How to Save the Forests

June 07, 2022

Republished and co-authored with permission by our partners at wikiHow
Click here for the original article

Forests are a vital part of our environment—they’re the home to trees and other living things that are important to everyday life. To help save the forests and protect them from deforestation, there are lots of ways you can spread awareness and make a difference. Things like signing petitions, hosting fundraisers, or donating money to organizations that are saving the forests can all help protect trees and wildlife in these important ecosystems. There are also lots of ways you can help reduce your own footprint, such as by using less paper products and recycling as much as possible, that can help save and conserve forests.


Reducing Your Footprint

  1. Cut down on how many paper and wood products you use. Things like napkins, notebooks, paper plates, and tissues all come from trees. If you make an effort to use fewer of these items, you’ll help reduce the number of trees that need to be cut down.[1]
    1. Instead of using paper napkins and paper towels, use cloth napkins and rags.
    2. If you are buying paper, look for labels telling you the paper was made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper.
  2. Eat less beef. It takes many acres of land to raise cattle for beef, meaning forests are cut down to make room for this process. By purchasing and eating less beef, you’ll help reduce the number of cattle that need to be raised in areas that were once lush forests.[2]
    1. If you do buy beef, pay attention to where it comes from. Look for locally sourced options that don’t require the cutting down of forests.
  3. Recycle as much of your paper as possible. This includes things like cardboard, cereal boxes, old homework, newspapers—anything that is paper and is free of food products can usually be recycled. Instead of just placing these things in the trash, make a conscious effort to set them aside in a recycling bin instead.[3]
    1. Things like pizza boxes often can’t be recycled because they contain food remnants.
  4. Opt for digital versions of paper printouts. Many places are now offering the option to receive things like receipts, bills, and concert tickets through an email online instead of by printing them out. When you’re offered the chance, choose not to have a printed receipt or other printout to save the paper.[4]
    1. Think of ways you can reduce the amount of printouts you create through your printer, such as by reading articles online instead of printing them out.
  5. Switch to reusable bags instead of plastic or paper ones. Many grocery and retail stores now offer reusable bags you can purchase to bring home your goods in, helping reduce the number of plastic and paper bags that are used. Stash some reusable bags in your car for grocery days so you can help save the environment.[5]
    1. Some stores even offer reusable shopping bags free of cost.
  6. Reduce your carbon footprint by driving less. When you drive, your car releases harmful carbon dioxide into the air, and the trees are the ones that remove this gas from the air. By driving less, you’ll help out the trees while improving our air quality. There are many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint, from carpooling with friends or coworkers to taking public transportation.[6]
    1. Consider riding your bike to school or work if possible.
    2. Look into energy-efficient cars to reduce your carbon footprint as well.
  7. Purchase a carbon offset. You can neutralize your carbon footprint making a purchase to offset your carbon emissions.
    1. Carbonfund offers carbon offset options for your vehicle, home, air travel and more.
  8. Plant Trees. Planting trees absorbs carbon dioxide, improves air and soil quality, preserves biodiversity, improves habitats and creates jobs.
    1. Environmental groups like Carbonfund will plant trees on your behalf if you are unable to plant them yourself. 
    2. Carbonfund has planted over 1.6 million trees. 

Supporting the Cause

  1. Attend a rally or protest supporting the conservation of forests. Many peaceful protests and rallies are planned each year to support environmental causes. Check your local newspaper or social media event pages to see if there will be any movements coming up that you can attend to show your support.
    1. If there aren’t any protests or rallies coming up soon, consider planning your own.
  2. Join a grassroots organization near you or start your own. There are likely local groups or organizations trying to make a difference too. Check to see if there are any environmental groups in your city or state that you can join to continue helping the forests.
    1. Do an online search by typing “environmental groups near me” into the search bar.
    2. If there aren’t any groups in your area, start your own and ask friends to help you get it started to spread the word.
  3. Sign petitions asking for positive change to save the forests. There are many petitions available online for you to sign that will have a positive impact on the forests. Look for petitions trying to end deforestation or ban clearcutting, or ones that are trying to encourage political figures to take action.
    1. By typing “petitions to help the forests” into your online search engine, many different options will come up.
    2. Consider starting your own petition if you don’t find one that you support.
  4. Contact your government to make sure your voice is heard. Write a letter to Congress asking them to support organizations and decisions that help protect forests, or email your local representatives to tell them your feelings on the topic. By contacting as many politicians as possible, you’ll encourage more and more people to take action.[7]
    1. Go to a town hall meeting to talk about forest conservation there, if possible.
    2. Find the contact info for government officials online by searching their names.
  5. Start a fundraiser to earn money for an organization saving the forests. Fundraisers are a great way to generate money for your chosen organization. Host a lemonade stand, bake sale, concert, or other fun or helpful event to earn money for the forests.[8]
    1. Other fundraising ideas include a fun run, car wash, or garage sale.
    2. Tell people what the money is going towards so they know the cause they’re supporting.
    3. Hang flyers around town and post online to market your event.
  6. Donate money to organizations that help protect forests. Organizations like the Carbonfund, National Forest Foundation, Rainforest Alliance, or the World Wildlife Fund all accept money towards their goals of saving the forests. Often when you donate, you’ll be helping fund protests, preserve acres of land, plant new trees, or organize projects designed to save the forests.[9]
    1. For example, Conservation International lets you protect an acre of land for $25 USD.
    2. Carbonfund provides ways to offset your carbon footprint to protect forests.

Educating Yourself and Others

  1. Learn as much as possible about the condition of our forests. Look for news articles, read blog posts, listen to podcasts, and watch videos. There are tons of different resources available to teach you all you need to know about the environment and what’s happening to the forests.[10]
    1. Consider trying to read one new article on forests each day, or subscribing to an organization’s daily or weekly newsletter to get news about forests and the environment in your inbox.
  2. Start conversations about the forests to encourage others to act. Talk to your friends, family members, or coworkers about what you’ve learned. Ask them what they’ve heard about the condition of our forests, and see if they have anything to teach you as well. By starting a conversation about it, more and more people will become aware of the situation.[11]
    1. Your conversations don’t have to just be in person. Consider calling, texting, or emailing friends to chat with them about the forests as well.
    2. You might start a conversation by saying, “I watched a video about deforestation recently and had no idea the effects it was having. Have you heard anything about it?”
  3. Share posts about the forests online to spread awareness. With social media, it’s very easy to share interesting news articles or stories with many people at once. Post articles and videos on your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter pages to encourage others to learn about what’s happening.[12]
    1. Post a status or tweet telling people about your interest in helping the forests, and encourage them to do the same by attaching a news story or link to a donation campaign.
    2. Keep your posts informative and friendly to encourage people to learn more.
  4. Ask others if they’d like to get involved in the movement with you. Encourage your friends to sign petitions or ask family members to donate to organizations that are helping to save the forests. By asking others to help you make a difference, you’ll be more likely to create a stronger impact.
    1. You might ask a friend to help you out by saying, “I really want to help make a difference in the forest conservation movement, would you want to be part of it too?”
    2. Avoid pressuring others to do things they’re not interested in doing. If they don’t want to sign a petition or donate to the cause, thank them for listening to you.