The simple decisions we make at home can also help to conserve threatened trees. Our everyday purchases often come from faraway places and it can be hard to determine whether they have been sustainably sourced, or whether their harvesting has threatened trees or their habitat.
Below we provide suggestions of a few of things you can do to help ensure your actions do not add to the threats facing the world’s tree species:
Use wood and paper products wisely
Global demand for wood and paper products is growing rapidly, putting pressure on the world’s forest resources. The production and transport of wood and paper products also has an environmental footprint in terms of carbon emissions and pollution.
While wood is in principle a natural, renewable material, with advantages over environmentally-costly alternatives such as steel or PVC, in many cases it is extracted and used in an unsustainable and wasteful way.
Reducing waste and improving efficiency in the use of timber and paper products can help ease the pressure on forests and tree species.
The following checklist* can help you become a wise wood user:
Step 1 – Repair, restore or adapt an existing item; re-use paper and envelopes etc.
Step 2 – Buy a second hand item or one made from recycled, reclaimed or waste timber; choose recycled paper products.
Step 3 – Buy timber and paper products produced locally that are FSC certified, reducing the fuel used in their transport.
Step 4 – Buy FSC certified products from farther afield.
* taken from the Good Wood Guide, published by FFI and Friends of the Earth in 2002.
Look for the Forest stewardship Council’s (FSC) ‘tick tree’ logo
FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not for profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests. The FSC “tick tree” logo is used on timber and paper products that have been produced from forests certified as well-managed under the Forest Stewardship Council scheme.
Contribute to conservation as you search the internet
Use this environmentally friendly search engine called ecosia to plant trees as you browse the web.
Campaign for better international legislation
There have been many tentative pledges by governments to curb illegal logging, but by keeping the pressure on, more of these pledges will be result in action. Campaigns run by organisations such as Avaaz have already put pressure on governments around the world to act for conservation.
Support local planting schemes that use native species
Get to know your local native and exotic trees. Volunteer with tree planting schemes that benefit local biodiversity or plant your own native trees on your land.
Minimise your use of products containing palm oil
Palm oil plantations are currently one of the major causes of rainforest clearance.
Palm oil is used in many food stuffs, particularly sweets and confectionery, as well as cosmetics and animal food. The oil is produced from the fruit of palm tree species, predominantly Elaeis guineensis, which is native to West Africa and grows best in tropical climates.
Global demand for palm oil is expected to double by 2030, resulting in further forest loss. Visit the ethical consumer website to find out how to reduce your personal reliance on palm oil and reduce pressure on vital rainforests.
There are plenty of ways that we can all play a part in tree conservation. If you would like to find out more then please contact the Global Trees Campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.