A Seed For Thought - International Day of Forests
Today marks the hugely important global event of the International Day of Forests. The United Nations (UN) created International Day of Forests to raise awareness of the importance of forests to people, and their involvement in poverty eradication, environmental sustainability and food security (UN). It is rumoured that over 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually, equating to approximately 35,500 hectares every day, or roughly 65 acres a minute. This is especially shocking when you consider deforestation accounts for 12-20% of the global greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change.
Moving closer to home, air pollution costs the UK Government over £20 billion per year, a huge sum of money that could be better invested in the upkeep of our forests and natural land. The benefit of having vast levels of woodland across a country is that it can cut outdoor and indoor air pollution by 50% - something that will save Governments money. This is where an issue arises for the UK, as it is one of Europe’s least wooded areas. It has 13% woodland cover compared to 37% for European Union countries (Forestry Commission).
This is why the Woodland Trust has created plans of what it wants to call the ‘Northern Forest’. This plan aims to plant over 50 million trees, in the north of England, spanning from Liverpool to Hull. It will, in turn, absorb hundreds of thousands of tonnes of carbon every year (Woodland Trust). Furthermore, the Woodland Trust approximate that the value of the UK’s woodlands to be £2 billion, and that if a home has ‘street trees’ or a woodland view, they are valued at £5000 more than they would without them. The UK Government also plans to plant trees in areas with an industrial past, such as the creation of woodland in an old coal mine in Derbyshire (Independent). This has an ironic twist, however, as the industrial revolution started the deforestation movement that we see ourselves in today, in order to build the cities we live in, and the infrastructure we use every day.
When announcing our partnership with Forest Carbon, RWM promised to contribute to the upkeep of UK forests, by planting a tree for every new exhibitor at the show. This will equate to 10 acres of our own woodland and allow us to become carbon neutral by 2029. This is just one example of how businesses can identify their corporate social responsibility. Other examples include Procter and Gamble’s use of recovered ocean plastic in fairy liquid bottles and TerraCycle’s partnership with Hovis, where they are starting to recycle old bread bags.
Tickets for RWM are free and you can register for yours by following this link.