Trees are essential to our existence. They contribute to the environment by providing oxygen & clean air for us to breathe, help moderate our climate and so on.
Human use of trees for agriculture activities (making room for things like cattle ranching), logging (to make goods such as paper, furniture, etc.) and making land for housing and urbanization are some of the many causes of deforestation. This is a concern for today & for future generations. If and when trees are re-planted it can take several decades for growing trees to reach full maturity (dependent upon the type of tree and climate).
In the spirit of this year’s Earth Day on April 22nd, we’re sharing some simple ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and help save trees & protect our forests:
Invest in Reusable Containers
There’s a large selection of brands that create re-usable containers for lunches and storing food that are not only functional but look great. Some options include lunchbots for lunch to go, Bees Wrap (an alternative to plastic wrap for food storage) and lunchskins (resusable sandwhich and snack bags); to name a few.
Buy Used Furniture
Get your Pinterest on by looking through second hand stores or selling websites to score furniture pieces to re-purpose. You can find second hand wooden furniture that is high quality and often simply need a coat of fresh paint or new handles to look like new. Save money and trees.
Get Creative with Gift Wrapping
Reusable cloth bags make a great gift wrap that can be used again and again. For culinary related gifts, wrap with cloth kitchen towels (a gift in itself) or mason jars. Newspapers and paper grocery bags make great wrapping paper and gives newsprint and bags a second use before being recycled.
Use Apps for Lists
Instead of writing your weekly grocery shopping list or to-do list on a sheet of paper use one of the many apps available. Some apps we like are Wunderlist, Evernote and Out of Milk (for grocery lists). You can also share your lists with other members in your household too this way.
Recycle your Newspapers
Approximately 65,000 to 75,000 trees are needed to produce paper for the Sunday edition of the New York Times alone. Think how much paper could be reduced by recycling all newspaper.
Instead of printing out tickets for flying, concerts or games; use e-tickets when available.
The amount of paper eliminated by using electronic confirmations instead of paper print outs will be increasingly larger as more companies make this the only option in the future.
Opt for Paperless Billing
By cancelling just your paper phone bills and bank statements alone, you can reduce paper substantially.
Unless a card is very sentimental, let’s face it, most greeting cards get thrown out after a few days to weeks of being read and displayed. Save trees by sending e-cards instead. And to make your card more personable consider including a special memory you have with that person or a quality you admire in them. Much more sentimental than a pre-written card (and saves trees)!
When using paper for photo copying or printing use the double sided option to reduce paper usage.
Other Mediums for Notepaper
Save old envelopes, flyers etc. Use these first when you need paper to jot grocery lists or notes.
Use Alternatives to Paper Products
Instead of using paper products made from trees shop around and look for alternatives like Caboo (made from fast growing sugarcane and bamboo grasses). Other options include using cloth napkins instead of paper when convenient or reusable snack and sandwich bags like lunchskins for school or work lunches.
Shop with Reusable Bags
Say no to plastic and paper bags. Plastic bags are not bio-degradable and make the way into our oceans and from there our food chain. Paper bags can be recycled but require cutting down trees. By using reusable bags when grocery shopping we can reduce the use of plastic and paper use substantially.
Eat vegetarian Once a Week
One less meat-based meal a week helps the planet and your diet.
Even by starting small and committing to just one of these initiatives, you can collectively make a big difference to reduce your carbon footprint and help save trees. We’d love to hear from you, what are your plans and goals for this Earth Day?