Updated: Mar 28
Our forests provide shelter, warmth, and fuel. They are a habitat for 80% of the terrestrial wildlife they help regulate the global climate and create the air we breathe. As humans, we are intimately connected with the forests and we need the tools these forests provide, but we don’t need them at the expense of the health of our planet.
In this article, you will learn how sustainable forestry is all about balance. The balance between the selection of the wood, how it grows, and how it is sustained to put the planet first. Also, learn what certifications to look for to ensure you have truly sustainable products in your home.
SO HOW CAN YOU PROTECT OUR FORESTS?
The first thing is CHOICE
Wood is one of the most important resources in the world and unfortunately, not all of it is as sustainable as you think.
Choosing sustainable wood comes by balancing 2 factors:
The characteristics of the wood you need vs. The ecological impact
Birch vs. Oak The benefit of choosing a birch hardwood is its strength combined with a fast-growing nature. Birch takes ⅓ the amount of time compared with hardwoods like Oak. This reduces the time, space, and impact on the environment to mature while also conserving our old-growth forests.
So when choosing wood products think fast-growing, regenerative, and low impact. If flexibility is a characteristic you need there is a wood that can grow as fast as 1 ft a day!
Bamboo: the Wonder "Wood"
Bamboo is a phenomenal material that is actually classified as grass.
These efficient and fast-growing bamboo forests require less water, less area to grow, and do not require replanting. In fact, farming bamboo retains the natural soil quality and prevents erosion without the need for excess fertilizers.
HOW ARE FORESTS SUSTAINED?
Forest managers sustain a balance by choosing what can be harvested from the forest, and in what amounts. Their goal is to harvest timber in a way that doesn't destroy the overall health of the forest. By cutting down older trees to encourage diversity and growth, and thinning tree populations in some areas sustains the forest. It's also important to replace the trees you harvest by planting new ones, taking care to plant species that will both provide the sustainably chosen wood and fit it into the forest ecosystem.
With all sustainable forestry, the goal is to protect the people, plant and animal species that live in and around, and depend upon, the forest.
Forests that minimize the impact on local ecosystems and are managed responsibly can in theory provide for us indefinitely.
What to look for to make sure the product comes from a sustainable forest?
FSC certification is the nonprofit Forest Stewardship Council, this Global certification is a standard for the practices to protect forest ecosystems and helps fight climate change. All Greenlid Birch Cutlery is FSC certified.
Sustainably-managed forests meet the needs of wildlife while supporting livelihoods and providing many other ecosystem services, such as carbon storage. They balance the needs of the over 1.6 billion people and about 60 million indigenous and tribal people who are almost wholly dependant on forests for their livelihood with the needs of our planet.
By understanding the way forests are grown and sustained, allows you to be an informed customer making good choices for your health and the planet. So look for the FSC logo and trust in sustainable forests.