How Deforestation Can be Environmentally Friendly? (With Video)

Over the past few decades, it has become increasingly clear – arguably to the point of no debate, that deforestation is bad. In fact, we’ve even compiled a list of reasons Why is deforestation a threat to the environment? Nevertheless, we wanted to raise this question, How Deforestation Can be Environmentally Friendly?

How Deforestation Can be Environmentally Friendly?

The reason why we ask this question is that, in recent years, there’s been a huge wave of products made of natural materials, such as wood and bamboo. These products are meant to replace plastic-made products and other harmful materials. In an effort to reduce plastic production and consumption, many consumers and businesses have turned to these novel inventions instead, causing many to wonder if this change is beneficial to the environment!

After all, to make items such as wooden plates, paper straws, or bamboo toothbrushes, we must first cut down trees. Wouldn’t that then lead to even more deforestation and all its harmful effects?

Not exactly.

What is logging? and how is it different than deforestation?

Here we must distinguish between deforestation and logging. According to the National Geographic, deforestation is the mass destruction of trees in a forest, often in an effort to clear a large area of land and convert it to a non-forest use. Some of the most destructive deforestations in the world occur in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, to make space for cattle farms. Also in Malaysia and Indonesia to allow for palm oil plantations.

If you would like to learn more about deforestation, I recommend this book, One Shot by John Leary.

ONE Shot takes readers on an evolving journey from the peanut fields of Africa to the cornfields of America; connecting seven of the world’s most pressing challenges to farming practices, and offering the revival of forest gardens as a core agricultural solution.

You can listen to this book for free by going to Audible (Amazon company) and sign up.

I found Audible to be a good way to get hooked up to listening and learning more.

On the other hand, logging is simply the act of cutting down trees for the purpose of making timber. Of course, logging can lead to deforestation if carried out in an exploitative and unethical manner. But it does not necessarily have to. Especially if it is done sustainably and in accordance with the principles of sustainable forest management.

What is sustainable forest management?

Sustainable forest management is all about balance. This keyword lies at the heart of the practice, ensuring that we use forests in such a way so as to maintain their productivity, biodiversity, and regeneration capacity. By making sure to replant at least as many trees as we cut over a specific period of time. Keeping in mind to avoid over-harvesting trees from one patch of forest. This will ensure the long-term livelihood of the forest and its species.

Many companies are now beginning to implement the principles of sustainable forest management. Like Sveaskog (the largest forest company in Sweden) and Plum Creek (the largest private landowner in the US). With many more following suit, it is becoming increasingly easy for large manufacturers to sustainably source their forest resources.

Isn’t producing plastic better than cutting trees?

The reason why these clarifications have to be made is that, recently, there have been many naysayers, who advocate for plastic products against natural-based alternatives. They often loosely cite deforestation as the reason why we shouldn’t use bamboo or wood-based products, failing to give in-depth explanations based on actual statistics.

The simple truth is, though, that natural products are much better than plastic-based ones. Plastic is a permanent pollutant that has trespassed its intended boundaries in landfills. It has contaminated our oceans, country-sides, and even our own bodies. On the other hand, trees can always be replanted.

How Deforestation Can be Environmentally Friendly?

So the answer to the question we asked is that

“Deforestation Can be Environmentally Friendly when we use these woods to replace products that harm the environment AND keep replanting.”

Of course, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all guide to what we should or should not consume. The best way to make sure we responsibly stop plastic pollution and choose the products least affecting the environment would be to do our own research beforehand, specific to the situation at hand.

This is just one of the many ways you could make our lifestyle more sustainable.

You may also be interested in 5 Books You Need to Read if You Care About Climate Change

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