Forests are rapidly disappearing all over the world, alarming many people. The loss of this natural resource could spell disaster for our planet. Most of us are unsure of how we can do anything to stop this. How can we prevent this global crisis? Well, chaining yourself to a tree might make a statement, but there are many more efficient ways to prevent deforestation.
Protecting the world’s forests should be our very first priority in fighting global warming and climate change. Forests are critical to life on earth. 1.6 billion people rely on them directly for food, shelter, fuel and income.
A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
Forests provide a wide range of environmental, social and economic benefits that improve our quality of life. Forests maintain and support the environment in which we live by regulating the climate, improving air quality by removing harmful CO2 emissions, conserving and cleaning water and supporting wildlife.
A few of the environmental benefits include cleaning the air by absorbing noxious gases and pollutants, improving air quality, preventing soil erosion, serving as home for wildlife, improving groundwater level, providing shade to homes, which results in reduced energy costs and controlling floods.
Forests also provide protection against Natural disasters like floods and landslides, provide a great place for survival for a variety of ecosystems and beautify our communities. They are also a great place for adventure and sports. In short, we need our forests, and our forests need us!
- What Can the Average Person do to Help Prevent Deforestation?
- 1. Ditch the Printer
- 2. Use Double-sided Paper
- 3. Go Digital With Your Bills
- 4. Buy Only FSC Certified Wood Products
- 5. Switch to Bamboo Paper
- 6. Switch to Digital Books
- 7. Use the Library
- 8. Read Your Magazines Online
- 9. Switch Cards For E-cards
- 10. Reuse Gift Bags and Others
- 11. Plant Trees
- 12. Use Reusable Containers
- 13. Use Cutlery
- 14. Avoid the Paper Towels
- 15. Paper Towel Alternatives
- 16. Switch From Paper Napkins to Cloth Napkins
- 17. Use Cloth Diapers
- 18. Buy Used Wooden Furniture
- 19. Educate Others
- Effective Ways to Conserve Forest
- 20. Laws and Rules Help Prevent Deforestation
- 21. Planned and Regulated Tree-cutting
- 22. ‘Sustained Yield’ Method
- 23. Reforestation
- 24. Afforestation
- 25. Monitor Agriculture
- 26. Protect Existing Forests
- 27. Produce Less Waste
- 28. Full Utilization of Forest and Forests Products
- 29. Raise Awareness Through Tourism
- 30. The Government Role
- 31. Forest Department Role
- 32. Control of Forest Fires
- 33. Prevent Forest Fires
What Can the Average Person do to Help Prevent Deforestation?
1. Ditch the Printer
The less you print, the less paper is used. Trees are cut down for paper. Therefore, the less you print, the fewer trees are cut down. In the long run, this could really add up to a lot of saved trees.
2. Use Double-sided Paper
If you need to print, then print on both sides of the page. This will cut down the paper consumption by half, which saves half the number of trees in a forest.
3. Go Digital With Your Bills
In the same way, printing less causes less of a demand for paper; getting your bills through e-mail instead of a printed copy in the mail will decrease the demand for paper.
4. Buy Only FSC Certified Wood Products
The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) monitors that these products were sourced in an environmentally responsible way; if a product is not FSC Certified, boycott it, as you will then be supporting unsustainable deforestation by buying and funding these products.
5. Switch to Bamboo Paper
Bamboo is easily sustainable and grows to maturity within five years, a lot faster than trees. They have exactly the same functions as well. Try to use bamboo paper as much as possible to lower the demand for paper produced by trees.
6. Switch to Digital Books
Again, this creates less of a demand for paper. Digital books are also more convenient as you have an endless supply of books on a single device. You can also read from a digital device in the dark, unlike with a book printed on paper.
7. Use the Library
If you still prefer to read the real thing, borrow books from your local library. It’s cost-efficient and environmentally conscious. Books are what you can always borrow, share and donate.
8. Read Your Magazines Online
Most magazines offer the exact same content online if you sign up for a subscription with them. You will also receive the content immediately after it is released instead of waiting.
9. Switch Cards For E-cards
This will let your friends know you care about them and also the environment.
10. Reuse Gift Bags and Others
If you think this is tacky, opt for a recyclable gift bag. Explorers even love playing with cardboard boxes, empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls, and also shoeboxes. Boxes can become palace, forts and superhero headquarters, toilet paper rolls turn into binoculars and bird feeders, and paper towel rolls become spotting scopes and periscopes.
11. Plant Trees
Does this even need an explanation?
12. Use Reusable Containers
Use containers that can be used again and again for your food, trinkets, and just anything.
13. Use Cutlery
While paper plates and cups are convenient, they are not an environmentally aware of choice.
14. Avoid the Paper Towels
Use the hand dryer in the bathroom instead of paper towels.
15. Paper Towel Alternatives
If you need paper towels, buy tree-free or recycled paper towels instead of paper towels made from tree pulp.
16. Switch From Paper Napkins to Cloth Napkins
There are also other tree-free options available.
17. Use Cloth Diapers
Paper diapers are a strain on the environment. Many communities have diaper service that will pick up dirty diapers and leave clean ones.
18. Buy Used Wooden Furniture
You’ll pay less for it and help prevent deforestation.
19. Educate Others
Whether it is your children, friends, or colleagues, the more aware are the people of what they can do to help prevent deforestation, is the better.
Effective Ways to Conserve Forest
20. Laws and Rules Help Prevent Deforestation
Regulations help to prevent deforestation because it allows for a time of re-growth due to the rotational approach most of these regulations have. This can also be referred to as sustained yield.
21. Planned and Regulated Tree-cutting
The commercial felling of trees is one of the main reasons for deforestation. Although trees are considered as perennial resources, these are exploited on a very large scale. According to an estimate, about 1,600 million cubic meters of wood has been used for various purposes in the world. If trees are cut down at this level, their revival cannot be possible. Therefore, cutting should be regulated by adopting methods like:
- Clear cutting
If there are large areas that have the same type of trees available on it, trees of the same age group can be cut down in a selected area. This area will then be marked for replantation to sustain the forest.
- Selective cutting
When selective cutting is implemented, it means that only fully mature trees will be allowed to be cut down. This process is to be followed in rotation.
- Shelterwood cutting
This method entails that the least useful trees are cut down first, while the highest quality trees are cut down last.
22. ‘Sustained Yield’ Method
This technique is adopted by many countries. In regulated cutting, only one-tenth of the forest area is selected for use, and the rotational system is always followed for their protection. The time gap between these cuttings is helpful in the re-growth of trees. The forest is managed in such a way that a timber crop may be harvested indefinitely year after year without being depleted.
The sustainable yield method also requires that every tree that gets cut down must be replanted. Similarly, any tree that gets burned down due to forest fires or mining activities must also get replanted.This may be done by natural or artificial methods. In rugged terrain, aerial seeding is the method of choice.
Fresh afforestation programs should also be started. New plantations will increase the forest cover and will also help in making up the eco-balance. For the afforestation, the selection of trees should be made according to local geographical conditions, and care must be taken during the initial growth of the trees.
25. Monitor Agriculture
Many forested areas are cleared to make room for agricultural lands. Most of the present-day agricultural land was once forested and then cleared for the use of agriculture. But now it has reached the stage where further clearance will be dangerous for the entire ecosystem, and it should be limited.
There are tribal in some parts of Asia, Africa and South America, where shifting cultivation is still a part of their system of land procurement.
26. Protect Existing Forests
In addition to the threat that humans pose for forests, they are also endangered by parasitic fungi, rusts, mistletoe, viruses and nematodes. These all destroy the trees. An effort should be made to administer a chemical spray or some other treatment in order to destroy the parasites.
27. Produce Less Waste
A shocking amount of wood gets wasted when trees are cut down for logs. The rest is simply thrown away when it could be used for other purposes.
28. Full Utilization of Forest and Forests Products
Trees are cut for logs, and the rest, including the stump, limbs, branches and foliage, etc., is left out as worthless debris. Further waste occurs at the sawmills. Today, several uses have been developed to utilize this waste material, and products like waterproof glues, boar etc., can be obtained.
29. Raise Awareness Through Tourism
Forests could become popular tourist destinations. This will give the forest more value and protect it. It will also improve the local economy, thanks to the tourists spending their money there. Poorer communities will no longer have to cut down trees for a living.
30. The Government Role
There are many proposed things that the government can do, such as:
- Passing acts that require the conservation of forests,
- Surveying the forest resources to prevent overusing the resources,
- Categorizing forest areas and proper delimitation of reserved forest areas to prevent anyone from damaging the reserved area,
- Find out which areas require reforestation,
- Regulating and improving upon the commercial use of forest products,
- Protecting forests from fire, mining and other threats, and
- Developing national parks.
31. Forest Department Role
The Forest department can also play a huge role in preventing deforestation. Managing the forest would include the following steps:
- Survey of forests,
- Categorization of forests.
- Economic use of forests,
- Administrative setting for forest management,
- Training programs for persons engaged in forest conservation activities,
- Use of forest land as tourist centers,
- Social and agro-forestry,
- Development of new techniques for the conservation of forests,
- Research for efficient use and conservation of forest, and
- Policy decisions and their proper implementation.
32. Control of Forest Fires
Forest fires also contribute to Deforestation. Forest fires occurred in the following ways.
Natural disasters: Some forest fires are caused by nature through lightning, or trees rubbing against each other during a strong wind and creating friction. We can do the least about it.
Manmade: Most forest fires are due to human negligence. There are ways to prevent this from happening such as:
- Do not make open fires
- Do not throw your cigarette on the ground
- Maintain electricity wires properly.
- Take the help of proper equipment and trained staff to put out forest fires.
Following these steps can save up to 21.5 million acres of timber annually. Forest fires are currently the main cause of deforestation in the USA.
Throughout the world, a forest fire is common, and in most cases, they were begun by man. As John D. Guthrie, former fire inspector of US Forest Service, has written: “To stage a forest fire you need only few things a forest, the right atmospheric conditions, and a spark either from a lightning bolt or a match in the hands of a fool or a knave. The formula is simple the larger the forest, the drier the air, the bigger the fool, the bigger the fire you will have.”
33. Prevent Forest Fires
You can help prevent forest fires by educating others about the causes of forest fires and also about the ways to prevent a forest fire. Join an organization that works to protect our forests
At the end of the day, the only way that we can combat deforestation is by joining together and raising awareness. If every person on earth decided to start caring about our forests today, the problem would be solved. Unfortunately, many people are ignorant of what is happening, while many others simply do not care. Do not be one of these people. Rather, fight to save our planet!