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The Lumber Industry

The lumber industry, also known as the wood industry or timber industry, is an industry relating to logging, producing forest products etc. Do you know about the history of this industry or how is it impacting our environment though?


Wood, one of the most natural materials provided to us by trees and forests. Throughout history and human evolution, it is known that humans relied on wood a lot. Wood has not left us since history. We’re still using it till this day for construction and many more things.


Since I was a child, I was taught about how logging and destroying forests affected the environment even though it seems as if it was all for human development and a higher quality of life for humans. Although it seems like humans are doing it for shelter and to provide satisfaction to our needs, the negative effects still exist. The negativity of this industry being destruction of forest cover, loss of biodiversity, ecological imbalance, soil compaction, soil erosion, flooding, desert encroachment and disruption of hydrological cycle and much more that I’m sure that you can think of.


The evidence of how the loss of ecosystems and industry is manifesting due to the industry can be seen throughout our history. According to sources, environmental scientists estimated that there were 90 million acres of Longleaf pine forests that were home to almost 900 different plant species in the 17th century. Today, less than 4 percent of what was present then remains. This is the result of years of unsustainable timber harvesting.


Moreover, we know that deforestation harms and destroys habitats of living creatures of the forest, leading to our loss of biodiversity. According to WWF, around 17% of the forest in the Amazon has been lost in the last 50 years, mostly due to forest conversion for cattle ranching. Deforestation in this region is particularly rampant near more populated areas, roads and rivers, but even remote areas have been encroached upon when valuable mahogany, gold, and oil are discovered.


Moving on, the lumber industry also disrupted the hydrological cycle. This is because changes in forest cover alter catchment water balances and stream flows. It is also proven that tree harvesting also affects the quality of water. Low or bad quality of water will cause harm to living creatures consuming or using the water for their needs.


The negative impacts of the lumber industry above are only a few. Feel free to search up online to find out or get to know about this issue better if you’re interested.


Even though the lumber industry has caused a lot of disruption to our environment and proved to have a lot of negative impacts, we must know that we, humanity, is slowly progressing and a lot of things are changing. Slowly but surely, the lumber industry are turning sustainable and more environmentally friendly to all beings living hand in hand together on this Earth we all love so dearly.


How? You might ask. Let me explain.


(3BL Media)

Many of the companies in the lumber industry are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, a non-profit organisation that has created standards for lumber producers, and conducts third party audits to ensure that the companies are kept to these standards.


According to reliable sources, these companies in cooperation with SFI, had been working to regrow the forests where they had been harvesting. There are even some that are protecting endangered plant and animal species. Other than that, these companies have also been using innovative lumber harvesting techniques that do not disturb soil, in order preserve the forest plants, animals, and water sources, all for a healthier environment for the living beings on Earth. Wood products are made really, really sustainable too, some engineered wood products and all fiberboards are made from wood particles and shreds that would have been wasted. These products help and make sure we humans use as much of every tree as we possibly can so that no bit of the tree goes to waste.


With all these positive changes that are happening at the current moment, we can clearly see a path to a brighter and greener future that we all want. This whole research that I’ve conducted in order to write this article has shown me a new way to me that humans can satisfy our needs and live a life with good quality while remaining environmentally friendly and sustainable. I believe that all our actions that harm the Earth can be replaced with a more eco-friendly way that can both satisfy the happiness of us and the environment.


Find out more about the Sustainable Forestry Initiative here if you’re interested- https://pefc.org/discover-pefc/our-pefc-members/national-members/sustainable-forestry-initiative-sfi.


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