Why Are Forests Important?
More than a third of the global land mass is forest, which means it’s a significant aspect of the environment. Unfortunately, many humans fail to appreciate why forests are so beneficial to the environment and to our society’s sustainability, which is why deforestation has become such a rampant problem. Why are forests important? They are a critical component of our environmental well-being for many reasons. Here are some of the vital contributions of forests to our delicate ecosystem.
Why Are Forests Important for Wildlife?
Forests provide essential habitats for a large number of animal species, including everything from chipmunks and squirrels to bears and moose. In addition, forests are the nesting places of many bird species and other critical components of the ecosystem and the food chain. As forests are lost, these creatures begin to encroach on neighborhoods in search of shelter and food, leading to wildlife being trapped or killed. Preserving forests will also preserve the natural home environments for these wildlife species as well.
How Do Forests Help the Environment?
Forests are more important to environmental health than many people recognize. In fact, forests are a crucial component of helping manage climate change and global warming. Trees and vegetation in forests absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, mitigating a large percentage of global carbon emissions.
In addition, trees, roots and other vegetation absorb water runoff and mitigate flooding risks, soil erosion and similar threats that come from mass water flow. This preserves soil stability and helps maintain the water table. As the water flows through forests, it gets the benefit of filtration that removes chemicals and other hazardous components, providing cleaner, safer water for the environment as well.
Why Are Forests Important for Society?
Forests aren’t just beneficial for environmental and wildlife reasons. In fact, forests are beneficial for societal preservation, too. Forests provide a key food source for many cultures, with edible berries and plants found throughout most forest environments. The wildlife harbored throughout forests provides sources of food as well, making the entire forest a food sustainability environment. In addition, since a large portion of the global population depends on wood fires for cooking, forests also provide an essential support service for human sustainability.
Along with food, forests contribute jobs to society. Logging, construction and many other industries depend on timber for production. That creates employment for those who are willing and able to harvest trees from the forests to help sustain those industries.
Forests also provide many of the foundations of medications used to protect and heal. Everything from antibiotics to cancer treatments have origins in plants and other natural organisms found in the forests. Natural remedies stem from cultural and historical discoveries of healing properties found in the vegetation of the forests, providing consequential progress to modern medicine.
How Else Are Forests Beneficial?
Forests contribute a lot of different benefits to the globe beyond what’s already been listed here. For example:
- Cooling and shade for relaxation
- Outdoor exploration, bonding and recreation
- Noise pollution reduction from noise absorption
- Windbreak benefits that reduce wind effects
What Are Some Ways To Protect the Forests?
Understanding the importance of forests is a key place to start, but you also need to know how to protect and preserve them, too. Deforestation is devastating and can have long-term consequences from added carbon release and the loss of all of these benefits.
Encourage the planting of trees, especially by logging companies. Aim to plant more than one tree for every tree that’s harvested. This not only replaces what’s taken but also adds additional trees for greater future benefit. Sustainable logging practices like these make a significant difference.
Protect the rainforests and their native species. Help support companies that believe in social and environmental responsibility, including those that are taking steps to preserve rainforest ecosystems. Make donations to companies that help support rainforest sustainability or volunteer your time to help.
Make your consumer choices carefully. Look for companies that are actively giving back with each sale, including companies like BeCause Tees. Ten percent of every sale of our hand-drawn shirts and other products will be donated to charitable organizations, and we pledge to plant 10 trees for every product sold, too.
Prepare for, and reduce the risk of, forest fires. Forest fires can be devastating to the entire forestry industry and ecosystem. Wildfires spread so rapidly that they can be challenging to contain, especially in a dry forest with heavy underbrush that can smolder. Forestry maintenance, including forest floor maintenance and fire break establishment, can help you protect the forests in your area. Encourage responsibility with campfires and cigarettes to help minimize the risk of fire exposure.
Encourage replanting as soon as possible after a forest fire. If you’ve lost acres of forest as a result of a fire, restoration should be a priority. Even if you have to replant in a different area while you wait for the soil to come back to full health in the affected area, the more trees you can plant to offset that loss, the better.
Reducing your paper consumption can also help protect the forests. Minimizing the use of paper towels, printer paper, and similar materials will help reduce the demand on the paper industry and the logging industry as well. Encourage those around you to take the same steps, but remember that even one person makes a difference, so do what you can.
At BeCause Tees, we care just as much as you do about protecting our forests and environment. That is why we plant trees and contribute to charities with every single product sale. We have asked questions like 'Why are forests important?' and take steps to help protect them, pollinators and ocean health. We believe that environmental protection starts with us, so we strive to do our part. If you want to help, explore the products that we offer and find the right ones for you and your family. With our shirts and other products, you can proudly display your environmental responsibility efforts.
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