Deforestation is bad news
Humans need resources and cleared land for housing and farming. The biggest driving factors behind deforestation, where trees are permanently removed, are agriculture and subsistence farming, mining and construction, and for paper products and packaging.
Right now, 30% of the earth’s surface is covered by forests, but it used to be much higher. And, it’s decreasing at an alarming rate. This will impact us all:
- Trees remove carbon dioxide and help slow global warming.
- Tree roots hold the soil together, preventing deadly floods and landslides, and slowing global warming.
- By soaking up heavy rainfall, forests help to prevent ocean pollution and acidification.
- 80% or more of animals (including humans) depend on forests and savannah for survival. Fractured habitats are driving animal extinctions.
The Amazon rainforest is one of the fastest-shrinking forests in the world, yet it provides 10% of the world’s oxygen. Each year, forests the size of Panama are permanently destroyed and not replanted, and currently, only 10% of Madagascar’s original forests remain.
Both as individuals and together as a planet, we all need to start doing more to save our forests.
How can you help stop deforestation?
There are many ways that you, as a consumer, can choose products that either reduce or avoid deforestation. Here are some easy steps you can take every day:
1) Avoid bad palm oil
You’ll find palm oil as a low-cost ingredient in almost everything these days: from soaps and body creams, to detergents, and most packaged foods in the supermarket. It’s even in jam to make it smoother and shinier! Tracts of rainforests in Asia, Africa and South America are destroyed every day to make space for massive palm plantations.
You can slow deforestation, and save the habitats of several endangered species, simply by choosing to avoid products that contain palm oil – all you need to do is read the ingredient lists.
2) Purchase recycled paper products
Buying recycled paper products and products packed in recycled packaging reduces the demand for pulp logged from old-growth forests. Make sure you recycle the paper and cardboard you get in the post or from the supermarket as packaging too!
3) Buy furniture made with certified renewable wood resources
Wood furniture creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, and is growing in popularity. Make sure you aren’t supporting illegal logging operations and buy only furniture and wooden products made with wood from certified renewable resources.
4) Eat less meat
Along with palm oil, one of the biggest drivers of deforestation is the cattle industry. Massive forested areas are cleared to graze cattle. Commit to one or more meat-free days each week, and reduce your overall meat consumption and you will slow the deforestation and erosion caused by intensive ranching.
5) Plant trees while you search
If you can’t get out and participate in tree-planting initiatives in person, you can support organizations like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Eden Reforestation Projects. Of course, you can donate to these organizations directly, or support them through Givero.
Every time you search for information online using Givero, you can choose to support Eden Reforestation Projects and plant trees.
You only have to change your search engine and you’ll help fight deforestation.
6) Talk about reforestation projects with family and friends
Not enough people are aware of the scale of the problems – how fast trees and habitats are disappearing, how dangerous this is to us both now and in the future.
Talk about the impact of deforestation with your friends and family, raise their awareness of why deforestation is an important issue. Encourage them to join you and commit to ethical shopping, avoiding bad palm oil, eating less meat and searching online using the Givero search engine.