Plant a tree
The most straightforward personal strategy to fight against deforestation is to plant a tree. Planting a tree could be considered a lifelong investment into the environment and your good mental health.
The cutting down of trees causes billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) to be released into the air. By planting trees, you are helping to
combat global warming because trees absorb carbon dioxide. You are also helping to reduce run off water from the hills. Tree roots prevent landslides and rock slides that sometimes can harm animals, people or damage buildings. Planting and caring for trees is essential for the overall health and quality of life of
Trees are known for their mind soothing and healing properties. Just walking through a forest and looking at the trees calms our mind, alleviates worries and
helps tired eyes recover from strain.
Use less paper
Two million trees are cut every day just to supply the paper demand of the United States.
Globally, 40% of all timber is used to make paper products, and the demand for paper increases by two to three percent every year. This means that the paper
industry is still consuming more and more trees.
Since the industry has such a high need for wood, it should come as no surprise that some part of the timber originates from illegal logging.
Recycle paper and cardboard
Did you know that one ton (2 000 pounds) of paper put to recycle prevents the cutting of 17 trees? These 17 trees then sequester around 250 pounds of carbon
dioxide from the air every single year.
If just 10% of all the paper used by the average American in one year were recycled, 25 million trees would be saved. That makes 367 million pounds of carbon dioxide absorbed by these trees in one year.
Imagine how many trees you can save and how much good they perform for the quality of our lives by recycling all your paper.
Use recycled products
You may have noticed a little label “made from recycled paper” on your new notebook. The same label can be found on many other daily use items like books,
paper bags, egg packaging and even toilet paper.
By choosing items made from recycled paper, you make a conscious effort to lower the demand for more timber.
Besides decreasing the need to cut more trees, your purchase is also supporting paper recycling facilities and reducing the amount of waste entering landfills.
Therefore, try to purchase your next notebook made from recycled paper and the environment will be very thankful.
The same rule goes for furniture shopping. When buying a new piece of furniture, try to look first for already used pieces. You can often find real treasures
for almost no cost. All they need is just a little bit of refurbishing. But this way you can obtain truly unique and personalised pieces for your interior.
Reduce meat consumption
To produce the same amount of protein from animal agriculture requires much larger areas of land compared to plant-based farming. For example, nearly one third
of the ice-free surface of the planet is converted into pasture for our domestic animals and 30% of available arable land is used to grow livestock feed rather than food for our direct consumption.
The global demand for meat keeps constantly rising, but our space to rear livestock does not. That is why animal farming has become one of the leading causes
of deforestation in Amazon. Around 70% of the Amazon rainforest clearing is done to make way for cattle ranches.
If you choose to reduce the amount of meat you eat, you will lower the global demand for meat and help prevent further destruction of forests to make way for
more livestock. Start slowly by replacing one portion of animal protein a week with a plant-based protein like beans.
Do not burn firewood excessively
More than two billion people around the world rely only on firewood to cook and heat their homes. Unfortunately, this often happens in poor areas where already
vulnerable forests near villages and towns are cut for fuel well before they can regenerate. Such mismanagement slowly leads to their total disappearance.
Global forests suffer already a great deal of damage from our excessive consumption, when you want to make a fire in your fireplace, make sure you burn wood
from sustainably managed forests that have enough time to naturally regenerate.
Eco-forestry is a restorative method of forest management, which is not based on economic productivity. In this practice, certain trees are selectively
harvested while causing minimal damage to the rest of the forest.
The long-term aim of this method is to systematically fell mature trees, while leaving the forest ecosystem relatively unaffected.
If you own a piece of forest, follow these principles for they will pay you back in the long run more than the profit focused short-term forestry.
Major environmental problems such as deforestation often continue to occur because of a lack of awareness and knowledge about the problem.
By educating people about the effects of their actions, such as palm oil consumption, the amount of deforestation can be reduced. Tell your friends and family
about steps they can take to reduce global deforestation or show them this article .
Better awareness and education is important even in the case of farmers. Education of local farmers about optimising their land management will ensure that less forested areas need to be cleared for farming. After all, farmers are the stewards of our lands.