We all know that forests are important; they provide a number of invaluable services in keeping our planet healthy. These include removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, hosting a great variety of animal species, and even helping regulate the climate itself.
Yet the forests of the world are under siege. Every year, an estimated 10 million hectares of forests are lost through deforestation(from 2015 to 2020). 30% of all tree species face extinction. Deforestation refers to clearing forests for other purposes, such as urbanization or agriculture. Agriculture and urbanization are some of the biggest threats to trees, threatening 53% of tree species. Not only does deforestation reduce forests’ ability to absorb carbon dioxide, but it also creates emissions as well – enough to constitute 12% of global carbon emissions.
Another pressing issue is degradation, which is when a forest’s ability to function as an ecosystem is impaired. While Canada has a very low deforestation rate, tens of millions of acres are estimated to have been degraded as of 2017. Part of the reason some of these forests are degraded is that when they are cut down, they are reforested poorly. New trees, often just a single species, are planted row by row – anyone who has seen a natural forest will know that is not how forests work. This artificial regrowth makes the new forest less diverse and subsequently impairs its ability to function as a natural forest would.
To help combat this issue, STEM Minds is proud to partner with the Canada Forest Trust, an organization that aims to replant forests in a natural way with the help of scientists and the knowledge of local Indigenous peoples. Not only does the Canada Forest Trust grow forests in a natural way, but they also take steps to ensure the preservation and maintenance of these forests for years to come.
STEM Minds plans to plant 2 acres of forest, and an additional one each year, to offset our carbon emissions and help fight climate change. You can help us grow our forest and achieve these goals by purchasing seedlings off our website, starting this February.
Looking for other ways you can help?
Here are a few ways you can help combat deforestation:
- Use Less Paper – Cutting down your use of paper is a step you can take. An easy way is to start doing things digitally when possible instead of on physical paper. Another key strategy is making sure you use “good on one side” paper.
- Shop Sustainable – If you’re purchasing products made from paper, look for the FSC logo. This ensures the forest used to create the paper product was logged in a sustainable way. Additionally, when possible, purchase items that have been made from recycled products.
- Avoid Palm Oil – Palm oil is responsible for a large portion of the deforestation of rainforests, so avoid purchasing products with palm oil when possible.
- To find even more ways to help, click here
These are all just a few simple things you can do to help reduce your contribution to deforestation. To learn more about deforestation, click here
Note: several facts and statistics in this blog have replaced and updated as of 2022/05/11