Would you like to know how to save the Boreal forests? Just like rainforests, they may not be in England, but they are very important to help our planet and endangered wildlife. Did you know that one of the best ways you can help is to use recycled bathroom tissue? That’s because the big brands are still chopping the trees down in the Boreal forests, to make luxury toilet paper. More on that later. First, let’s learn to get to know the Boreal forests around the world.
This huge landmass represents 30% of all forested areas on earth. It covers a large part of Canada (and some parts of the USA and Alaska), a lot of Russia and most of Scandinavia. The area is also home to millions of wildlife including 3.5 billion birds who head there for winter. From wolf to caribou to moose to large owls and otters, parts of Boreal forest are home to endangered Siberian tigers. It rarely rains here, the moisture comes from fog and snow instead. Temperatures can get so low here, it can sometimes be colder then Mars.
Of course, this means that corporate industry is trying to chop it down, to make wood and paper. And 90% of all these items are exported, including to the US and UK, where items like bathroom tissue are literally removing the homes of wildlife and trees that they live in. Since the Soviet Union fell, it has now been legal to log there, so most of Siberia’s forests have already gone. The area is known as ‘Taiga’ (a Russian word) to describe all the beautiful pine, spruce and larch trees, which look like something from a Christian card in winter months.
How We Can Save the Boreal Forests
As the forests are being harvested for consumer goods made from paper and wood, the easiest way to help is simply to choose alternative products: Also see the post on how to save England’s forests
- Switch to recycled bathroom tissue. A lot of US toilet paper comes from the Boreal forests, but quite a few brands here either come from it (or are owned by companies that do take paper from there). It’s ironic that a koala bear is used to advertise one major brand, that is refusing to follow guidelines to protect forests where other wildlife lives.
- If you write letters, switch to companies that use 100% recycled paper. Try Recycled Paper Supplies or The Green Stationary Company.
- If you paint, good sketch pads are Strathmore and Fabriano Artistico (recycled), Hahnemühle (bamboo) or Schut Papier (tree-free).
- Buy secondhand furniture if you can. You can find local community wood stores where you can buy furniture made from recycled wood (and donate wooden furniture or scrap wood, made into kindling).
- Choose wood-free coffins. Natural Endings lists good brands made from willow, banana leaf or seagrass.
- Give up palm oil. Often forests are destroyed to create fast-growing palm oil plantations. Although not particularly relevant to Boreal forests, one creature that is suffering from both issues is the Siberian tiger.