Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why and how are rainforests being destroyed?

Q. “How do we know this is a real problem and not just political propaganda?”

Q. I am researching for a school writing assignment due next week. Can you send me all the books and information you have on rainforests? Can you write my homework report for me?

Q. What are the migration habits of the Peruvian sloth? How many pink dolphins are left in the upper Amazon basin? How many bananas does a howler monkey eat every day?

Q: With all the rainforest destruction going on, why is your website so upbeat?

Q. With so many problems in the world, why should I care about saving rainforests?

Q. How far can a little money go? Will my donation really make a difference in saving the forests?

Q. Is your information and reporting on rainforests accurate?

Q. How can I help?

Q. How can I fundraise for TRC?

Q. I made some money from a fundraiser. How do I send it to TRC?

Q. How do we know our donations are being properly used to save the rainforests?

Q. Do I own the acre I save? WIll I receive a land title for it?

Q. When I “save-an-acre”, can you tell me where this acre will be located?

Q. Can I ever visit any of your projects?

Q. I am a science major and want to volunteer on a rainforest project as a part of my curriculum. Can I volunteer for any of your projects?


Q. Why and how are rainforests being destroyed?

A. There are many socio-economic reasons why the forests are being destroyed and the answer is complex. Consumer demand by first world countries for rainforest byproducts from third world countries, which are heavily in debt and financially poor, results in rapid deforestation. Primary rainforest byproducts include exotic wood like teak and mahogany. Forests are mined for oil and minerals which leave behind toxic contaminants that spread and kill plants and wildlife. Destruction has many shapes and sizes: it can occur by unregulated, large international corporations or by encroachment from poor locals in need of space to farm or the hunting of animals for food. (back to top)

Q. “How do we know this is a real problem and not just political propaganda?”Yes, we do actually receive inquiries like this one.

A. To not think of this as a real problem assumes two things: first, that we humans have no impact on our surroundings, and second, because we don’t see something, we assume it is not happening or is not a problem to us. Regarding the first assumption, you can use simple math: the earth’s capacity is fixed, and as the population grows exponentially, imagine its effect on land usage and the fresh water supply. More specifically, how can rainforests, that now cover up to 6% of the earth’s land surface, not have a major effect on world climate after they are destroyed? They help capture sunlight (and heat) rather then reflecting it back into the atmosphere. Regarding the second assumption, a person can choose to believe the world is flat because they only believe what they see, or they can trust common knowledge that says it is a sphere. In the same way, the global effects of deforestation has been verified by countless scientists and organizations worldwide. You can choose to trust their years of expertise or not. Massive deforestation has been documented in research studies, books, satellite imagery, and personal accounts. (back to top)

Q. I am researching for a school writing assignment due next week. Can you send me all the books and information you have on rainforests? Can you write my homework report for me?

A. We regret that we DO NOT have any free material we can send you. Many students ask us for this, and some for projects due the next day. Please visit your library or local bookstore. We cannot write or edit your homewwork assignments—please accept the life-long challenge of learning and write your own paper—you will be a better person. Seek guidance from your teachers and professors—they can help you so much more than we can. Imagine that if we tried to fulfill all your requests, we would spend lots of money and energy with none left for saving the rainforests—our true mission. And remember not to procrastinate! (back to top)

Q. What are the migration habits of the Peruvian sloth? How many pink dolphins are left in the upper Amazon basin? How many bananas does a howler monkey eat every day?

A. For the same reasons stated in the previous answer, we do not have the time and resources to answer your specific questions about rainforests. Our main purpose is to support rainforest conservation, not to gather and research facts. Local libraries, bookstores, and academic or scientific institutions are all excellent sources for this information. (back to top)

Q: With all the rainforest destruction going on, why is your website so upbeat?

A: TRC made a conscious effort many years ago to not focus on the negatives of destruction. The reality is that our archive of photos is full of scenes of deforestation and petroleum soaked jungles. Our volunteers and Board members have personally witnessed and documented the massive scale of destruction. Although negative images are a way to motivate some people into taking action, we have chosen a path that focuses on the ability to adopt specific projects and succeed in making them a reality. The power of positive thinking (and results) prevails at TRC. (back to top)

Q. With so many problems in the world, why should I care about saving rainforests?

A. Indeed there are many problems in the world—too many for any single person to help solve all of them. Remember, you are free to choose who and what you want to care about. Those that care about saving the rainforests understand that forest destruction directly affects them, whether it is through global warming or losing a future world cure for cancer. (back to top)

Q. How far can a little money go? Will my donation really make a difference in saving the forests?

A. Unresoundingly yes! Your contribution and that of other individuals and businesses really does add up. Our funds have been continuously growing because of donors who are making a difference. We are happy to be able to use these donations to fund current and new projects to really make a difference. It is all because of their help. We receive no funding from governmental sources and very few large corporations have made sizeable donations to rainforest protection. So, it is you, the individuals, clubs, schools and small businesses that are making the difference. (back to top)

Q. Is your information and reporting on rainforests accurate?

A. We try to make sure any facts we say in general are as accurate as possible. Rainforest facts are compiled from many sources including scientists in the field, satellite imagery, economic reports, and studies and as a result, the data will vary from source to source. We do not have the staff and equipment to produce and verify it all ourselves, but will trust it is reasonably accurate when stated by multiple sources. The field reports from the projects that TRC supports are verified during periodic visits by members of our Board of Directors. We strive for acuracy and timeliness in our reporting. (back to top)

Q. How can I help?

A. There are so many ways to help. It can start with awareness of the consequences of global deforestation. Then you could take a look at your own lifestyle and see how it impacts the survival of the rainforests, perhaps altering your consumption habits to be less impactful. You could tell your government representatives that you don’t tolerate destructive economic practices that destroy the rainforests. You could save-an-acre, or start a fundraiser for your school, organization or business to donate to rainforest conservation groups. These are just some ways you can help. (back to top)

Q. How can I fundraise for TRC?

A. If you are a school, organization or business, you can help out by having a special event or promotion to raise funds for save-an-acre. Schools have had bake sales, produced and sold story books, had a local clean-up day, put on car washes. Businesses can offer product bundles and promotions that benefit rainforest conservation. It is only limited by your imagination. Read more about how some creative schools and businesses raised funds for TRC. (back to top)

Q. I made some money from a fundraiser. How do I send it to TRC?

A. You can send us donations online by credit card or by check in the mail. Online, you can choose a conservation program category to donate to, or if you would like TRC to decide the best use of the funds, send in a check with a donation form. You can visit our Donation Programs and Payment Methods page for more information. (back to top)

Q. How do we know our donations are being properly used to save the rainforests?

A. This is a valid concern that we take very seriously. There are several reasons why your donations are being used efficiently: We strive to keep our overhead low (less than 5%!) so your donations can work harder. We purposely avoid flashy informational brochures and newsletters that are expensive and wasteful. Our board consists of generous individuals that are not paid for their time and plane tickets down to the forest projects—they volunteer their time out of passion for saving the forests. Also, our board members maintain active and continuous contact with the projects we support to make sure funds are being wisely used. We only support projects that can be held fully accountable for use of donated funds—we require continuous updates from them and will not support those projects with questionable practices. (back to top)

Q. Do I own the acre I save? WIll I receive a land title or deed for it?

A. Legally, TRC operates as a non-profit organization, not a real estate broker or agent. Any funds accepted by TRC are purely considered as donations, and as such, are tax-deductible. Purchases of land titles for a fee are fully taxable transactions and fall outside the scope of TRC as an organization.

TRC purchases larger land areas, made up of many acres, rather than single acres. It is more efficient and beneficial to focus our efforts on larger acquisitions rather than numerous small ones. Donations are made to our funds (i.e. Save-an-Acre) which are then leveraged to make larger land purchases.

TRC is instrumental in establishing land titles for local, non-government organizations whose interest is to conserve rainforests for the long term. If many individuals had their own deeds, they could legally do what they wish to the land—it could create a possible conflict of interest with long-term conservation efforts. (back to top)

Q. When I “save-an-acre”, can you tell me where this acre will be located?

A. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with a specific coordinate of the acre saved by your donation. Your donation will be used to save rainforest acreage. Understand that saving an acre goes beyond just purchasing it: funds are also needed to oversee, maintain and protect these land parcels, pay legal fees, reforest and revive encroached areas, and educate and empower local indigenous people—all necessary for long term conservation. We recommend you visit our projects section for the most recent status on utilization of your funds. (back to top)

Q. Can I ever visit any of your projects?

A. Yes. You may contact us for further information about visiting our current projects. (back to top)

Q. I am a science major and want to volunteer on a rainforest project as a part of my curriculum. Can I volunteer for any of your projects?

A. Yes. Not all projects accomodate student and research volunteers. TRC does not directly coordinate or run any of the volunteer programs. Please check the individual project pages for any specific project volunteer contacts and information. (back to top)