How Sustainable Companies Are Helping To Save Our Rain Forests - By Tara Dodson
Trees give us life in the form of oxygen, food, and shelter.
Without trees, we would not exist. Yet, across the globe our forests are being cut down and replaced by developments, transforming the land from an important resource to a source of negative discharges.
A human breathes in approximately 9.5 tons of air in a year. But oxygen only makes up about 23 percent of that air as we extract only a little over a third of that oxygen from each breath. That roughly equals to about 740 kg of oxygen each year that we need to survive. To do this, we each need approximately seven to eight trees a year to create oxygen so we can survive.
One acre of trees can remove up to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide each year. Trees play an important role in reducing emissions. 20 percent of the world’s oxygen is produced In the Amazon rainforest which encompasses over a billion acres in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, and part of Ecuador. Therefore, the importance of protecting and managing the rainforest properly is imperative.
According to Rain Tree Facts (an organization aiming to provide sustainable solutions to non-destructive harvesting of the rainforests),
The Amazon is vanishing at a rate of 20,000 square miles a year!
That equals to 150 acres lost every minute and 78 million acres lost annually. Since 1950 approximately 15 percent of the Earth’s land surface was covered by rain forest, while today more than half of that is gone. With more than 20% of the rainforest already destroyed the only viable solution is to invoke sustainable, long-term and non-destructive harvesting. The challenge remains as large companies continue to harvest timber and clear-cut forests, leaving behind absolute devastation. Families living in the rainforest will clear cut as well because of their economic hardships, selling the trees at a mere $400 an acre. They then plant crops and raise cattle on the barren land which produces barely enough income for them to get by.
With the loss of trees, there is an increase in air and water pollution and soil erosion. The indigenous communities are affected by this as well and can’t survive. But even worse is the loss of biodiversity through the extinction of the plants and animals that live there. The world depends on these biological resources and without them, we lose opportunities for medical discoveries, positive economic development, and adaptive responses to climate change. Naturalist, John Muir summed it up when he said, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." Therefore, the importance of sustainable practices to secure our future have never been greater.
Experts know that by leaving the rainforest intact, by creating new sources of income, the rain forests can provide the world’s needs for continued use of natural resources.
This is why it is so important for companies to have sustainable practices. Our supplier partners are helping to make that change. Our cheese boards and cutting boards are sustainably harvested and are helping to keep one of Ecuador’s last remaining coastal rainforests intact.
The Chocó rain forest is in danger of clearcutting and illegal logging and is part of the 5% of the remaining rain forest in Ecuador.
Native species like coastal spider monkeys and jaguars are at risk of extinction while carbon emissions are increasing. Whole Forest brings together sustainable forestry practices, community partners, and conscious consumers to encourage the financial health of the town and the people and to protect the rain forest. By overseeing the entire process of their products, they protect both the rain forest and the economic growth of the local communities.
They have eliminated 35 to 45 percent of timber harvesting and only harvest a small portion of trees to produce products for sale.
Through this low-impact timber harvesting strategy, they are giving the forest time for full recovery allowing the canopy and habitat to gain structure. They also recognize that the endangered coastal spider monkey (Ateles fusciceps) depends on the forest they are harvesting from. In collaboration with researchers from Tulane University and the University of Sussex, they are implementing canopy connectivity through monitoring of their harvest as well as the impacts it has on the watershed.
Through these practices, these products are actually carbon negative and you as the consumer are contributing to positive practices.
Our yoga mats are also eco-friendly as they are made from natural rubber and a tree is planted for each yoga mat sold through Trees for The Future. They have planted over one million trees so far!
By supporting these types of sustainable companies, you are helping to save the rainforests!
This is how you can help to protect our Rain Forests:
- Only buy products that are made from sustainably harvested materials.
- Support products from companies that are eco-friendly and sustainable.
- Buy fair trade products that help sustain communities.
- Donate to reforestation programs.
- Plant trees!
- Drive less & bike more.
Tara Dodson is the creator of the Living Full Circle Blog and will be our guest blogger each month for Mindful Mondays where she hopes to inspire us to make sustainable choices in our daily lives while at home, traveling, and in the workplace.
She is the mother of three, has an endearing partner, and has traveled internationally since she was a child. She enjoys spending time with her family outside whether it is in the garden, biking to the beach, hiking, or doing a beach cleanup. She serves her local community by working for public service by day, provides sustainability consulting to businesses and organizations on the side with her business, Full Circle Resource Management, LLC, and as co-founder of Keepers of the Coast, she creates coastal educational and sustainability programs.
As a recent graduate from Southern New Hampshire University with an MBA in Sustainability, her background is embedded in conservation, sustainability, and traveling. With over 15 years of experience, she hopes that you will join her on this journey of inspiration.
With each purchase through Give Back Goods you are supporting important causes like clean water, prevention of human trafficking, environmental causes, animal causes and much more. You also support poverty-stricken communities throughout the world through Fair Trade wages & practices. Give Back Goods goal is to give 10% of their profits each year to their partner organizations. With your support, they hope to be able to accomplish this in their second year of business. Another very special part of Give Back Goods is that when you make a purchase you are literally participating in a sustainable approach to decreasing our impacts to our natural resources like overused land for landfill space, impacts to our forests and pollution of our oceans.
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