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February 4th, 2010 | By Alicia Silverstone

If you read my blog about the damage that Exxon and Chevron are causing to the rainforest and it touched you, then you are definitely going to be interested in learning more about the Rainforest Action Network. The Rainforest Action Network was founded in 1985, and works to protect the rainforest and the human rights of the people that live in or around the rainforest. Check out the video above to see what they are all about, or go directly to their webpage. RAN focuses on running campaigns to break America’s oil addiction and reduce reliance on coal. They spread the word through education, grassroots efforts, and nonviolent direct action.

There are so many ways that you can get involved with RAN. Visit them here to see how you can join their email list, find a RAN chapter, start a RAN chapter, donate or volunteer.
Here is a very brief history of what the Rainforest Action Network has been doing:

“In our first direct-action campaign, we led a nationwide boycott of Burger King. Burger King was importing cheap beef from tropical countries where rainforests are denuded to provide pasture for cattle. This campaign succeeded in several ways. After sales dropped 12% during the boycott in 1987, Burger King cancelled $35 million worth of beef contracts in Central America and announced that they had stopped importing rainforest beef. The rainforest issue also began to gain ground in the public’s awareness, and consumers began to appreciate the power they have to change things through their purchasing choices.

The close alliances that RAN has forged with grassroots organizations have been instrumental to the success of RAN’s campaigns. RAN’s grassroots allies carry on the essential work of educating local communities and gathering the critical mass needed to exert effective pressure for change when and where it is needed. RAN’s monthly Action Alerts keep RAN’s individual members informed about the assaults on the rainforests and what we as individuals can do about them.

Through media campaigns, conferences, and publications, our efforts have helped to make the rainforest issue the cause celebre that it has become in the U.S. In order to keep the rainforest issue from becoming just another passing fad that fades before the rainforests are actually saved, our efforts must be unrelenting.”

I think that their video (at the top of the post) is really worth watching if you have a few minutes!

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