10 Ways to Make a Difference this Earth Day
When we first moved to the Pacific Northwest, we became aware of the issue of forest clear cutting. We did a lot of research to understand how to stop this terrible practice and learned much about the value and function of a temperate rain forest. In the process we discovered many things that people can do to help save our forests and mitigate climate change. We shared a lot of those ideas when Dean Evenson created the album Forest Rain.
DID YOU KNOW….?
• That less than 5% of our nation’s virgin forests remain?!
• 40% of our forestland is clear cut for paper products?!
• Over 50% of our nation’s landfills is paper waste?!
10 WAYS YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
1) Use post-consumer recycled paper or alternative paper sources and encourage governments and businesses to recycle and use post-consumer recycled paper.
2) Support ecologically responsible forestry practices as well as the labor-intensive renewal and restoration of destroyed forests to create jobs.
3) Educate yourself and others about natural forest ecosystems.
4) Communicate with lawmakers, timber industries, paper manufacturers, neighbors, etc., who decide the fate of forest lands.
5) Support legislation to preserve ALL remaining ancient and legacy forests.
6) Contribute time, energy, and money to an environmental group working on forest issues.
7) Support a ban on raw log exports so that domestic industries can benefit by processing timber into finished wood products.
8) Support programs that retrain displaced loggers.
9) Plant trees or support a tree planting organization. Here’s a group we support. Whatcom Million Trees Project.
10) Consume less and encourage environmentally friendly at practices at work, home and in the classroom (discourage use of paper towels, paper cups, products with wasteful packaging, disposable items).
Let’s stop killing the forest for the treesHuman well-being ultimately depends on the well-being of the complex ecosystem that is the forest. Forests don’t need people; they have existed long before humans appeared on Earth. However, humans can benefit from the forests in a variety of ways if we don’t take more than the forest can naturally provide.
Industrial forestry liquidates the forest for timber and then replaces a complex forest ecosystem with a monoculture tree plantation. This type of forestry may be good for short-term corporate profits, but it is bad news for the forests and the communities of beings who make the forest their home and its ‘boom and bust’ economic cycles slowly impoverish forest-related communities.
On the other hand, ecologically responsible forestry works to maintain and restore the integrity of the forest with its full range of species and functions, while harvesting a variety of goods at the sustainable level. Thanks for doing your part to save our forests. Happy Earth Day!