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Rainforest Alliance Trivia Challenge

Tips for hosting your own Rainforest Alliance Trivia Challenge

Follow the rules. Read the rules at the beginning of the event and stick to them. We’ve included a sample set of rules below, but feel free to customize for your event.

Know your audience. Choose questions that will resonate with your crowd. If it’s an environmental club meeting, use all 18! If you’re using these for a social gathering, you may want to combine these questions with trivia about pop culture, current events and college life.

Provide materials. Create answer sheets and bring enough paper and pencils for your group. One piece of paper or answer sheet should be used for each round. [Do you want to be extra eco-friendly? Use scrap paper or FSC-certified paper for your answer sheets.]

Location, location, location! The right location for your event depends on the size of your group. Small groups will do fine in a common room, classroom or outdoor space, while larger groups may require a PA system so that everyone can hear the questions and answers. Bars and restaurants often stage their own trivia nights, so why not find out if a popular local hotspot will let you host your event there? They might even offer your group a special discount as a reward for your business! [If available, try to find a bar or restaurant that shares your values -- selling local and/or sustainable food and beverages.]

Offer prizes. Consider prizes such as Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee and chocolate or funny certificates. If you’re hosting the event at a bar or restaurant, talk to the manager about providing coupons or free food/drink to your top scorers. Take pictures of the winners and post them online or in a common area, such as your student-life center, and on the Rainforest Alliance on Campus Facebook wall.

It’s all about fun. While you want participants to learn something, remember that the main goal of a trivia night is to have a good time!

Take photos. Share photos of your trivia challenge with us on Facebook or Twitter! Upload them to our wall or “tag” the Rainforest Alliance in the image. Tell us what school you attend and share details of your event. In doing so, you’ll encourage others to join the fun and host their own events.

Sample trivia rules

The Rainforest Alliance Trivia Challenge consists of three rounds featuring six questions each. A correct answer is worth one point. Wrong answers are worth zero points. All questions will be read aloud twice and only twice, so pay attention! Only one answer may be given to each question (unless the question specifically asks for more than one response), and your team’s answer sheet must be turned in after each round and before the next round begins. Texting friends and using your smartphone to search the Internet during the challenge are not allowed!

Trivia Questions & Answers

Round 1 -- Questions
  1. Rainforests contain more than half of the world’s species. But tropical forests aren’t the only home for incredible flora and fauna. An additional 30 percent of the world’s biodiversity live in other types of forests. Name one of the two other major forest types, which are often distinguished by their differences in temperature and seasonality.
  2. Amazon River dolphins can be found in river systems throughout South America. In traditional Amazon folklore, this dolphin transforms itself at night, becoming a handsome young man who seduces and impregnates girls and then returns to the river in the morning to assume its dolphin form once again. What color is the Amazon River dolphin?
  3. Most of the world’s commercially grown coffee is produced in tropical areas that are environmentally sensitive and considered to be of high conservation value. This is one of the primary reasons that the Rainforest Alliance focuses on sustainable agriculture initiatives within the so-called “coffee belt.” Name the two geographical boundaries or “tropics” that define this region. (Hint: You may also recognize them as astrological signs.)
  4. Forests once covered approximately 50 percent of the Earth’s total land area, but with the loss of more than 11 million square miles of forests -- three times the size of the United States! -- forests now only cover what percentage of the planet’s terrestrial surface?
  5. REDD+ (pronounced “red plus”) is an effort to determine a financial value for the carbon stored in forests and offer developing countries incentives to keep their forests standing and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. What does the acronym REDD stand for?
  6. Through certification and verification, the Rainforest Alliance provides forest managers, farmers and tourism businesses with the tools to manage their land responsibly and fight deforestation. Which of the following is the primary cause of deforestation?
    1. Forest fires
    2. Agricultural conversion
    3. Urbanization
Round 1 -- Answers
  1. Boreal forest or temperate forest
  2. Pink
  3. The Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer
  4. 30 percent
  5. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation
  6. B. Agricultural conversion
Round 2 -- Questions
  1. An indicator species is a plant or animal that provides an early warning if its environment is threatened -- like the proverbial “canary in a coal mine.” Because it is an indicator species for many forest ecosystems, which animal was chosen by the Rainforest Alliance for its organizational logo and certified seal?
  2. Rainforest Alliance certification ensures that sugarcane farming is compatible with biodiversity conservation and worker welfare. Which country in South Asia, bordered by Pakistan and Nepal, was the first to discover how to crystallize this sweet crop?
  3. Third-party certification is one way that a company can prove to the public that they are walking the walk when it comes to sustainability. Companies that declare their products to be “eco-friendly,” “green” or “sustainable” without any third-party proof are committing a marketing faux pas -- and, in some cases, also lying to the public. Name the term for “advertising that misleads the consumer about environmental attributes or credentials.”
  4. Because cattle production is one of the primary drivers of deforestation, the Rainforest Alliance recently launched a standard for sustainable cattle ranching, which will help protect forests, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and prevent animal abuse and cruelty. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, approximately what percentage of the Earth's surface is used for livestock grazing?
  5. The World Commission on Environment and Development defines sustainability as “progress that meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” The Rainforest Alliance focuses on three equally important elements of sustainable development. What are the Rainforest Alliance’s “three pillars of sustainability”?
  6. This drink, derived from the leaves of short shrub-like plants, is a natural source of fluoride, which helps protect against tooth decay and gum disease. Approximately three percent of the world’s supply of this leafy crop is grown on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms in nations as diverse as India, Argentina, Kenya and China. Name the beverage.
Round 2 -- Answers
  1. A frog
  2. India
  3. Greenwashing
  4. 26 percent
  5. Environmental responsibility, economic viability and social equity
  6. Tea
Round 3 -- Questions
  1. In the past, this bird could be found along the entire western coast of South America, from Venezuela to the southern tip of Chile’s Patagonia region. In 1973, the bird was placed on the official list of endangered species, its numbers dwindling due to pesticide poisoning in the food chain. But now, thanks to the repopulation efforts of zoos and sustainable farms, this majestic creature has made a comeback. Name this bird.
    1. Scarlet Macaw
    2. Andean Condor
    3. King Vulture
  2. Coffee, one of the world’s most popular beverages, is farmed on more than 30 million acres -- nearly the size of England! Each day, more than 400 million cups of coffee are consumed in the United States alone. What age group is the fastest growing segment of coffee drinkers in this country?
    1. 18 -- 24
    2. 25 -- 31
    3. 32 -- 40
  3. First domesticated in Asia and now cultivated throughout the tropics, this yellow fruit is popular in supermarkets worldwide. To ensure that those farms that grow it are managed sustainably, several large sellers of the crop stopped “monkeying around” and teamed up with the Rainforest Alliance to certify their production of the fruit; in fact more than 15 percent of the world’s supply now comes from certified farms. Name this tropical fruit.
  4. Communities in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve rely on the income they receive for harvesting xate leaves. Rainforest Alliance certification has helped improve the livelihoods of these xate collectors through the sustainable management of their natural resources as well as by connecting them to international buyers. Xate leaves are most commonly used in flower arrangements and on which religious holiday?
  5. While tourism is an essential source of income for many developing countries, it can also result in pollution, deforestation, inefficient energy use and cultural exploitation if it is not managed responsibly. The Rainforest Alliance offers training to tourism professionals, which helps them run their businesses more efficiently and sustainably. This in turn gives travelers more options for eco-friendly tourism. How many people around the world travel each year?
    1. 500 million
    2. 900 million
    3. 1.5 billion
  6. Chocolate is made in part from cocoa beans, the fermented and roasted seeds of the cacao (kah-KOW) tree. The seeds are encased in large pods that must be handpicked at just the right time -- a specialized and labor-intensive process. The majority of the world’s cacao is grown in two countries on the western coast of Africa. Name one of these countries.
Round 3 -- Answers
  1. B. Andean Condor
  2. A. 18 -- 24
  3. The banana
  4. Palm Sunday
  5. B. 900 million
  6. Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and Ghana


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