Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Not good news

Red tape, it seems, is going out of fashion fast.  Much more than just the British countryside is under threat from governments who put business before people and the planet:

A tree in my local park. Trees make
this planet habitable for us.

In relation to this worrying news about the Amazon, one thing you can do is to remember that when you're buying anything made of wood (including paper products and, if you must, plywood and chipboard) it unfortunately isn't safe to assume that it hasn't come from a precious ancient forest.  Illegal and irresponsible logging is widespread.  I always look for recycled (or FSC) paper and FSC-certified wood.  If there's no FSC certificate on a new wooden item, it might very well have come from the Amazon rainforest or some other insufficiently respected ecosystem.  Other 'sustainable' labels are often from timber industry schemes, rather than independent organisations, and aren't as reliable as the FSC mark. 

Illegal timber is such big business that people are killed over it - as the Greenpeace blog reports.  This is major organised crime.  You can do your bit to reduce the market for illegal timber by shopping more carefully.  I'm sure if the Amazon was your home, like it was José Claudio Silva and Maria do Espírito Santo's home, it would be obvious to you that you needed to value the rainforest over a new cupboard/chopping board/floor.  When you're buying something you always have a choice to be a human being first and foremost, not just a consumer.