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Every year on March 21, countries, organisations and people unite to celebrate the International Day of Forests. The purpose of the United Nations (UN) campaign is to raise awareness about the importance of trees and forestry for the sustainability of our planet and the life of its inhabitants. This year the theme is climate change.
How deforestation impacts climate change
Deforestation of 13 million hectares of trees annually is responsible for between 12 and 20 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN. As a valuable natural resource that also replenishes oxygen levels, it is important that our forests are sustainably managed and not carelessly destroyed.
The United States Department of Agriculture showed that 15.6 per cent of wood consumed in the US was used for shipping in 2011 (including pallets). This wasteful use of wood is a major problem for international and domestic shipping, especially when there are better alternatives available.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">21st of March is <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IntlForestDay?src=hash">#IntlForestDay</a>! Find out why <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/forests?src=hash">#forests</a> are vital to our <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/water?src=hash">#water</a> supply: <a href="https://t.co/CqiF4SP9sG">https://t.co/CqiF4SP9sG</a> <a href="https://t.co/4MglfUm95U">pic.twitter.com/4MglfUm95U</a></p>— FAOKnowledge (@FAOKnowledge) <a href="https://twitter.com/FAOKnowledge/status/705365938321944576">3 March 2016</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Why we need to protect our forests
According to Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, forests are filters that provide high quality drinking water. They are responsible for providing 75 per cent of the world's freshwater supply through wetlands and watersheds and almost a third of major cities worldwide acquire their drinking water via these sources.
They are literally the roots that hold the naturally occurring fresh water infrastructure together.
Furthermore, forests are home to 80 per cent of plant life, terrestrial animals and insects worldwide. They are a means of sustenance for 1.6 billion people worldwide, states the UN. Forests are, therefore, an integral asset to our planet.
Make a preventative choice
As well as planting a tree to show your support to the International Day of Forests, why don't you do something that can prevent your contribution to the environment's degradation?
Eco Pallets offer a large range of plastic shipping alternatives that are both biodegradable and environmentally friendly. What better day to reduce your use of wood than on the International Day of Forests?