the largest environmental issues of the modern age. Every day we unknowingly make life choices which invariably support the practice and which reduce the incentive for companies to source products which are certified as coming from a sustainable and legal source. Every person on earth has a duty to the planet and to the environment to do what they can to stop illegal logging and to halt the destruction of our forests. Here’s what you can do:
- Mindful Purchasing
If you have trouble sourcing products which are certified by the FSC, then talk to your local store. Shop owners are usually willing to listen to their customer’s opinions. If you make it known that you would like them to stock sustainable, certified wood and paper products, they usually will: they value the business you provide⁴.
- Be a Voice
As someone once said, ‘Knowledge is Power’. One of the biggest reasons that illegal logging has such a hold on the world timber industry is because a lot of people don’t know about it, and those who do don’t realise how big the problem is³. It’s up to us – the people who understand the issues and who are willing to go out of our way to make a change – to spread the word. Talk to your friends and family. Share informative links or articles on social media. Even something as simple as sticking a poster in a store window can make a huge difference.
As a voter, you have the power to make your voice heard at election time. Research the policies and core values of each party before voting, and ensure that you support the one which has the best environmental guidelines. This way legislation can be introduced which, for example, could ban the importation of forestry products which aren’t certified as from a sustainable or renewable source⁵.
- Make a Monetary Donation
There you have it. As a consumer of forest products, you are able to influence logging practices in forests across the world by making sustainable choices and by being a source of knowledge to those around you. Remember – knowledge is power!