Spring is in the air and buds are beginning to sprout on the trees. It’s a common time of year for Canadians to think about getting outside to enjoy nature. But the environment, and helping to preserve and protect it, should be on our minds all year long. An important part of our environment is our forests and trees. Forests are home to a vast ecosystem of plants and animals, and provide the world with food, fuel, medicines, and more. But most importantly, our forests provide us with oxygen and help ensure that the Earth’s temperature remains moderate.
Here are a few ways you can help save the trees
1. Buy FSC Certified Wood and Furniture
Whether it’s a coffee table or a bed frame, it is important to try to buy only FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood and furniture. The FSC Seal ensures that the standards of protection of forests, animals, and the rights of indigenous peoples and workers are respected. By purchasing FSC certified products, you are demonstrating your passion for and the importance of respecting the environment.
2. Incorporate trees into your landscaping
More and more people decide to enrich their gardens and backyards by planting trees, shrubs, and perennials. Many choose to do so for the decorative benefits, or for extra shade in summer, but planting a tree offers so much more! In addition to relaxation, connection with nature and its calming effects, trees do a lot for Mother Nature. They help reduce climate change, purify our air, reduce water pollution, and provide shelter for many animals and insects.
While you’re at it, might I suggest using natural fertilizer and eco-friendly products to do the job? Why plant trees to help save the planet and then feed them chemical fertilizers? Natural and organic fertilizers are biodegradable, do not include harmful chemicals that end up in our soils, rivers, lakes and drinking water. These natural products are also much safer for plants and improve the soil structure.
3. Reduce your paper usage
Reducing paper consumption means less trees are cut down!
Use technology: Ask yourself the following questions: Do I really need to print this document (and if yes, could I print two-sided instead of just one)? Can I make my grocery list on my smartphone? Could I switch to e-billing to help cut back on mail?
Reuse: Dedicate a space in your home and at the office for paper and cardboard that could be reused before you put in the recycling bin. Perhaps it is the back of an envelope, or the other side of a printed sheet. Choose a reusable lunch box instead of a paper bag, and fill it with reusable containers, metal utensils, and a refillable water bottle.
Borrow, share and give books! Friends, family, or the library are all great alternatives to buying new books. Alternatively, if you do buy books, once you are done with them, consider donating them to a library or organization that distributes used books.
4. Cut down pollution – exercise instead!
Rather than jumping in your car for short distances, consider walking or using your bicycle, rollerblades, skateboard, or any means of transportation that will allow you to move while helping save money, gas, and the air. As an added bonus, exercise is good for your health and can be a fun activity to do with your family!
Other alternatives to limit the number of cars on the road include carpooling or public transportation.
It is also recommended that you put your car in the garage as much as possible on really cold and hot days. This way, you can reduce the strain on the engine which has to work even harder in very hot and very cold temperatures.
How else do you, your family, and even your colleagues work together to save trees and make a positive impact on the environment?