The bird's songs pierce the silence of the morning, as the sun slowly makes the shadows vanish. The smell of campfire smoke tickles my nose as I run down the dirt roads. This isn't camping in the mountains, this is running in a village in Africa, or other third world cultures. I run past huts made with wood from the forests nearby; while inside, fueled by that same wood, a fire burns cooking breakfast. In fact everyday families burn this wood for all their meals or to warm their small huts. It's why I can be walking down the street of small town America, smell someone's wood stove and get transported back to these villages. It's also why deforestation is becoming a major issue around the world.

When wood is the main source of fuel or building materials, trees are cut down at a high rate. When those trees aren't replaced; slowly as the years go by it becomes not only an environmental issue; but also a humanitarian issue. Then when you add on other reasons for clearing forests, the negative impact quickens. For example in Northern Uganda, trees have been cleared for decades with no program in place to replace them. First it was cutting them down to minimize places for Joseph Kony and his Lords Resistance Army rebels to hide in. Then it was to clear room for camps to house refugees from the war between South Sudan and Sudan. In the recent years 1 million more refugees have flooded into refugee camps in Northern Uganda, escaping the brutal civil war waging in South Sudan. They need wood for homes and wood for fires, so you can imagine that many more trees are disappearing. This is on top of locals using trees for their needs too.

The delicate climate in Uganda is already being affected, in the sense that they are getting less rain than they require. Such is the case in so many places across the world. Traditional ways are colliding with modern needs for timber, having a devastating impact on the climate. Drought, destruction of crops, and extreme weather are all factors that are creating immense problems.

Forests contain over 60 percent of the world's biodiversity, which so many rely on for their livelihood: Shelter, medicinal plants, shade, food, firewood, trade, and other important uses. The impact is not only in the immediate area, but eventually stretches across the oceans. So the question becomes, how do we stop deforestation when so many people still rely on trees to survive?

Replanting trees in these areas, of course, is a good start.

Your True Nature plants 10 trees for every 217 pounds of recycled paper we use; and 20 trees if we have to use paper that isn't recycled. We also plant a tree for every order over $30 and give people the option to purchase the planting of a tree or a whole grove of trees. Some of our products plant a tree when purchased, such as greeting cards. So far we have planted well over 100,000 trees in places where people rely on them for their livelihood. Two amazing organizations we partner with to plant the trees are, Trees Water & People and Plant it 2020. They not only address the replanting of trees, but they work with natives to use more innovative means; so they rely less on wood to survive. You can be a part of addressing these major concerns by just buying one tree for $3.50. Little impacts now will help create lasting change for the future. Learn more by going here.