Buy paper and wood responsibly
The clear-felling of the forests of the Amazon or Borneo is done to supply wood and wood products for markets such as Australia. We stop buying it; they stop cutting it. The Forest Stewardship Council is a global certification organisation that allows its label to be used on wood and wood products that have come from forests that are managed in a way that:
- Maintains the forest's biodiversity, productivity and ecological processes (environmentally appropriate);
- Helps both local people and society at large to enjoy long term benefits and also provides strong incentives to local people to sustain the forest resources and adhere to long-term management plans (socially beneficial); and
- Are sufficiently profitable, without generating financial profit at the expense of the forest resources, the ecosystem or affected communities (economically viable).
If consumers demand wood and wood products that have come from forests managed with these guidelines, a growing number of forests will be managed in this way and we can be sure that the life-giving forests will be around for future generations and all life on earth to enjoy.
How to do it now!
Buy Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood and wood products. When you are next looking for wood for your new deck or extension, or even just paper for your printer, demand and purchase wood products that are FSC certified. To buy wood products that are FSC certified try the following product database
Support the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). With over 100 million hectares in more than 80 countries certified according to FSC standards, the FSC relies on member, donors and supporters to continue its noble mission. Find out more about the.
Buy recycled paper. Buying recycled paper complements our effort to use less paper and recycle it, and significantly reduces the impact on the environment.
Some things to aim for when purchasing recycled paper:
- 100 per cent recycled content with a high percentage of ‘post consumer’ fibre.
- Non-recycled content sourced from places certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
- Paper of the lightest possible weight - 80gsm is average.
- Paper manufactured in Australia (thus avoiding transport energy).
- Unbleached paper.
- Non-coloured papers.
- Water-based adhesives and mailing labels.
If you must use bleached paper, choose one that uses the most environmentally friendly production process. The following list starts with the friendliest and works down:
- Paper bleached using Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) processes is the best. The Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) is not as good, but OK.
- Paper bleached using oxygen delignification or extended delignification, and bleached without elemental chlorine.
- Paper bleached using oxygen delignification or extended delignification, and bleached using some residual elemental chlorine.
- Paper bleached without using elemental chlorine but not made using oxygen delignification or extended delignification.
- Paper bleached using only elemental chlorine, and sulphite pulps, even if they are TCF, should be AVOIDED.
- Good Environmental Choice - Australia.
- Australian Department of Environment and Heritage - Environmental Purchasing Checklist for Recycled Products for human settlement.
- ECO-Buy has good guide for choosing recycled office paper.
Why is this action important?
Forestry practices can range from clear-felling entire forests, with near total devastation for all living things in the forest, to selective harvesting of trees in a manner that preserves the ecosystem for future harvesting and its natural inhabitants. This action informs you of a way to vote with your dollars for a sustainable, equitable and ecologically diverse future for the generations to come.