Here I am, rattling on about trees again…
The 21st March, 10 days from now, marks the 5th anniversary of the United Nations International Day of Forests with the theme this year being forests and water.
This International Day is designed to raise awareness and celebrate the ways in which forests and trees sustain and protect us. This year the goal is to raise awareness of how forests are key to the planet’s supply of freshwater, which is essential for all life forms. Forests are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, being home to more than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects yet still every year 13 million hectares are being destroyed.
Shockingly, 8 out of 10 people are actually subject to water scarcity which is hard to fully understand given that it’s likely you don’t actually know anyone in your social circles that may be subject to this.
So how can we help preserve and grow forests and in turn protect and improve global access to water resources?
- Use less paper and wood
Without turning to plastics and man-made materials as an alternative, you can cut down on printing, use scrap paper for scribbling notes, choose e-receipts and paperless bills where possible and prioritise purchasing recycled or FSC certified papers.
- Eat less beef
Agriculture is one of the biggest causes of deforestation and watershed degradation – have a read of Sustainability Sunday #26 for some top tips on reducing your personal demand for meat.
- Borrow, share, donate books
As I previously raved about, libraries are a great way to re-use and recycle books, it also means you don’t have to spend all your money on them – especially if you can read a book in 2 days like me.
- Offset your personal footprint by investing in reforestation programmes
Reforestation programmes are invaluable for rehabilitating endangered forest habitat, not only does offsetting your footprint help reduce your personal impact it also directs finance to forestry projects that couldn’t exist without donations.
- Plant a tree!
In the UK, the Woodland Trust have a great tree planting programme for anyone to join in on as part of their current goal to plant 64 million trees over the next 10 years. Whether you just want a little tree to go in your garden or you want to join in on some community planting, or even donate a tree as a gift then there’s something for you.
If, like me, you’re a forest lover at heart, then there’s one more thing you can do to help spread awareness: the UN have launched a #LoveForests campaign where you are encouraged to make a short 30 second video, shot on mobile, in your local forest or park explaining how the forest energises you. To find out more and get involved, check out the info here and stay tuned for my clip coming later this week!