Deforestation is the leading cause of climate change and species extinction. However, what is deforestation exactly, and how bad is the problem? What can you, as an individual, do to help? These are all great questions, and in today’s blog we’ll address them and answer them one by one. Finally, we’ll talk about our edible straws – now on Amazon!
What is deforestation?
Deforestation means the cutting down of trees. Its effects are severe and widespread – from climate change, to desertification, species extinction, soil erosion, water pollution, crop loss, flooding, and an increase in greenhouse gases. Forests are the lungs of our Earth, and by cutting them down we’re hurting our own environment.
Vast tracts of land are turning into desert because forests regulate the weather, hold the soil together and perform a variety of other crucial ecological functions.
To give you an idea of how bad the problem really is, here are some statistics about deforestation.
According to the National Geographic, forests still cover about 30% of the Earth’s land surface. However, they’re being cut down at an alarming rate. One and a half acres of forest are cut down every second. At the current rate of deforestation, all the rainforests on Earth will be destroyed in under a hundred years.
In the last 30 years, the world lost almost 1.5 million square kilometers of forest – an area larger than South Africa.
Deforestation is continuing at an alarming rate, and we can’t let this go on. It needs to stop yesterday. So to help, we need to plant more trees. Below, we’ll share some benefits trees provide.
Why planting trees is good
There are a lot of reasons why planting trees is a good idea – even though planting trees isn’t the only way to help. Let’s go over some reasons why you should plant more trees, and the benefits they offer:
Trees provide food
All of our food originates from plants. If you plant just a couple fruit trees in your lawn, you’ll get several baskets of food every year with minimal maintenance. Even meat, if you think about it, wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for plants. The animals we consume are fed on a steady diet of plant matter. So plant trees for free food!
Trees provide homes for wildlife
Birds, bugs, and many small animals such as squirrels consider trees their home. Make your garden a wildlife haven by planting fruit-bearing trees. Not only will they feed you and your family, but they’ll also provide food and a safe home for wildlife.
Trees prevent soil erosion
Mature trees have enormous root systems that hold soil together and prevent it from getting run off when it rains or floods. This in turn prevents soil erosion, which means you don’t lose your topsoil.
Trees prevent water pollution
By preventing soil erosion, trees directly help reduce water pollution. Since soil can’t run off into rivers and streams, the water remains cleaner. So, plant trees for clean drinking water and so you can enjoy your local water bodies in all their pristine glory!
Trees provide shade
A single tree can provide enough shade for a bunch of people – which is lovely when it’s warm weather. If you own a large property, plant it with trees so you can sit under one during summer and enjoy the refreshing shade. It doesn’t just provide shade for you – it does for birds and wildlife as well, and they really appreciate it! Tired birds can catch a break in the branches of a shady tree.
Trees combat climate change
By converting CO2 into oxygen, trees help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the air, and thus help us in beating climate change. Trees absorb and store carbon, and release oxygen back into the air. In one year, an acre of mature trees can absorb enough CO2 to offset a 26,000-mile drive.
Trees provide oxygen
This is true for all plants, not just trees. Plant houseplants and herbs in your home, and they’ll add a little more oxygen to your home’s interior. In a year, an acre of mature trees can produce enough oxygen for 18 people. So, plant your property thick with trees! Your lungs will thank you.
Trees beautify your garden
You can hide ugly walls, poles and HVAC units by planting trees and shrubs in your garden. In addition, ornamental and flowering trees look gorgeous and provide interest in your garden. Compared to a grass lawn, one planted with beautiful shrubs and trees looks a thousand times better.
Trees increase property value
Curbside appeal is important when you’re trying to sell your property, and a beautiful-looking lawn planted thickly with trees will look good and be easier to sell. It’ll also have a direct impact on the property’s value.
While planting trees is good, that isn’t all you can do to help. Cut back on your usage of plastic. Our edible straws are on Amazon – go buy them! If you use even two edible straws per day, you’ll prevent over a thousand plastic straws from ending up in landfills in a year and a half!
How to help
You might think planting trees is the only way to help battle this issue, but that’s not true. There are a lot of ways to help – many of which tackle the root of the issue, which is demand. If we don’t need wood or space, our forests will remain intact. You can also help by purchasing our edible straws on Amazon. We’ll explain further as we go along.
Plant your lawn thickly
Many people prefer a grass lawn, but they’re not very good for the environment. Grass needs a lot of watering, and its environmental benefits are close to nil. So, instead plant your lawn thick with flowering and fruiting shrubs. Not only will it be more interesting, but you’ll be able to make it self-sustaining through mulch and compost, you’ll get some food out of it, and you’ll be helping the environment!
Support organic farming
Modern farming practices are often detrimental to the environment. Large tracts of forest are cleared for agriculture, and this land is then saturated with synthetic fertilizer. Support organic farming, which is a gentle, eco-friendly practice, by purchasing fruits and veggies from your local farmer’s market or organic produce store.
Use locally sourced, fast-growing wood
Wood is an excellent natural resource that’s worlds better than plastic. However, we’re talking about locally-sourced, fast-growing wood. It’s a renewable resource, and it uses the minimum amount of resources possible in transportation and preparation. So, the next time you want to build something, use local wood instead of choosing something fancy. Stains and paints are the way to go!
Get a bidet
The average person will use 384 trees’ worth of toilet paper in their lifetime. Save trees by switching to a more renewable resource – water. Get a bidet, and you’ll never look back. Not only will it cost less and be an upgrade, but you’ll save a lot of trees from getting cut down. For people who have pets who like to tear up toilet paper, this also means less waste.
Offices amass a huge amount of paperwork, and by cutting down on this paper, you’ll be saving a lot of trees from getting cut down. Go digital at your office, and encourage your suppliers, business partners and customers to do so as well. Going digital will take some time, but once you’ve made the shift, your life will be a lot easier, costs will go down, and you’ll have a lot of free space in the office.
Knowledge is power. Tell your friends, neighbors and family about deforestation and what we need to do, and maybe you’ll spark a change. A single eco-friendly family can make a huge difference annually. So, educate yourself on the subject, and then educate others. Just make sure your audience is interested!
These were some ways in which you can help. For an easy, low-effort way to help, go on to the next section.
Buying edible straws on Amazon to make a change
The heading might seem misleading, but we mean it literally. You can help make a dent in the deforestation problem by purchasing our edible straws on Amazon or through our website. That’s because for each pack of straws you purchase, we plant a tree. We have partnered with Seed The Change to make this possible.
By planting more trees wherever possible, we can help make the Earth greener. This is extremely important right now, because we are seeing unprecedented levels of deforestation which are causing species extinction, desertification and other major problems which will start to have a serious effect on our lives very soon. The problem is frighteningly serious, and we need to act on it now.
You can also help by switching to eco-friendly brands where possible. This includes brands that plant trees, use recycled (or no) plastic in their packaging, and provide alternatives to disposable plastic. Flewid Friendly does all three! Purchase our products, and follow our blog for tips on how you, as an individual, can help save the Earth.