• Naomi | Plentiful Lands

6 Easy Ways To Help Save The Forests… one step at a time!

In a previous article, I talked about how deforestation threatens our environment and our life on Earth. We looked at what causes the destruction of forests worldwide. And we concluded with a hopeful outlook into what could help stop deforestation.

Here, I’d like to provide you with 6 practical, easy steps you can take now to help save the forests.

1. Install Ecosia as your search engine

Ecosia is a search engine, like Google or Yahoo. But it uses the ad revenue from searches to plant trees where they are needed the most. 80% of their revenue is spent on reforestation & community development projects.

Since being launched in 2009, Ecosia & its partners have planted over 74 million trees worldwide!

I have been using Ecosia for two years now and it has been working excellently for me. Only if you are searching for some very specific information, I suggest that you switch to Google, since Ecosia cannot find all the information as precisely as Google can. But otherwise, I can recommend switching to Ecosia without any hesitation!

2. Eat less meat

As I explained here, one of the main reasons for which forests are destroyed is the expansion of agricultural land. That means that forests are burned or cut down most often in order to create new farmland. Typically, the rainforests become pastures for cattle or fields for soybean and palm oil.

Since almost all farm animals are fed with soy and palm oil, you can prevent the spreading of farmland to the cost of rainforests by simply eating less meat and dairy products. Additionally, beef is often exported from South America. Here, farmland takes away space from precious rainforests – the livelihood for wildlife, plants and indigenious peoples. So, if you do choose to eat meat, make sure you source it locally.

3. Buy less and offset the rest

Traveling less, buying less paper, wood materials, processed foods, packaging… in short: consuming less, is a good way of helping the forests and the climate. With every product you choose not to buy or buy recycled, you help save the Earth’s resources and store carbon from the atmosphere. Forests have an enormous ability to store carbon, and with each tree burned down, CO2 is released into the atmosphere. Frequent travels also don’t do well for our carbon-footprint.

While you can reduce some of your environmental impact, you can’t avoid causing some pollution. That’s where the ‘offsetting-part’ comes into the story. You can offset you carbon emissions by supporting projects through which the equivalent amount of carbon is stored. This happens through, for example, reforestation, providing communities with fuel-efficient cookstoves or agroforestry projects.

There are many organisations enabling you to offset your carbon emission, but one that I can really recommend to you is Climate Stewards. They have projects in several countries that not only help the environment, but support strong, resilient communities, too. Check out https://www.climatestewards.org/ for more information!

4. Watch out for sustainability labels

You may already have noticed the following labels on some packaging:

The Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal and the Forest Stewardship Council® seal on cartons and wood products guarantee that these have been sourced from sustainably managed forests.

The farms, forests, or tourism enterprises participating in their certification meet high standards in terms of environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

So, when you go shopping the next time, do watch out for these labels and give preference to products carrying them!

Still, these labels shouldn’t serve to excuse the use of large, unnecessary amounts of wood products. Sustainability is a lot about quantity, also. Each sheet of paper, each piece of new furniture you can spare helps save our forests. These forests, like the Siberian taiga, play a crucial role in stabilizing our climate. We would do well to preserve them.

5. Plant trees by eating chocolate

This is by far the most delicious way to help save the forests…

Original Beans is a chocolate company that plants trees for every bar they sell. They do so by paying the farmers an extra amount on top of what they pay for their cacao. They then make sure that this extra money is used for planting trees in the biodiversity hotspots of our Earth.

In addition, the company produces in a climate-positive way. This means that the CO2 absorbed by the planted trees offsets the emissions for the entire production of the bar.

This is a chocolate you can truly indulge in, since it not only has a sublime, rare taste, but also rebuilds & preserves the habitat of endangered animals and plants. See here for yourself: https://originalbeans.com/

6. Spend time in the forest

We can only preserve that which we know and value. That which belongs to us and which we belong to. Scientists are discovering what people have long known – that spending time in the forest makes us happier! And it makes us grateful for the enormous benefits forests pay us.

Finally, being in the woods gives as a hint of the sheer beauty of the whole created world. This is what leaves us in admiration and deep respect not only for the plants, animals and people sustained by it, but also for the One who marvellously drafted all of it. Then, we will want to be good stewards of the beautiful world entrusted to us. We will do whatever we can to help save the forests.

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