Forests cover about 30 percent of the Earth land area.
You’d be amazed by how much forests impact our lives – they supply the materials we need for food, shelter, medicine, and fuel. Plus, they’re home to some of the cutest animals – seriously, what’s not to love?
Sadly, forest land is disappearing – which means we’re all in trouble.
Read on for why we love forests, the serious threats they’re facing, why their disappearance would be devastating for the planet – and what you can do to help now.
Forests help fight all kinds of pollution
Did you know that trees store carbon and reduce greenhouse gases? But when trees are cut down, they release that carbon back into the environment.
Trees also get rid of other forms of pollution – even noise pollution – and help to filter toxins and chemicals from waterways.
Trees help keep the climate under control
Forests are great climate regulators. The UN reports that areas with lots of trees “save energy used for heating by 20-50%” just by simply existing. How cool is that?
What threats are trees facing?
There’s no doubt about it – climate change is killing our forests. The result? A terrifying increase in forest fires. These fires are devastating for humans, animals, and the environment – and the problem only seems to be escalating.
Deforestation is another major tree killer; we’re chopping forests down quicker than we can grow them back. “Between 1990 and 2015, the world lost some 129 million hectares of forest, an area the size of South Africa,” reports the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Without trees, what will happen to the planet?
“Deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change,” says the UN. And without enough trees to filter those emissions, pollution will only get worse.
Plus, 80 percent of Earth’s land animals and planets – and 60 million Indigenous people – call forests home. If the forests disappear, all those people and animals will be displaced and endangered. Without trees, lives are truly at risk.
Here’s how you can help
- Plant some trees!
- Commit to being more eco-friendly. Try cutting out plastics and reducing your energy usage to start.
- Reduce your paper use. Here are some tips for using less paper at work and at home.
- Follow a plant-based diet. According to The Vegan Calculator, every person following a plant-based diet prevents the destruction of 10,950 sq. ft. of forest annually!
- Get involved with organizations like WWF or Conservation International who are actively working to save our incredible, life-giving forests.
- Spread the word!
Find out more about crucial environmental issues:
- 3 simple things you can do to help save the planet
- 64% of all wetlands have disappeared – why it matters (and how to help)
- Palm oil is destroying the planet – what you need to know to help
- 5 environmental issues that need to be on your radar this year