Take the pledge: protect our forests

Join consumers in pledging to shift the marketplace towards forest-friendly products.


Sammy Herdman

Former Save The Boreal Forest Campaign, Associate, Environment America Research & Policy Center

Take the pledge to protect our forests

To reduce my individual impact on forests and help shift the market towards sustainably harvested wood products, I, a consumer of toilet paper, tissues and timber, pledge to:

1. Stop purchasing tissues, paper towels and toilet paper made from virgin wood fibers. Instead, I will purchase products made from recycled paper, sustainable bamboo or another sustainable alternative, such as the brands rated and A or B on the Issue with Tissue Scorecard.

2. Whenever possible, opt for wood products made from reclaimed wood. Learn more about reclaimed wood here and where to buy it here.

3. Look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo whenever I must buy virgin wood or wood products, because FSC is the best way to ensure wood is harvested responsibly.

 Once you’ve taken the pledge, post this graphic and the following link to social media to spread the word: https://bit.ly/3BhLxGX

Check out this recording of a webinar I hosted recently where we break down the problems facing the boreal and what we can do

As the impacts of climate change become ever more disastrous and apparent, some American companies remain complicit in degrading one of our greatest and most promising natural climate solutions: the boreal forest. Circling the Northern hemisphere in a ring of spruce, firs and pines, the boreal forest is the most carbon-rich ecosystem on Earth. In Canada, the boreal forest covers more than 1 billion acres — making it the largest intact forest remaining on our planet.

The Canadian boreal forest hosts an incredible ecosystem — it’s a refuge for such species as caribou, cougars and grizzly bears, whose habitats have dwindled further south. Billions of birds, nearly half of all avian species in North America, breed in the boreal before flying southward into our backyards and parks each winter. Indigenous Peoples have lived in balance with these ecosystems for millennia — stewarding the land as well as relying upon it for sustenance and their traditions.

The Canadian boreal forest has provided the globe with high quality lumber for decades. Many of the trees are logged, pulped and turned into toilet paper, tissues and paper towels that are sold in the United States. As a result, the Canadian boreal is being cut down at a rate of one million acres per year. That’s 1.5 football fields’ worth of forest every single minute. When the boreal is logged, the rich soil and peatlands that have been storing the carbon captured by trees for centuries are disturbed. In total, the degradation of the boreal results in an average of 26 million metric tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year, which is roughly equivalent to the emissions of 5.5 million passenger vehicles per year. Regardless of claims to the contrary, no amount of saplings planted amongst the graveyards of tree trunks can offset the damage done to our climate from clear-cutting the boreal.

While our markets remain saturated with wood products manufactured at the expense of forests, alternatives do exist. And while these products are limited in availability right now, as consumer demand increases, they’ll become more widely available. That’s why we’re mobilizing American consumers all across the country to pledge to purchase forest-friendly products.


Sammy Herdman

Former Save The Boreal Forest Campaign, Associate, Environment America Research & Policy Center

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