“When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.” Native American Saying
Roots deep in the earth, twisting and spiraling beneath the ground, drawing in life. A thick round trunk with rugged bark, shoots toward the sky; its story told by the circles of time. Branches stretching every which way, leaves providing the color of its life. A canopy, a shelter, a vital part of our world: this is a tree.
We all know what a tree is and what it looks like; but sometimes we don’t fully grasp how vital trees are to a sustainable earth. Consumerism and the drive for urban growth are destroying forests and natural habitats; and replacing them is somehow forgotten. Forests cover about 31% of the land area on our planet and between 46-58 thousand square miles of forest are lost each year. Fires, expanding agriculture land, development, unsustainable logging, material needs, stove fuel, and climate change are all factors contributing to the loss of forests. Scientists are predicting that they could completely vanish in 100 years. This would be detrimental to our well-being, the ecosystem, and our climate.
Trees are an important part of negating the harmful effects of the increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, caused by human activity. Too much carbon dioxide is making our planet to warm quickly, which scientists have been monitoring since the 1950s. It's also changing precipitation patterns; and leading to more extreme and longer heat waves, with dangerously intense episodes of moisture falling.
Trees help by absorbing excess carbon dioxide and other pollutants; while cycling oxygen back in. Climate aside, they also provide for around 1.6 billion people in the form of food, medicine, fresh water, clothing, and shelter. Their importance is vast and doesn't just stop at humans. Trees ecological role in others species survival is endless.
Deforestation is inevitable, but there are many solutions to help balance it with reforestation, which everyone can be a part of. Here are some things you can do to help:
Plant a Tree or Two or Three: Here at Your True Nature, we plant 10 trees for every 217 pounds of recycled paper we use; and if we have to use non-recycled paper, we plant 20 trees to replace what we use (https://yourtruenature.com/our-planet). We encourage our customers to plant trees as well, and for every $30 they spend we plant a tree in their name. Your True Nature has planted over 100,000 trees through the organization 100% Replanted. We've made it quite simple to get involved in replanting.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Regenerate: Your True Nature reuses packing material and boxes in shipping. As an office, we recycle everything that we can, generating only one 10 gallon sized container of trash each month. Our products use high content post-consumer waste recycled paper. We also work closely with Climate Wise, a voluntary, city-run program that is dedicated to helping local businesses and the environment. The Climate Wise team helps member businesses tackle issues like waste disposal, energy usage, recycling, and other challenges.
Be a Part of the Solution: Small changes in everyday life can make a huge difference. Recycle at home and at work, use post-consumer recycled paper, drive less, don't let your vehicle idle, turn off the lights, use reusable shopping bags, and turn off electronic devices when not in use. Buy from companies like Your True Nature who put nature before profit; and are dedicated to environmentally friendly practices. You can also donate to organizations that are focused on reforestation and creating sustainable communities. Trees Water & People is a great organization that is making a huge impact in our world. They were founded on the principle of addressing the cause of deforestation in order to stop it.
Changes in our climate can be felt and seen by many. For example the fishermen in the Philippines are coming home empty handed to hungry families. Rising ocean temperatures and rapidly eroding coastlines are decreasing the fish supply, their only income. Weather is becoming more erratic, winters are becoming shorter, and ice caps are melting. Healthy forests mean healthier soils, cleaner water, cooler atmospheric temperatures, better habitats, and stronger communities. If nothing is done to slow deforestation, none of this will get any better. We need trees to ensure a healthy planet for us and our wild places.
Take Advice from the Wilderness: "Tread lightly on the Earth."