FSC Speaks for the trees.
Have you ever thought of where your paper came from? Sure, it comes from trees. But where exactly are those trees located? How are the forests that those trees come from managed? Are the trees then replanted? How are the people affected in the surrounding communities? According to the EPA, the second largest contributor of CO2 emissions from 1970-2011 has been deforestation. If that is the case, then shouldn’t we stop turning trees into furniture and paper products?
It isn’t any news that forests are incredibly important to the planet. They provide oxygen, they filter the water we drink, and they are home to nearly half of the world’s species. What may be news, though, is that one of the best ways to protect forests is to actually use them.
Many of the world’s forests are private. Deforestation typically occurs when those landowners can no longer earn a living from the trees and instead cut them down to make way for agriculture or development. Sounds a little like the Lorax, right? So how can we simultaneously speak for the trees and make sure the landowners are supported?
In comes the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Take a moment and look through any of your paper goods at your home or office for this logo:
Check your reams of printing paper, the packaging of your toilet paper, or even the boxes holding your cereal. I bet you will be surprised to see how often this logo appears. But what does an FSC certification actually mean? And why should we care?
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
The Forest Stewardship Council was developed by businesses, environmentalists, and community leaders in 1992 after the UN failed to agree on how to stop deforestation. So instead, concerned citizens took the charge and created a certification that “sets standards for responsible forest management,” which includes prohibiting the harvest of rare old-growth forests, expanding the protection of water quality, and protecting customary rights of indigenous people.
Today, the FSC operates in over 80 countries, managing more than 380 million acres of forest, including 150 million acres in the US and Canada. In fact, the FSC is so well-respected that it has “earned a reputation as the most rigorous, credible forest certification system” and is the only system endorsed by groups such as WWF, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council and National Wildlife Federation. Because of their success, many major companies, such as IKEA, McDonald’s, and Kimberly-Clark, state a preference for FSC-certified products. It should come as no surprise that we at Badger only use FSC-certified paper packaging for our products.
Next time you’re debating between which tissues or toilet paper to purchase, be sure to look for the FSC logo on the packaging. By purchasing paper goods that have the FSC logo on them, we as consumers are demanding responsibly managed forests. It is a simple yet powerful way that we can say “thank you” to the farmers around the world for speaking for the trees and caring for our forests.
Do you look for FSC Certified paper? Are you planning on seeking it out? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!