Top ten tips for reducing your impact on tropical forests

Tropical Forests are home to 50% of the life on earth, and at their current rate of deforestation will be gone in the next 80 years! This deforestation is being largely driven by commodities that we all buy and enjoy here in Wales, and this Go Green Day we are asking you to consider the following top tips for reducing your impact on tropical forests.

  1. Buy products that are made with Sustainable Palm Oil.

Palm Oil has been the poster child for tropical deforestation, driving some of the worst deforestation in places such as Indonesia for some time. However, simply boycotting it is not the answer. Palm Oil is found in over 50% of the average shopping basket and this is because it’s such a viable and productive crop. Without Palm Oil we would likely need to use even more land to cater for alternatives. But there is an answer. The Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is working on reducing these impacts and creating sustainably produced Palm Oil growing. By buying products certified by the RSPO you are supporting a movement towards more Sustainable Palm Oil.

  1. Organic Soy

Soy is one of the leading drivers of deforestation in Brazil and finds it way directly and indirectly into our diet. Soy is often in products we eat, but it’s also hidden as it is used to feed the animals we eat or whose produce we consume such as milk. So, when buying products that directly contain soy look for organic. Organic soy is far less likely to come from regions of deforestation, as it is grown in regions such as Ukraine on existing farmland. But what about soy in the meat we eat? Well check out tip 3 and 4

  1. Eating more plants

By reducing our meat consumption, we not only reduce our direct impacts that are associated with meat production, but we also avoid the impacts that come from the soy used to rear the meat we eat. Locally grown, in-season vegetables have lower environmental impacts.

  1. Grass fed local meat and animal products

A simple way to avoid the hidden soy in our food is to buy locally sourced meat and grass or corn-fed animal products. Doing so removes the amount of soy that is used in animal rearing. Buying local not only supports the local economy but it also means the meat you are eating hasn’t been shipped thousands of miles from the Amazon to the UK. An ever-increasing area of forest is destroyed to make way for land to rear animals that is then sold to the UK and other nations.

  1. Buy Fairtrade

Coffee, chocolate and even sugar are also contributing to deforestation globally. Fairtrade certification aims to achieve not just good working practice and fair wages, but also higher environmental standards and zero deforestation.

  1. Buy FSC certified wood and paper

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is one of the longest running certification schemes and when buying wood and paper from FSC certified sources, you are ensuring that the products you buy are not the result of illegal and unsustainable deforestation.

  1. Reduce your food waste

Sometimes avoiding or replacing products that are linked to deforestation is not possible, and with food waste being responsible for 6% of all global emissions[i], we can reduce our demand for goods by making sure we do not waste. Our friends at Friends of the Earth have created wonderful guides that can help you reduce the amount you waste. Find the guides here:

  1. Avoid processed foods

Often processed foods have meat that has been reared in regions of deforestation, and also include unsustainable palm and soy. Cooking from scratch is not only better for your own health, but also better for the health of the planet. You cut out the additives and ensure you are using locally sourced products for a triple win.

  1. Eat seasonally

The BBC provide a great guide to seasonal food (find it here). By aligning your shopping and diet with the seasons you are helping reduce impact on the planet, as it hasn’t had to be stored and the chances are it has travelled a shorter distance too.

  1. Support our work

Size of Wales protects rainforest around the World and you can support us to do so. Go to our Supporters Page to find out more.