It’s For The Birds

“In the far north latitudes, just below the treeless tundra of the polar region, a forest of evergreen trees encircles the earth: this is the Boreal Forest. The last frontier of northern forest wilderness in Canada, the Boreal Forest is North America’s greatest conservation opportunity.”                                        National Resources Defense Council

Canada’s Boreal Forest is one of the largest unspoiled forests left on earth.  Home to some 500 First Nations communities, the Boreal is of spiritual and cultural significance and of global importance.   Wildlife too depend on it’s old growth to provide habitat and breeding grounds.  Upwards of 3 billion birds each spring and nearly half of all bird species in North America depend on the Boreal for survival.

“Like the Amazon, the boreal forest is of critical importance to all living things on earth. It is home to the one of the world’s largest remaining stands of spruce, fir and tamarack. The thick layers of moss, soil and peat of the boreal are the world’s largest terrestrial storehouse of organic carbon and play an enormous role in regulating the Earth’s climate. Boreal wetlands filter millions of gallons of water each day that fill our northern rivers, lakes, and streams. As a vast, intact forest ecosystem, the boreal supports a natural web of large carnivores, such as bears, wolves and lynx along with thousands of other species of plants, mammals, birds and insects.”

Much of the destruction of the Boreal bird habitat is being driven by American consumerism.  The Boreal is being destroyed to make toilet paper, facial tissues, paper towels and other disposable paper products in addition to oil and gas exploration and production.  Paper products we throw away are leading to habitat destruction that people and animals alike depend upon.  We can help to halt this destruction by making smart shopping decisions.  Start by avoiding purchasing all paper products from the mega-giant Kimberly-Clark, maker of Scott, Cottonelle, Kleenex and Viva.

Kimberly-Clark sources virgin wood from the Boreal.

“Paper manufacturers reach deep into species-rich forests for virgin timber, razing trees, polluting waterways and destroying precious wildlife habitat. Pulp and paper mills that use virgin timber are major generators of hazardous air pollutants, including dioxins and other cancer-causing chemicals. And the industry is the third largest industrial emitter of global warming pollution.”

If every household in the United States replaced just one box of virgin fiber facial tissues (175 sheets) with one 100% recycled tissue we could save 163,000 trees.

If every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper (500 sheets) with 100% recycled paper we could save 423,900 trees.

If every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber paper towels (70 sheets) with 100% recycled paper we could save 544,000 trees.

If every household in the United Sates replaced just one package of virgin fiber napkins (250 count) with 100% recycled paper we could save 1 million trees.

Shop Smart is a buyers guide that simplifies making good paper choices to help save the Boreal and the lives that depend on it.  By considering what paper we consume, we can create a positive shift in the pulp industry.  Our demands for clean energy sources too will determine the outcome of the Boreal Forest now and in the future for all living beings.

The idiom for the birds means worthless, not to be taken seriously, no good.  Using virgin fiber to wipe our chins and our butts is indeed for the birds in this bird nerds opinion.

In gratitude for your considerations for the Boreal, for the People, and for the birds.

Mitakuye Oyasin  ~  All My Relations


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