Where do you want to live, in gray or green world ?

Breathtaking facts about Deforestation that will leave you speechless

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an estimated 7,3 million hectares of forest are lost each year.

Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land for use, such as arable agricultural activities, pasture, urban use, logged area, or wasteland. Deforestation can also be seen as removal of forests leading to several imbalances ecologically and environmentally and results in declines in habitat and biodiversity. Urbanization, Mining, Fires, Logging and Agricultural activities are a few of the causes of deforestation.

For obvious reasons, it is shameful to read the statistics on how discriminating man has been, especially when it comes to deforestation… but in the end, there is always hope.

Just check a few of the facts on deforestation below.

Fact 1: Today forests cover 30% of the earth’s land.

Fact 2: If the current rate of deforestation continues, it will take less than 100 years to destroy all the rainforests on the earth.

Fact 3: Agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation.

Fact 4:  The rate of deforestation equals the loss of 36 football fields every minute.

Fact 5: Loss of forests contributes between 12 percent and 17 percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions.

Fact 6: 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon forest.

Fact 7: Up to 28,000 species are expected to become extinct by the next quarter of the century due to deforestation.

Fact 8: 13 million hectares per year in South America and Africa and South East Asia is converted from a forest to agriculture land.

Fact 9: Half of the world’s tropical forests have already been cleared.

Fact 10: The total world forest loss to date is 7.3 million hectares per year.

Fact 11: Tropical forests, where deforestation is most prevalent, hold more than 210 gigatons of carbon.

Fact 12: Tropical rainforests, which cover 6-7% of the earth’s surface, contain over half of all the plant and animal species in the world.

Fact 13: Deforestation affects the water cycle. Trees absorb groundwater and release the same into the atmosphere during transpiration. When deforestation happens, the climate automatically changes to a drier one and also affects the water table.

Fact 14: Rainforests are being burnt down at the rate of  14 Manhattan every day. In figures, the world is losing about 81,000 hectares of rainforests every day.

Fact 15: Since the 1960s, the world has lost about half of its rainforests.

Fact 16: One of the major reasons behind the deforestation of the Amazon is the increasing consumption of beef. More consumption, more is the production of the same.

Fact 17: It has been found out that by the year 2050, the world’s food consumption would double. This would imply that more and more land would be required for agricultural and cattle rearing purposes. This would simply mean that the rate of deforestation would also double up.

Fact 18: According to the World Economic Forum, about 31% of the diseases that are emerging in recent times, are a result of deforestation.

Fact 19: Deforestation is responsible for the decreasing rate of evapotranspiration. As a result of this, the precipitation levels decrease, making the earth a drier place to live in.

Fact 20: Illegal deforestation is a cause of concern. It is one of the largest industries right now. Countries are importing goods that have been procured through illegal deforestation. In such activities, the European Union tops the charts.

Fact 21: It has been predicted that, in the 21st century alone, approximately 40% of the total plant and animal species of south-east Asia would become extinct.    

To fell or not to fell is not up to the woodcutter, but surely depends on you. Be the change and eliminate the disturbing statistics on deforestation. It takes not guts, but love and compassion for nature to save trees from being felled.

Cardboard Vs Plastic

The world would be much better off if we replaced all of our plastic packaging with cardboard – wouldn’t it? The plastic vs cardboard packaging debate is more complex than you would think.

Cardboard comes from trees that can be replanted, it’s easy to recycle, and it naturally decomposes. Plastic, on the other hand, is made from oil, it’s hard to recycle, and it never, ever breaks down. But when we compare plastic vs cardboard packaging head-to-head – some of the results might surprise you.

To help us make an educated choice between the two, we need to understand their impact on natural resources, the energy and water required for production and recycling – and the long-term environmental impacts.

To accurately compare plastic vs cardboard packaging, we need to understand more about how we source the raw materials that go into them – and what effect this has on the environment.

So, let’s take a deeper look and find some answers.

The truth about plastic

Plastic is made directly from fossil fuels, which generally takes the form of crude oil, and sometimes natural gas. Currently, plastic manufacturing consumes around 12% of the global oil supply – but this figure is expected to skyrocket to almost 50% by the year 2050. While the emergence of electric vehicles is beginning to reduce the need for petrol and diesel, our addiction to plastics looks like it will sustain the demand for crude oil.

Most plastic eCommerce packaging – like envelopes, protective coverings, and bubble wrap – is made from polyethylene, the most common plastic in the world. To make this material, oil or gas undergoes a series of industrial heating, cooling, chemical treatments, and moulding before eventually reaching its final form. And although making plastic seems like an expensive and complicated process, the scale of manufacturing produces tremendous volumes of low-cost material.

In the EU, around 90% of plastic is made from virgin fossil fuels, while only 9% is made from recycled materials.

  • It takes more than 500 years for plastic to fully decompose.
  • Plastic consumption grows by around 4% each year in Western Europe. That might not sound a lot, but it means that within 20 years we will have doubled our current plastic use.
  • We make and use 20 times more plastic today than we did 50 years ago.
  • 8 million tonnes of the world’s plastics end up in our oceans each year, creating a garbage patch three times the size of France.
  • Plastics from items such as carrier bags and bottles that end up in our oceans kill around 1,000,000 sea creatures every year.
  • The majority of plastic shopping bags are only used once and take up to 300 years to decompose.
  • “We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do.”

—Barbara Ward