The International Day of Forests is a great way to raise awareness, but most of the time, people don’t really know how they can contribute. So instead of writing an article on the importance of forests and how these are threatened, I will give you 10 simple tips that you can use at home or at work to reduce your impact and help save forests:
1. Go paperless: use technology at the office, at home or at the bank by requesting electronic documents, bills, etc. Send e-mails instead of faxes or paper mail, and use electronic memos and instead of paper bulletins.
2. Print less: First ask yourself if you really need to print that document. If the answer is no, then no need to print it out. This way you are already helping to save paper, and collectively, save trees and forests.
3. Print smart: If you really need to print that document, then print on both sides, and print a single copy that you can pass around. Also, if you have to print a large document, you can format the document to reduce amount of paper. Here is a video to guide you on the formatting.
4. Reuse paper: by collecting scrap paper and reusing it as note paper is a great idea. You can also reuse paper in different ways, for instance to support things such as computer screens.
5. Recycle all paper material: set up a paper recycling station at home or in your office. No need to wait to know how and where you will dispose of that paper. While your newly set paper bin is filling up (which should take a while), you will have plenty of time to find a public paper disposal or a private company that can come and collect your paper, often for free!
6. Choose recycled paper: Everything from recycled office paper to recycled toilet paper is available at your local shop. By choosing products made from recycled paper, we can save trees. For every 17 trees saved, you are helping the earth to absorb 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.
7. Buy products with the FSC logo on: FSC certified wood and related products such as paper packages and others are sustainably harvested and benefit both people and environment. Watch this short video that explains what FSC is and how it helps save forests.
8. Don’t panic, eat organic: Organic and locally grown foods help reduce the clearing of forests for agricultural lands. In addition, visit your local food store and choose organic products, most likely these will be sold with no paper or plastic packaging, which will also help reduce your impact.
9. Support forest conservation work: Most organizations working on forest conservation are non-profit and rely on donations. Support by donating to WWF or other organizations working towards sustainable management of forests is always a good way to offset your paper consumption.
10. Share the message: raising awareness to take responsible action is a simple but important thing you can do. Share this blog post or the following video on your social medias, organize a walk in your nearby forest with family and colleagues to learn more about it, or even write a letter to your government asking what is it willing to commit for forests today, are all important actions to support and promote this International Day of forests.
Saving forests is simple and we can do it by changing little things in our everyday lives. By reducing our paper consumption at home or at work, we are making a huge difference for our planet. Remember that one’s action is important and if you think that you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito.