|National Geographic: TIger in Indonesia|
They took all the trees, put 'em in a tree museum, and they charge the people a dollar and a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got til its gone . . .
From "Big Yellow Taxi"
By: Joni Mitchell
The UN has named 2011 International Year of the Forests to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. The Resolution calls upon governments, relevant regional and international organizations and groups to support activities related to the Year, etc., to facilitate and promote activities at the local and national levels, to create national committees and/or designate focal points in their respective countries.
I love forests, I want to save them. After all, not only are forests beautiful, but they are home to two-thirds of the world's plant and animal species, a valuable resource to human beings and vital to regulating the earth's climate. They are also in grave danger of being completely destroyed - its not like this is something new - Joanie Mitchell wrote Big Yellow Taxi forty years ago.
Since 1950 the world has lost half of its natural forest.
Habitat destruction by humankind has put tremendous pressure on the natural world, with our worldwide demand for natural resources currently being 25% more than our planet can replace. In order for life on earth to continue to exist as we know it, we must achieve sustainability. At present, nearly one-quarter of all mammals and one-third of all amphibians are threatened with extinction! The fragility of Sumatran tigers, arctic polar bears, and China's giant pandas are well known, however there are currently over 10,800 endangered species on the Worldwide Endangered Animals List - extending from the cute and cuddly to a multitude of exotic and wondrous creatures. Deforestation not only has a vast negative impact on animals who live in these forests, but also on plant life, and it accounts for roughly 20% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions leading to global warming.
Since 1950 the world has lost half of its natural forest. How will the world be in another fifty years? What can we as individuals do to help save the world's forests? Here are just a few ideas:
Reduce your consumption of all paper goods. Recycle. Go paperless. Sign this Petition encouraging Proctor and Gamble and Georgia Pacific to stop destroying forests. Tell them that if Kimberly-Clarke (the makers of Kleenex and a variety of other paper products) can do it, so can they.
2. Get involved. Check out Greenpeace's website for petitions that you can sign on line right now. For instance the boxes used by Pizza Hut are a big no no! You can also subscribe and sign up for their action alerts. Also, check out World Wildlife Fund's website for other areas in which you can take action, its that simple.
3. Look for the logo. Look for paper and wood products containing the Forest Steward Council "FSC" logo (sorry I am not allowed to reproduce it here, but you can click on the link to see it). The idea behind the FSC, and I am quoting from their website is to: "bring together representatives from environmental, social and business communities to work together on appropriate standards for managing forests to ensure that logging is carried out according to the best available science and with the highest regard for the ecological, social and cultural well-being of the region." The FSC logo has reportedly become the globally entrusted mark for businesses and individuals looking for products from forests that have been managed in an ecologically and socially conscious matter.
4. Pledge to choose good wood. Go to the World Wildlife Fund's website where you can make a pledge to take action to protect our forests and to stop this destruction, by clicking here: Good wood.
5. Check out these minimalist blogs for tips on how to consume less overall. Zen Habits, Becoming Minimalist, Rowdy Kittens, The Everyday Minimalist, and Miss Minimalist.
While I have your attention, I thought you might like to check this link to: Musicwood to see how the music industry has partnered with Greenpeace in its Music Wood Campaign in order to increase the availability of Forest Steward Council certified traditional woods for the making of musical instruments. According to the website, current partners include: Gibson, Martin, Taylor, Fender, Guild, Yamaha,Walden, Luthiers Mercantile International, Pacific Rim Tonewoods, North American Wood Products, Allied Lutherie and with additional companies soon to come on board.
As your activities become more and more directed to the benefit of the world around you, you will develop a deeper sense of love and compassion for all of the earth's sentient beings, and the untold power of the love and compassion within you will not only help them, but will bring you great happiness as well.