Over the past few decades, it has become increasingly clear – arguably to the point of no debate, that deforestation is bad. How about logging? Is it as bad as deforestation?
What is the difference between deforestation and logging?
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. While 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.
How Deforestation Can Be Environmentally Friendly?
Deforestation Can be Environmentally Friendly when we use these woods to replace products that harm the environment AND keep replanting.
The reason 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?
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?
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.
See 18 facts about plastics and how bad it is to leave it accumulating in our environment.
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.