Environmental advocates release consumer guide on products that protect global forests

Media Contacts
Sammy Herdman

Save The Boreal Forest Campaign, Associate, Environment America

DENVER — Environment America Research & Policy Center released a new guide on Thursday aimed at educating  consumers on how  to purchase wood products while lessening their impact on global forests. The guide, entitled Sustainable Shopping: A Consumer’s Guide to Purchasing Wood Products, makes recommendations, such as using recycled wood, suitable non-wood materials and how to understand certifications by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

The world lost more than 25 million hectares of forest in 2021, according to online database Global Forest Watch. Logging for wood products, including lumber, pellet fuels and paper, is a major cause of deforestation and forest degradation. While the world’s governments and companies are responsible for protecting natural resources, consumers have the power to encourage corporations to implement better policies faster by asking for and purchasing forest-friendly products.

When consumers choose products that protect global forests, they’re sending a message to companies that there’s demand for forest-friendly products and that investing in sustainable wood products, or wood alternatives, can be a lucrative venture,” said Sammy Herdman, Environment America Research & Policy Center’s Save The Boreal Forest Campaign associate and author of the consumer guide.

In addition to recommendations for individual consumers, Environment America Research & Policy Center has launched campaigns urging companies such as The Home Depot and Procter & Gamble (P&G) to reform wood-sourcing policies that allow degradation of the boreal forest. This guide describes the ways in which companies could provide their consumers with forest-friendly products, such as P&G’s new bamboo toilet paper line.

People want to protect forests. Although logging and development in forests should be better regulated by the world’s governments and companies, consumers also have power,” said Herdman. “Just because companies and governments are slow to protect forests, doesn’t mean individuals have to be. This guide will help consumers individually reduce pressure on forests and collectively push companies in the right direction.”