Green Tip: Combat Deforestation as a Consumer

Green Tips | August 4, 2017

Deforestation is devastating some of our most precious places. From loss of biodiversity to species fragmentation to exacerbating climate change, the demand for wood and paper products is one of the most pressing threats to our planet. Thankfully there are a variety of changes we can make to reduce our impact on deforestation.

Sustainably Managed Forests

Look for products with a “Forest Stewardship Council” or “Sustainable Forestry Initiative” label. These seals are an accurate way to determine if a product is made from timber that comes from a sustainably managed forest. As more consumers are becoming environmentally-conscious when it comes to their purchases, they are looking for FSC or SFI labels to indicate that they are making a planet-friendly choice. This demand for sustainably managed forests is driving more manufacturers to adapt new practices so that they can be certified and appeal to a wider range of customers. Choose products with this seal to ensure that your purchases are fighting deforestation, not aiding it.

Recycled Products

When the average American uses nearly six trees worth of paper each year, you can choose products made from recycled material to give tree products another life and reduce your impact on deforestation. Products made from recycled content are not just limited to printer paper and napkins, but plastic products and construction supplies, like paint and asphalt, can all be made out of recycled materials.

Avoid Palm Oil

One product in particular that is contributing to large-scale deforestation is palm oil. It can be found in many processed foods like frozen pizza, margarine, and candy and also in a range of bath and beauty products. A report from the World Wildlife Foundation examines the impacts of palm oil on destroying the environment and the social costs to local people particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia where these monoculture palm oil plantations are common. Palm oil is a major cause of deforestation and has a massive carbon footprint, so try your best to avoid products containing this ingredient.

By: Korinna Garfield

< Back to Citizen’s Toolkit

Get Involved