Jos Battle is CEO of online retailer Ecovibe, which aims to make sustainability the norm in our daily lives and show how eco-friendly products are affordable, effective and accessible. Here, Jos explains how we can easily minimize deforestation through simple daily habits.
15 billion trees are cut down every year worldwide, according to the WWF. To put this vast stat in perspective, that means that every two seconds, a piece of forest the size of a football field is destroyed.
This is largely due to mass agriculture, urbanization and construction to meet the growing global demand for products and services.
But Earth’s trees and forests are essential. They are one of the largest carbon storesand currently, the loss of forests accounts for 10% of global warming.
Forests are also home to millions of habitats, can help protect soil quality and provide defenses against flooding – to name just a few benefits.
Given these vital services and their natural beauty, how can we help keep more trees standing? Experts shared some simple tips on how to be forest-friendly in everyday life, from ditching palm oil to tracking recycling.
6. Dematerialize to help protect trees
Many businesses are now encouraging paperless transactions, whether it’s getting an emailed receipt from a retailer or digital invoices and contracts.
It is advisable to choose the paperless option over a physical option to help reduce paper waste. These daily transactions represent huge amounts of paper every year, and collectively they can have a huge impact on saving our forests.
5. Buy recycled products and recycle them too
Recycled products require little to no raw materials to create, which means fewer trees are needed to craft them. If we keep buying new, natural resources will eventually run out.
It’s equally important to recycle where you can so that more companies can produce recycled products and give quality materials a second life.
4. Buy FSC-certified wood products
Our constant need for wood unfortunately means that the timber farming industry is largely unsustainable, with only 8% of the world’s forests protected.
By choosing Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood (pay attention to the FSC label), it guarantees that the wood used comes from a well-managed and protected forest.
3. Eat vegan a few times a week
Agriculture accounts for 80% of global deforestation activity, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). While deforestation occurs for both meat and agriculture, plant-based diets wherever possible could reduce this figure by at least 14%.
Livestock require huge amounts of land to feast on and reduce your meat consumption where you can collectively help protect our forests.
2. Avoid products containing palm oil
Palm oil is found in a wide variety of products, from food to cosmetics. However, palm oil production is extremely detrimental to the environment. Not only by stripping vast acres of forest, but also contributing to greenhouse gases when the land is burned to quickly make room for farms.
Following this massive clearing, the cultivation of oil palm destroys habitats, including those of endangered species, such as the orangutan and Sumatran rhinoceros.
Be sure to check the ingredient list before purchasing and opt for products without this ingredient.
1. Invest in businesses that support forest sustainability
Do your research and buy from companies that support forests. Whether planting trees with every order (make sure they are legit schemes and not scams), protecting acres of land from deforestation or actively campaigning against deforestation.
The more support there is to keep our forests safe, the better.
Following these daily tips and habits will collectively support our forests and encourage companies to reduce their overall impact and levels of deforestation.