The Impact of Logging
on Climate Change
Forests play an important role in the global carbon cycle. Trees remove CO2 from the atmosphere when they grow, and they release CO2 to the atmosphere as they decompose. Forests help reduce global warming when they grow and absorb more carbon than they emit. Forests can also worsen climate change when trees emit more carbon than they absorb.
What Is Logging?
Logging is the process of cutting, processing, and moving trees to a location for transport. And this activity, in particular, is damaging our environment more than we think.
Is it true that cutting and burning trees adds more global warming pollution to the atmosphere than all the cars and trucks in the world combined?
Well, according to the World Carfree Network (WCN), cars and trucks account for about 14 percent of global carbon emissions, while most analysts attribute more than 15 percent to deforestation.
Logging stops trees from growing, and fastens the emission of carbon from the forest to the atmosphere, through many things such as combustion.
Climate change is caused by excessive amounts of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere— especially carbon dioxide – that remain in the atmosphere for a long time. Earth’s future climate will be largely determined by the cumulative global emissions of carbon dioxide over the last and next decades.
Climate change won’t be solved instantly through one change in technology or other sectors. The solution will require changed practices in every industry that affects the carbon cycle, including the wood industry.
A study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), with experts from the University of Birmingham, analyzed forests over the last century and gave predictions for the decades to come.
It warned that deforestation, changes in land use, wildfires, droughts, wind damage, diseases, and outbreaks of insects are increasing tree deaths, leading to a dramatic decrease in the age and stature of the world’s forests.
With annual carbon emissions from logging in the U.S. between 2006 and 2010 amounting to nearly 600 million metric tons, more than the emissions produced each year by all residential and commercial buildings, it is more than crucial now to think of steps we can do as individuals to slow down the effects of logging.
What we can must do
One way some tropical countries are reducing deforestation is through participation in the United Nations’ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program. REDD essentially works to establish incentives for the people who care for the forest to manage it sustainably while still being able to benefit economically.
And as deforestation keeps increasing, such initiatives contribute to an issue that is present worldwide.
One of those initiatives was Zap Idea, upcycling wooden pallets, old furnishings, and other used materials, to create products easily used by anyone in their home. Through the usage of upcycled wood, huge pressure on the logging and wood industry would be eased and innovation will take place as well with the different ideas being generated.
This means there is less need to create new materials which also means a reduction in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The conservation of global resources is a must when each year we see forest fires and other drastic changes in the climate taking place.
Upcycling and Creativity
Have you ever asked yourself why products from upcycling are always unique and stylish? It takes a lot of creativity to come up with a meaningful item from upcycled materials!
Essentially, upcycling keeps waste out of landfills, water, and the air not to mention that it sets an example for others as it raises awareness of environmental issues.
Reach out to us for more information on how you can take part in combating logging and deforestation