The world’s rainforests - and therefore the world at large - are at risk from catastrophic climate change. In less than 50 years we have seen the destruction of over half of the worlds rainforest environment due to logging and ‘slash and burn’ farming. However the loss of the rainforest continues to progress at an alarming rate - equivalent to an area of two football fields every second!
For those of us who live in economically stable, northern European countries, the problems concerning rainforests seem very far away and definitely out of reach, but the facts are that climate change - and its relationship with the world’s rainforests - is affecting us here and now.
As an individual, there may not be anything that you can do with regards to the agricultural policy of equatorial nations, but there is something that you can to with regards to wood products such as paper, cardboard and rather obviously wood. If - as 1st World nations - we do not consume as much in the way of wood based products as we have done then there will be no need to continue logging at this break neck speed.
Here are my top ten suggestions
1. Boycott free newspapers and magazines.
2. Instead of paying for news papers, receive your new items from the television – 24 hour Sky News, BBC News 24 etc, or the internet – BBC News, MSN news etc.
3. Instead of going out and buying a book for your reading pleasure, go to the library or invest in an ‘ebook’.
4. If you absolutely need to buy wood then make sure that it is from a sustainable source. Check the labels to see if it is qualified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
5. Recycle all of your waste paper and cardboard.
6. Send emails instead of letters – a rather obvious one, but it still needs to be said.
7. Use recycled printer paper and recycled toilet paper – you know what I mean!
8. Buy products that have less paper or cardboard packaging – or no paper or cardboard packaging.
9. Plant a good diversity of trees. OK, this doesn't solve the problem, but if we planted more trees than are cut down for the products we use then at least we are making a difference.
10. Make a conscious choice to buy products which has the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal of approval. This label is there to make it easy for consumers to know they are buying a product that has been grown or made sustainably.
Remember that the only way that we can make a difference is by working together. .
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