Exciting forest news from Canada that affects all of us: Premier Dalton McGuinty has banned all mining and logging in half of the boreal forest (an area half the size of California!) and restricted the other half to a “sustainable development” plan worked out with First Nations (a coalition of native people). The policy helps address climate change, since the boreal forest is a major carbon sink, absorbing about 12.5 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.
The area to be protected (more than 86,800 square miles) is home to the largest untouched forest in Canada and the third largest wetland in the world. It has remained virtually undisturbed by human activity since the glaciers retreated, home to only 24,000 people. It’s one of the world’s largest intact ecosystems, with more than 200 imperiled species such as polar bears, wolverines and caribou as well as migratory birds.
According to Forest Ethics, right now Canada’s Boreal Forest is being logged at a rate of 2 acres a minute, 24 hours a day. U.S. companies consume more than half of all the trees logged in the Boreal — and much of that goes to produce catalogs and junk mail. No doubt, this amazing forest is much more valuable than junk mail!
You can do your part to protect the Boreal by participating in Greenpeace’s Kleercut campaign. They’re working to persuade Kimberly-Clark (the parent company of Kleenex, Scott and Cottonelle brands) to stop using virgin forests to create these tissues and use recycled paper instead. Greenpeace has put together a cool Kleercut campaign kit you can use to replace Kleenex in your home, business or school with recycled alternatives.
So, use your handkerchief with pride and make sure your employer, health club, school system, movie theater chain, etc. etc. are using toilet tissue made from recycled paper.