If you like to consider yourself a bit of an eco-warrior, or should we say eco-worrier, this one’s for you! We’ve already giving you some tips on reducing your plastic footprint, but there’s an equally important issue that we can no longer ignore.
We’re sure that everyone reading this will at least be partly aware by now of the crisis that our planet is facing due to deforestation, especially following the devastating fires that raged through the Amazon at an alarming rate back in August (which, would you believe, are still burning).
A great human being named Robert Swan OBE, who is an environmentalist, polar explorer and founder of sustainability charity the 2041 Foundation, once said “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” and, honestly, we couldn’t agree more!
Here at Freya+Bailey, we’re all about the power of the ingredients that mother nature provides and the Amazon and many other rainforests are home to so many of these resources. Deforestation isn’t just the removal of a few trees here and there; we’re talking mass-scale. Every year, we lose an area of trees that is comparative in size to half of England; or, to put that into perspective, that’s 20 football field sized areas of rainforest lost every minute. Doesn’t seem real, right? Experts reckon that if humans keep tearing down rainforests at the rate they currently are, there will be absolutely none left in 100 years’ time.
The impact of this is hard to comprehend. As many as 28,000 species are predicted to become extinct by the next quarter of the century due to deforestation, including orangutans, giant pandas and tigers. It’s not just the wildlife that’s affected though! More than 1.25 billion people around the world rely on our forest areas for their livelihoods and as a resource for shelter, water, fuel and food. Furthermore, our rainforests act as giant pharmacies; full of plant life with medicinal properties. Did you know that 25% of cancer-fighting organisms are found in the Amazon? We can’t afford to put these plants at risk and get further away from finally finding a cure.
Just as every little thing you do to help the fight against plastic makes a difference, there are small steps you can take in your everyday life to help prevent deforestation. We've listed five of our favourites below:
Choose Sustainable Sources of Palm Oil
It’s tricky to completely cut palm oil out of your daily consumption because it is found in as many of half of household items, from food and cosmetics to washing detergent and cooking oils. Companies use it in the production of their products because it’s cheap and versatile, but the impact it has on the environment and our rainforests is devastating. Up to 5,000 orangutans are killed annually as their habitats are destroyed to make room for palm oil plantations.
It won’t always be listed as palm oil in the ingredients list either, which is where it gets even trickier to avoid; it also goes by around 24 other names, including: vegetable oil/fat, glyceryl stearate, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3, sodium lauroyl lactylate and elaeis guineensis. Do your research into the names of palm oil and make your best effort to only purchase products that can demonstrate that it is certified from a sustainable source. We can proudly say that we have taken very careful steps to ensure that the palm oil we have used in our products is certified organic, certified sustainable and is from a farm on the RSp Members List.
Use Less Paper
Do you really need to print that document when you can read it perfectly well on your screen? Do you really want another glare from Janice in operations as you walk back to your desk, head down, to murmurs of ‘there she goes again, killing our trees’. We hate to break it to you, but Janice is bang on the money. In Europe, American and Japan, people use 70 per cent of all the world’s paper that’s produced. As you can imagine, paper production is detrimental to our forests. The sad reality is that most of this paper probably didn’t need to be used. In this digital age, it’s easier than ever to stop using paper, including by opting to ‘go paperless’ with your bills whenever you get given the opportunity.
We’re not suggesting that you go all green-fingered all of a sudden and plant a mini forest in your back garden (although, come to think of it, why not?), but look for initiatives where trees are planted for an action you take. Many companies plant trees for every customer they have, or simply to offset their carbon footprint, so try to gravitate towards those businesses when making your purchases. Here at Freya+Bailey, we’ve committed to a 10 year carbon-offset initiative which means we plant trees for every employee and our business is officially ‘carbon neutral’.
Recycle Your Heart Out
The rise in products that are made with recycled materials and that themselves are recyclable is fantastic, so as well as doing your but by running our in your PJs to ensure you don’t forget to put your recycling box out, try to look for products that meet this description, especially cardboard and paper ones. The more we recycle, across all eligible materials, the more we’ll be doing to help reduce deforestation on a global scale. All of our product packaging is made from recycled materials and can be recycled, so we’re doing out bit and you should too!
Go Vegetarian or Vegan
You already know we’re passionate about encouraging a vegan lifestyle here at Freya+Bailey, as all of our products are vegan-friendly, but did you know that reducing your meat intake can massively help towards fighting deforestation? Many of the world’s tropical rainforests are cleared to make way for farming, especially beef, so if we work together to reduce demand for meat-based products, we’ll be making a difference. Half of the world’s tropical rainforests have already been cleared and those recent widespread Amazon fires were allegedly started to clear the land for agriculture. If you don’t think you can go completely vegetarian or vegan, just reduce the number of days on which you eat meat.
Recycle Your Mobile Phone and Devices
When mobile phones, laptops and tablets are made, minerals such as copper, nickel and lithium are used; all of which have previously been extracted from the ground during – yep, you guessed it – a mining process that would’ve required trees to be cut down. Extracting these minerals and the chemical separation process required is very damaging to the environment because of the pollution it causes, so try to use your devices for as long as you possibly can instead of upgrading every 10 minutes to the next model. Keep your devices in good condition and sell them on once you no longer need them, such as to a device recycling company in exchange for money.
Are you doing any of these things yet? If not, see how you get on and spread the word to your friends and family! Share your own tips for helping to battle deforestation with us below, or on our FaB Facebook and Instagram communities, so that you can join others in this global fight for our forests.