Save the Trees!
Have you ever wondered what you can do to save more trees? Yes, you have power to help the trees on earth! To do this is simple: Vote with your dollars.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has a certification system that designates the paper or product made from trees was created from trees in forests that are responsibly managed. “Responsibly managed forests” means that the trees that are harvested are replaced or allowed to regenerate naturally. Furthermore, you can be certain that rare plants and animals are protected entirely, and the rights of indigenous people are protected.
The FSC has a logo, with the outline of a tree, and when you are purchasing anything from milk cartons to printer paper to toilet paper, the FSC logo can assure us that our purchases are making a difference and ensuring we are not consuming goods from irresponsible sources. In addition to ensuring that trees are replaced, and plants and animals are protected, the forest owner must also use local workers to run the forest and provide training, safety equipment and a decent salary. Guidelines for certifications also include limiting the number of trees that can be cut down and restricting the use of hazardous pesticides.
The FSC was created in 1992 in an attempt to stop deforestation of the planet. The founders of FSC were businesses, environmentalists and community leaders, and the goal was to create a voluntary, market-based approach that would improve forest practices worldwide. The U.S. chapter is headquartered in Minneapolis. Today, the FSC operates in more than 80 countries.
Trees support life across the world. They produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, which is the main cause of climate change. It is estimated that 15 billion trees are cut down each year. The global tree count has fallen by 46% since the beginning of human civilization. Trees are being cut down daily across the globe for agriculture use and other commercial purposes. The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood and other products made from trees!
How can you make a difference? First, try to not use products made from trees. You can purchase reusable “paper towels” made from bamboo. I bought some about 5 years ago and I’m still using them – I just throw them in the washer and dryer! Also, when printing from your computer or at work, ask yourself if it’s really necessary. Maybe it’s not and you can save some paper!
When you must purchase products made from trees, look for the FSC logo. This logo can be found on anything from paper towels to lumber to furniture. You might ask “should I purchase printer paper from recycled materials or FSC paper?” The answer is both – you can find FSC certified paper made from recycled materials and that is actually the best purchase you can make as it is about as environmentally friendly as paper can get.
I recently found FSC certified toilet paper at Aldi! It’s super easy to find and yes, that purchase will make a difference.
Next time you are at the store, take a look at different brands to see which have that logo. Some of the brands that are FSC certifies are: Band-Aid bandages, Seventh Generation products, Cottonelle toilet paper, Everyday Value toilet paper, Kleenex brand facial tissue, and Puffs facial tissue. The list goes on and on and can be found at us.fsc.org/en-us/market/find-products.
Once you notice the logo, it will be easy for you to spot it on other products when shopping. Thank you for saving the trees!