Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Alternatives to Cutting Down Trees

Recent estimates indicate that there are approximately, three trillion trees living on earth and about 15.3 billion of them are cut down every year.  It is also estimated that about 46% of our forests have been destroyed since the beginning of the agricultural era, about 12,000 years ago.  This isn't good.

Why wouldn't we want to cut down trees?

Great question!  Let me tell you. 

Many of the trees that we use for our homes and our lifestyles take hundreds of years to grow, making them a virtually non-renewable resource.  This means that they are not easily or quickly replaced.  These trees are essential to sustaining life in their environments and on our planet as a whole.  The end of them means the end of us.

Fortunately, we do not have to contribute to this destructive trend.  There are many options available to us.  Below is a list of things that you can do to prevent unnecessary deforestation:

1.  Consume less.

Much of what we buy is unnecessary to purchase all together.  Consider nurturing a minimalistic lifestyle.  This does not mean that you have to turn your lifestyle upside down or make an drastic changes.  One small, sustainable change at a time is better, in fact when working toward long-term goals.  Check out this website for the psychological benefits of minimalism.

2.  Buy used wood products. 

Vintage wood furniture is absolutely beautiful and tasteful.  Alternately, there is a world of used furniture out there that is economical and practical.  Also, consider fixing up an old house instead of building a new one out of wood.



3.  Re-purposed wood.

When working on a project that requires wood, use re-purposed wood.  It is a much higher quality than tree-farmed wood, which means that it will last substantially longer, it is more economical and it saves trees.  When remodeling or demolishing a home, save the lumber from it.  It is a very valuable resource that can be reused for many years.

4.  Choose fast-growing and renewable wood and paper products.

Great examples of renewable wood and paper products include bamboo, hemp, flax, wheat straw, agri-pulp, cotton and kenaf.  Just make sure that they are not shipped from to far from you, lest you defeat the purpose of purchasing renewable resources.

5.  Buy products that are recycled.

Products that are made from recycled material are labeled as such. Purchase them instead of items made from new materials.

These are simple steps that will enhance the quality of your life as well as contribute to the preservation and restoration of our planet.  Making them a matter of habit in your life will have a huge impact.  You will feel better about yourself, you will teach others these great steps and the world will be better off for your choices.

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