Did you know that forests cover 30% of the Earth’s surface? (2) Trees are a very important part of our ecosystem. To name just a few things, trees… provide oxygen; combat climate change by absorbing CO2; absorb pollutants; prevent water pollution by preventing runoff; provide food; provide over 121 natural remedies; and provide a habitat for wild life. (3) But, despite this, 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest are lost each year. (2) This loss of forests “contributes between 12 percent and 17 percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions.” (2)
Deforestation is a huge problem . But, just what is deforestation? According to Conserve Energy Future, deforestation is…
” the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land for use such as arable land, pasture, urban use, logged area, or wasteland. Deforestation can also be seen as removal of forests leading to several imbalances ecologically and environmentally and results in declines in habitat and biodiversity. Urbanization, Mining, Fires, Logging and Agricultural activities are few of the causes of deforestation.”
Here are some other startling facts about deforestation: (2)
- One and a half acres of forest are cut down every second
- 4500 acres of forest every hour, are cleared by forest fires, bull dozers, or machetes
- In the last two decades, Afghanistan has lost over 70% of its forests throughout the country
- It is estimated that within 100 years there will be no rainforests.
- The rate of deforestation equals to loss of 20 football fields every minute.
- 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon forest.
- 25% of cancers fighting organisms are found in the amazon.
- Almost half of world’s timber and up to 70% of paper is consumed by Europe, United States and Japan alone.
- Soil erosion, floods, wildlife extinction, increase in global warming, and climate imbalance are few of the effects of deforestation
- Tropical rainforests which cover 6-7% of the earth’s surface, contain over half of all the plant and animal species in the world.
- The paper industry is fourth largest in producing greenhouse gas thereby majorly contributing to deforestation.
Today’s Kindness Counts Act:
Today’s Kindness Counts Quote
“Nature speaks to us in more ways than one, empowering us simply by living its message. I’ve always found myself fascinated by trees. They make me wonder. Give me hope. Even with the force of gravity weighing down upon them they grow, strengthen, and build. In spite of the pressure to not rise above, to not reach, the tree continues to overcome. A tree is uninterested in the word “impossible”—recognizing that its greatest power comes from the inside out. It may appear weak and nimble to the onlooker, but deep beneath the surface it grows, it strengthens, it builds, preparing itself for the unexpected day when it will emerge and rise above all those who bet against it, who questioned its endurance.”
As I sit in the quiet of the forest, I am lost to the peace and energy that permeates my being. I absolutely love being in the forest. When I am amongst the trees, I feel at one with the world, unified with our disconnected society. All worries wash away…all stress fades…all concerns are lifted and carried away by these majestic guardians of this beautiful planet we call home.
Trees have always held an air of mystery throughout mythology and history. To some, forests serve as protection and providers of food, weapons and shelter. To others forests are a scary and mysterious place full of the unknown.
This reminds me of the legend of Robin Hood as his men. For Robin Hood, the forest was their home, providing shelter and sustenance. On the other hand, for the Sheriff, the forest was full of unknowns, evil spirits and danger.
For me, walking through a forest is symbolic of a spiritual journey. The forest represents the mysteries for which I am searching, such as why we are here, what happens after we die, what is a soul, is there one right religion…well, you get the idea. I could go on. As I walk through my spiritual forest in search of answers to my questions, as well as for unity, love and enlightenment, the trees keep me at peace, as well as provide me with the protection and the energy I need on my journey.
As Orly says above, a tree doesn’t know “impossible. It just is…growing stronger, living in the moment and reaching for heaven. The mighty tree started it’s life as a small little nut, and against the odds, persevered and grew, not only taller, and stronger, but stretching its roots ever deeper, so as to weather the coming storms.
As you can see, my love of trees is strong and deep. Which is why it saddens me to see these beautiful and majestic beings destroyed at such an alarming rate. But, you can help…
How you can help:
- Re- use paper and plastic bags to discourage deforestation.
- Use canvas or paper bags as another alternative
- Pick products which require less packaging.
- One can save up to 20 square feet of forest with online contributions thereby conveniently prevent deforestation.
- Be creative and mail manufacturers telling them to use eco-friendly products. Show them your deforestation knowledge by highlighting certain important facts using statistics.
- Sign effective petitions that work and help reduce deforestation.
- Support eco-friendly companies buy buying their products that promise more durability in an inexpensive way.
- Be active and plant trees- it can be at your homes, backyards or you can join any organization keen on stopping deforestation.
Ways you can
plant a tree or donate money:
- Shop at Ten Tree. This company will plant ten trees for every item purchased from their website.
- Shop at Eminence. Every time you buy Eminence Organic Skin Care, they plant a tree for every product sold.
- Buy Sprout pencils. Sprout produces the world’s first sustainable pencil that you can plant after use.
- Think about using a Bios Urn, after you die. World’s first biodegradable urn designed to convert you into a tree after life.
- Donate money to the Rainforest alliance.
- Join the Arbor Day Foundation for just $10 and get 10 free trees.
Finally, here is an inspiring video of Reynaldo Ochoa, a wonderful man in Peru, who inspired his community to live in balance with their environment. He teaches people to use “agroforestry” and permaculture. He has personally planted over 30,000 trees.
- Wahba, Orly. Kindness Boomerang: How to Save the World (and Yourself) Through 365 Daily Acts (p. 42). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition.