Posts Tagged 'Trees'

SERIOUS MONDAY: UK’S ANCIENT WOODLANDS UNDER THREAT

 

As regular readers will know, I’m a tree person 🙂

And although I must admit that I rarely hug them, a forest walk is a great delight.  I’m lucky to live in an area with lots of trees – and they provide an ever-changing picture from virtually every window in our house.

(Sadly of course that does mean non-stop collection of fallen leaves at this time of year but I’m bagging them this time and saving them to use in the garden).

Trees play a huge part in the life of our planet  – from offsetting carbon emissions and helping in the fight against climate change, to providing shelter for birds and animals and producing fruit, medicines and food.

And in the words of Archie Miles (author of The Trees that Made Britain), trees provided the foundation of our nation’s heritage.

So I was really concerned to read the results of a survey carried out by the Woodland Trust which shows that over the past decade, we’ve lost 100 square miles of ancient woodland in the UK.

That’s the equivalent of an area around the size of Birmingham – and represents 5 per cent of the remaining ancient woodland we have left.

Following 12 months of research, the trust has discovered that half of the ancient woodland we had in the 1930s has already been destroyed or degraded. HALF of our traditional woodlands – gone!

Ed Pomfret from the Woodland Trust says the UK’s ancient woodland is our equivalent of the rainforest – and irreplaceable. 

Some woodlands have been around since the Ice Age and woolands are the most valuable space for wildlife – and home to more threatened species than any other habitat.

And although in theory, ancient woodlands are protected, there are loopholdes in the system that allow them to be destroyed if a developer can prove “economic need.”  That would never happen with a building of architectural importance – and preserving our trees is just as important. (Many woodlands were around long before any of the buildings that we now describe as ancient.)

The trust’s research shows that the biggest threat is from new roads, followed by utilities and power lines but airport expansion and leisure facilities also pose a threat.

And it says we need to protect our woodlands from further damage because we can’t rely on official bodies to do it for us. So it has set up a campaign called WoodWatch which uses the eyes and ears of the public to stop the destruction.

WoodWatch provides people with information and resources to help save threatened woodland in their area. You can find out more here. You can also locate and update the trust on threats to trees through its interactive map and you can find out about wood under treat NOW in your area by following this link. 

At the moment, the Woodland Trust is involved in over 400 cases of trees under threat in Britain.

Do what you can – trees are SO important 🙂

Susan

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SERIOUS MONDAY: CUT DOWN ON YOUR JUNK MAIL – AND SAVE TREES!

Around 100 million trees are used each year in America simply to provide the paper needed for the country’s junk mail !

Since ours is a much smaller country, the UK obviously uses a lot less – but it’s still a sizeable amount – and a total waste if the mail is unwanted and goes straight into the bin.

Fortunately, we can all do something about it – and without any cost.
All you need to do is sign up to the Mail Preference Society and they’ll make sure that your name and address are removed from the junk mail circuit.

Stopping junk mail makes a lot of sense. It not only cuts down on all the waste – the paper and inks needed for the printing plus the transport and eventual delivery but it means you no longer have to open all those letters offering you everything from low-cost loans and credit cards (one of the biggest junk mailings around) to holidays and life insurance.

It can be a few weeks before your request to MPS takes effect so the sooner you apply, the sooner you can cut down on the waste of paper!

(And if, like me, you’re driven around the bend by call centres ringing you all day long, don’t forget there’s a telephone preference society too – and there’s a link to it from the mailing preference website.)

Susan

SERIOUS MONDAY: KEEP OUR TREES NATURAL!

A worldwide campaign has been launched to prevent genetically engineered trees from damaging the environment.

The Stop GE Trees Campaign has been set up by a global project which says it aims to end false solutions to climate change such as the large-scale production of biofuels, carbon trading and carbon offset forestry.

It is concerned that genetically engineered eucalyptus, currently being grown in field trials, will contaminate traditional forest eco-systems –  leading to the loss of biological diversity and ultimately speeding up global warming.

And it is calling for a worldwide ban on the GE eucalyptus and other rapidly growing GE trees which it claims are a major threat to the environment.

Currently, billions of dollars are being invested in GE tree research and development in the USA and hundreds of field trials have already taken place.

Campaigners are concerned that if the GE trees are allowed to seed, the seeds will be carried long distances by the wind and the strong and invasive GE varieties will thrive at the expense of native, more vulnerable species.

They say the development of GE trees is being driven by the paper and biofuels industries and is worsening the problem of illegal logging as traditional forests are felled to make way for the new SuperTrees.

As they spread across the world, the effects will pass from trees to wildlife and forest-dependent and indigenous communities.

The campaign has found widespread support in many developed countries and many eminent scientists are backing its calls.

You can find out more – and order a DVD about GE trees here

Susan

CRAZY WEDNESDAY: TREES MADE FROM BOOKS

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Here’s a great collaboration that’s just started between two existing organisations, Eco-Libris and BookMooch.

Now, I’m not much of a reader myself, but my partner and my mum both read avidly, and I’m constantly struggling to find enough material for them. They share books with each other, and with friends, but still run out of titles they like, especially as everyone has different favourite authors. As well as this, at some stage, someone ends up with a book that everyone else has read, and is now essentially useless.

BookMooch is a brilliant idea for extending your effective circle of reading friends, and works a little bit like an online library, or like a video rental site. One you’re registered, you can type in the details of books you are prepared to give away, and you get one tenth of a “Mooch Point” for each that you put in. Other Moochers can browse or search the database for books they want to read, and you send them the book. For each you send, you get one point, which entitles you to receive one book from another member. You can keep the book forever if you want, or you can relist it. The only restriction is that you must donate at least one book for each five you receive.

Eco-Libris sells packs of stickers, for $1 per sticker. You put the sticker on a book, and they work with not-for-profit ecological organisations to plant a tree to “balance out” the environmental effect of that book. Most people start with a pack of 25 stickers. Now Eco-Libris and BookMooch have teamed up, so that you can use your Eco-Libris stickers to earn extra Mooch Points, one for every 10 trees you help to get planted.

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If you have spare Mooch points, you can also donate them to one of the supported charities, so you have lots of different ways of helping the planet. I think both the ideas are really good, and there are already redundant paperbacks hanging around in my sitting room that I have mentally earmarked to offer up, and not only will it tidy the house a bit, but also set my bookworms up with a bit more matter to digest.

Amanda

DAILY GREEN JOKE – FRIDAY 18/01/08

17 trees are saved by every ton of existing paper that is recycled.  That means if we pulped every Harry Potter book we wouldn’t be able to see the sky for foliage.

DAILY GREEN JOKE – TUESDAY 01/01/08

One, two, buckle my shoe,
Three, four, knock at the door,
Five, six, pick up sticks,
Seven, eight, ensure sufficient trees are re-planted to compensate for the removal of these resources.

SERIOUS MONDAY: RECYCLING CHRISTMAS CARDS TO PLANT TREES

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The Woodland Trust hopes to plant 24,000 trees by recycling 100 million Christmas cards in January.

That’s an awful lot of cards folks – so make sure you help the trust to reach its target by recycling your cards at WH Smith, TK Maxx, Marks & Spencer or Tesco. (Some stores are excluded from the scheme but you can get full details here (http://www.woodland-trust.org.uk/cards/ ))

Last year, the trust recycled 93 million cards so with a little more effort, hopefully it will reach the 100 million mark. You can drop off your cards at the store recycling points any time between January 3 to January 31 and you can also request posters to let other people know about the scheme.

(Apparently, if you recycled just one Christmas card it would save enough electricity to allow five people to watch the Queen’s Christmas day message next year. Amazing!)

Susan