Before you buy it, do you FSC it?
Buy wood of course.
Sorry, I tried and tried to come up with a clever, rhyming soundbite but nothing worked and that’s why I’m a demonised, economy-crushing public-sector worker and not a high-flying, over-paid writer of cheesy soundbites.
Anyway, did you know or care that 2011 is the International Year of the Forest as declared by none other than the UN? Well it is. And we should care!
I do love forests. I find them mystical and awesome and I can’t think of anything more fun than losing myself in one. Well, that’s not quite true. I’m not Snow White and there would be no Bambi or Thumper rushing to my aid if I got lost in one. I’m more like Red Riding Hood with her bad friendship choices and dodgy hoodies. But they are enchanting places to explore. I spent many an idle childhood hour in the woods building imaginary tree-houses or making endless daisy chains. Or I’d be chasing Faeries and hunting for witches. The imagination at its unburdened best and not an XBox or iPod in sight. Sigh.
Anyway, enough of the wistfulness, the good guys at WWF have a campaign running which asks the question . . . ‘If you knew where your wood came from: What wood you choose?’
Facts are that approximately 1.5 million cubic metres of illegal timber and wood products are imported into the UK every year and it doesn’t need me to tell you that these statistics have a significantly detrimental impact on forests, species, habitats and wildlife. And it threatens the livelihoods of people from some of the worlds poorest communities.
Most people are aware of the Fair Trade campaign and no-one can argue that buying our food ethically whenever we can is beneficial and good but we seem not to think as much about where our non-food items are sourced – everyday items such as paper and loo roll, not forgetting bigger things such as decking, flooring and furniture.
Basically, illegal logging is having a devastating effect on people and wildlife and is contributing to the decline of endgangered species. While we continue to buy products that have been illegally sourced, the deforestation, destruction and exploitation will continue.
As WWF states, you don’t have to stop buying timber products. Wood that has been harvested and managed responsibly is a renewable and sustainable resource that can help support the forests, the wildlife and the communities that depend on them. All we need to do is look for the FSC logo on the product we are buying. Simple as that.
[Click the logos for more info]