Deforestation…and our Carbon Footprint.

Carbon Footprints

It was the plight of the Orangutan which first caught my eye and prompted me to write the first two posts…

Some schools of thought are that it is a massive marketing ploy by Iceland and maybe it was…It did, however, highlight the plight of the Orangutan.

It also highlighted once again the Palm Oil saga…

Sustainable Palm Oil is the best way to go as producing sustainable palm saves and or creates jobs for locals…

But and it is a big but…Deforestation is not only caused by the production of Palm oil it is a far bigger picture…Now I am not an expert I am learning more about the subject every day and from each article I research…There is so much more…

5 major causes of deforestation are:

Agricultural Expansion…The conversion of forests into agricultural plantations is a major cause of deforestation. Farmers cut forests to provide more room for planting crops or grazing livestock.

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Often, small farmers will clear a few acres by cutting down trees and burning them in a process known as slash and burn agriculture. How could any animal survive that and more to the point where does it drive them to go?

Livestock Ranching …The increase in demand for meat is causing major problems in the Brazilian Amazon early 80 per cent of deforestation results from cattle ranching. Because cattle have heavy, flat hooves that flatten the soil and reduce its ability to absorb water and nutrients we get soil erosion. Drylands are especially at risk for overgrazing and reduction in the quality of the soil.

Logging…Logging operations, which provide the world’s wood and paper products, also cut countless trees each year. Loggers, some of them acting illegally, also build roads to access more and more remote forests—which leads to further deforestation.

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Paper can be made from products without using trees…

One acre of kenaf, a plant related to cotton, produces as much fibre in one year as an acre of yellow pine does in twenty years. Paper can also be made of a material such as hemp… The pulp made from non-resources is also less expensive than paper made from trees.

Some other sources of products which can be used to make paper are agricultural residues (e.g. sugarcane bagasse, husks and straw), fibre crops and wild plants, such as bamboo, kenaf, hemp, jute, and flax plus textiles and cordage wastes.

Making paper from non-tree sources is currently being done in at least 45 countries in more than 300 mills. Non-tree based papers require less bleaching and less energy to produce.

Infrastructure Expansion…Forests are also cut as a result of growing urban sprawl as land is developed for dwellings. Removing trees deprives the forest of portions of its canopy, which blocks the sun’s rays during the day, and holds in heat at night. This disruption leads to more extreme temperature swings that can be harmful to plants and animals.

Overpopulation… Ties in with Infrastructure expansion and more thought should be given when initial plans are made…Any cutting that does occur should be balanced by planting young trees to replace older trees felled. The number of new tree plantations is growing each year, but their total still equals a tiny fraction of the Earth’s forested land.

If deforestation carries on at its current rate The world’s rainforests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation. It will have the most dramatic impact on millions of species who will lose their natural habitat.

There will then be the impact on climate change as those moist forest floors will dry out without the protection of the trees…Trees are also part of the water cycle as they return water vapour to the earth’s atmosphere we will be left with barren deserts.

Without the protection of the trees, extreme temperature swings will be harmful to plants and animals.

What can we do?

I think we really need to be more proactive in most aspects of our lives we should be buying local and growing what we can ourselves even if you only have a window box…Communal gardens in inner cities are on the rise or rooftop gardens and they have become very popular.

Have at least one meat-free day a week and yes I know you carnivores love your meat…I have two here and the look of shock and horror on their faces is priceless…But there are some very tasty meat-free options for meals now…A nice vegetarian chilli or spag bol, A vegetable curry or a frittata with a jacket potato and a salad. Once a week would that really hurt??

Some argue that veganism is the only sane way forward. A study last year showed, for example, that if all Americans substituted beans for beef, the country would be close to meeting the greenhouse gas goals agreed by Barack Obama.

But there are some alternatives.

Reducing the amount of meat you eat while improving its quality is advocated by many environmental groups. But where do you find this meat? The organic movement was founded on the pioneering work of Sir Alfred Howard. It is still relatively small – in Europe non-resources 5.7% of agricultural land is managed organically – but influential. There are other agricultural models, such as biodynamic farming and permaculture. More recently some innovators have been fusing technology with environmental principles in the form of agroforestry, silvopasture, conservation farming, or regenerative agriculture to create farming methods which all encompass carbon sequestration, high biodiversity and good animal welfare. A recent study showed that managed grazing (a technique which involves moving cows around to graze) is an effective way to sequester carbon. However, while organic and biodynamic meats have labels, regenerative farming, as yet, does not – so you need to investigate your farmer yourself.

If you want to know the true cost of eating meat …

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/may/07/true-cost-of-eating-meat-environment-health-animal-welfare

Shop locally ...Check where the foods you buy come from and see if you can source them locally so you can reduce your carbon footprint. Lentil, fruit, potatoes and rice are among the lowest in the carbon footprint table to see how your favourite food effects the   Carbon footprint then see attached link.

http://www.greeneatz.com/foods-carbon-footprint.html

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Don’t drive short distances...Walk…I do and I feel much better…

Line dry your clothes…Weather permitting…

Unplug any devices you are not using…all electronics suck energy when they’re plugged in, EVEN IF they’re powered down. In the U.S. alone, “vampire power” is responsible for draining up to $19 billion in energy every year. Anytime a cord is plugged into a socket, it’s drawing energy – so although your device isn’t charging, you’re still contributing to your carbon footprint. Simple solution? Leave your electronics unplugged at all times, unless you’re actually using them.

Don’t buy ” Fast Fashion”…Try alternatives like re-purposing old clothing, choosing locally handmade garments, buying vintage, or participating in clothing swaps with family and friends.

I do that here and it is a practice that is common here, Thais are very good at recycling clothes …I myself put out a call to friends and family who come on holiday and I get them to leave what they will not wear again as generally what happens is when next year arrives fashion has changed and they will probably just buy more. The only things I buy new is flip-flops and undercrackers…

Fast Fashion is cheap...How is it so cheap?… Cheap labour…Children should be at school and not working in a sweatshop…Often the cotton used is genetically modified cotton sprayed with lots of pesticides (including known carcinogens). This can be damaging to neighbouring non-GMO crops, cause water contamination, reduce biodiversity, and have negative impacts on human health.

Don’t forget that anything made overseas has a huge environmental impact – from the physical act of shipping a product across the ocean to the chemical runoff from garment factories (leather tanneries are particularly bad).

Which brings me back to the fact we should be buying locally it supports local businesses and if we all did so we would reduce our carbon footprint…

What do you do to reduce yours ??

Thank you so much for reading this xx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

33 thoughts on “Deforestation…and our Carbon Footprint.

  1. Lucinda E Clarke

    The one thing no one ever dares to mention is limiting the number of people. Yes, I know China tried it with mixed results, but as every farmer knows there are just so many animals of any kind that will fit in a given space. When we have destroyed all the forests, obliterated the animals and eroded the pastures what then?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      You are absolutely correct, Lucinda…People live longer although I do think the amount of babies born in some places is declining…I personally think that people shouldn’t have children unless they can support them and that message should be made very clear from a young age and benefits shouldn’t be paid if people keep having childen that’s one problem sorted…Am emotive subject but one which rquires addressing in some form or another or as you say what happens when???

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. CarolCooks2 Post author

        I know that…My comment was more about benefits and I have seen it first hand that benefits should not be paid to anyone who is only having children to claim these handouts. I am reading your post and wild ideas and you have some very good ones…I like it 🙂

        Like

  2. Pingback: My Weekly Roundup…Kiviak and Chrismas Jumpers… | Retired? No one told me!

  3. Annika Perry

    Carol, an interesting article and as a vegetarian since birth I’m smiling how my ‘oddness’ is now becoming the norm. Supposedly a quarter of the UK are vegans at the moment and I personally know many who used to eat a lot of meat but have totally changed. As for trees, I worked within the timber trade and know that in Scandinavia there are actually more trees than a hundred years ago (70% of land mass in Sweden is forested). Alas, forests in many regions of the worlds are not treated so ethically and suffering terribly … as a consumer it is our responsibility to check where items are sourced and managed.

    Wishing you a lovely Christmas and New Year! Happy Holidays! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you, Annika it is great to hear that Sweden is acting responsibly and also unfortunate for the eco system that many countries are not so ethical. You are correct about vegetarianism becoming quite the norm even as you say many people are also now following a vegan diet… Thank you for your seasonal wishes , Annika. I Hope you and yours also have a wonderful Chrismas and New Year. Merry Christmas 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. Suzanne

    This is a very interesting article. I have been thinking about very similar issues and ideas lately too. Reducing how much meat we eat is very important. Cattle and the methane they expel is a big factor in the creation of greenhouse gases too.

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      That’s good to know, Debby I think if we raise awareness many more people will do the same as you…I think stores should be more proactive if they are selling goods made with alternative materials it would promote them as well 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. Pingback: Deforestation…and our Carbon Footprint. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

      1. jkaybay

        Excellent – thanks Carol! And thanks for taking a look at the Green Stars Project. Do you ever write reviews online? If you do, it would be great if you were interested in including an ethical score on whatever you review. I’ll run another competition soon to provide an incentive 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. CarolCooks2 Post author

        You are welcome…I don’t normally do reviews simply because I don’t buy very much ready made ..Not sure what you are looking for reviews on? I did sign up for the Palm right an interesting project..I had my doubts about the other two but I will be honest did not investigate fully…me bad.. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. jkaybay

        I find that I’m in the same boat. I don’t buy that many things any more. I sometimes review items that I’ve bought long ago (e.g., a Snickers bar) but at the moment I tend to focus more on restaurants and cafes etc.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

    Great post and have pressed for 6 this evening.. I was thinking about paper the other day and to be honest I rarely print anything off now and save to a folder. We have not bought a pack of copy paper in the last year and still have 1/4 left. I think it is till big business that insists on paper trails and the NHS for example.. that refuse to digitize because of patient confidentiality.. despite it being safer and more effective for patients to have an accurate digital record rather than a file that is passed from department to department in multiple hands.. including of someone who wants to sell information.. My mother’s file at 95 was at least a foot thick and had to come in on a trolley… there was a tree right there! hugs xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you, Sally I think from memory the NHS in England certainly where I lived put patient records on-line..I am the same as you with the printer though I use on- line folders..The only things I have to print are when I do our yearly visa renewal Hugs xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. CarolCooks2 Post author

        It sounds like between us we are doing our bit then.. You may be correct I just remember a bit of hoo ha where some patients didn’t agree but it may well have been just within our district… xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  7. acflory

    Great post, but I guess I’m one of the converted already. I was, however, really thrilled at your info about non-tree based paper. We should be supporting that initiative enthusiastically. I wish the plight of the orangutan were as simple to solve. If I lived hand to mouth, worrying about how I found the next meal for my family, I know I’d be doing whatever it took to keep them alive. I wish there were some way of helping both the orangutans and those subsistence farmers. :/

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I know there are organisations which help the Orangutan but I haven’t looked into them properly…It is the same really as the child labour if it is stopped what happens to those children? I was looking into World Vision but too many questions and I hate to say it but these huge charities often spend more on staffing etc than whom the money is intened for 🙂 I am pleased to hear you are a convert ..Well done you sound as if you are doing what you can …we need to do more in our household I am working on cutting down meat and certain foodstuffs and hope they don’t notice…lol

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      1. acflory

        I totally agree about those large organisations. They’ve become corporations with an advertising budget and a funding model that ‘locks’ donations in. I’m sure that makes accounting and budgeting easier, but I’d rather give my very tight money to a small organisation that spends nothing on advertising.
        We’re not vegetarian but do enjoy some meatless or almost meatless meals. For example, the Offspring made soup out of the carcass of a roast chicken. One night we had the soup followed by home made crepes. Another night it was soup with pastizzi. Dahl and rice is great, fried rice is great, pasta with homemade pesto is DELICIOUS! -drool- I’ll stop now. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    2. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I agree totally with you on that…I have always made a soup with the chicken carcass that was passed down from my mum and nan they always did that I also have used a pork hock to make a soup with mixed lentils and beans the kids used to love it…It sounds to me like you have it sorted. I just need to find a nice little charity although I do find that they are best looked at locally and charity should start at home as they say :)I hope you have a lovely week 🙂 x

      Like

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