She is married, hopelessly in love with the local farmer’s market, and is trying to convince her husband that meat is not a necessary staple.