Protect Forests

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 3:04pm

In her wise and elegant new book, “Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants,” Dr. Jane Goodall with Gail Hudson, blends her experience in nature with her enthusiasm for botany to give readers a deeper understanding of the world around us. Continuing their exploration here, Dr. Goodall provides ideas and inspiration for what readers can do to get involved in and protect the world of plants.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification helps consumers know that the furniture or flooring they are buying did not come from clear-cutting or other unsustainable methods of harvesting forests. Some retailers will display the certification label in the storefront, but this only shows that the owner sells products with this certification.
Make sure the specific items you are purchasing are certified.  You have the right to ask the dealer to show you their invoice from the original supplier, stating that the product is FSC certified. The dealer may want to black out the original purchase cost—but should still show you the certification paperwork.
The following are some other consumer choices that can help protect forests from unsustainable or unnecessary logging and devastation.
  • Consider using “reclaimed wood flooring” – but be sure to ask for verification that the planks really are recycled from old buildings and not new lumber made to look aged.
  • Advocate for the mandatory labeling of palm oil sourcing. Pristine, tropical rainforest are being recklessly destroyed to make room for the establishment and expansion of palm oil plantations. This is directly endangering the Orangutan, and displacing indigenous people who have lived in the forest for thousands of years. Right now there is no mandatory labeling of products that contain palm oil—so consumers can’t avoid purchasing these products.
  • Support companies who are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). For a full list of companies, visit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s website and download its palm oil shopping guide.
  • Buy recycled paper products whenever possible. You actively reduce the amount of virgin wood that is harvested for new paper every time you buy recycled paper products. Almost all paper is available recycled these days, including greeting cards and all kitchen and bath products. Meanwhile, also try to buy tree-friendly toilet paper and paper towels. (Look for products that are from recycled papers as well as “unbleached” or “chlorine-free.”)
  • Reduce your overall consumption of paper and wood products by transporting groceries in cloth bags, using cloth napkins, avoiding use of disposable plates and cups, and writing/printing on both sides of a sheet of paper.
  • Reduce your consumption of beef. (Forests are often cleared for cattle ranching or growing corn feed to support the meat industry.)
  • Avoid purchasing products with aluminum cans (or at least be sure to recycle them) – this will help reduce the need for mining bauxite in tropical rainforests.

To learn more about Dr. Goodall’s new book, please visit the “Seeds of Hope” page at Have you missed some of our earlier blog posts? Don’t worry, see all of them below!



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