I grew up on a farm in a small Kentucky town. As I drove up my driveway I was suddenly immersed in an arch of trees. From maple, oak and walnut to the beautiful dogwoods that bloom in the spring, I always felt at home living back in the woods.
Growing up with such a beautiful scenery, I couldn’t image anyone wanting to destroy it. However, the truth is, there are many parts of the wilderness that are threatened everyday by human acts. From chopping down trees for paper to coal mining, many trees and other plants are faced with fighting for life on a day to day basis.
What are the Trees Facing?
Natural Resources– With more people living on the Earth, we demand even more natural resources. One of these coming from our trees. Trees are used for paper, furniture, pencils, heating homes, and more. Beyond the materials the trees make for us, it is more important to note that trees are the homes for many creatures. Birds build their nests in the trees and insects, animals, and others find use for the trees as well. Trees are an essential part of our environment. We must only use these trees when needed and do everything we can to only use the bare minimum.
Fires– Beyond how we and other creatures use trees, there are other reasons that trees are destroyed. Forest fires are started due to unwatched campfires or unmanaged dry spells.
Construction– Coal mining, housing developments, and power plants can overtake acres of hundred year old trees. One form of coal mining is mountain top removal. This form of mining uses explosives instead of miners to get under the surface. This is very dangerous for local residence, for the debris can contaminate water. An estimated 2,200 square miles of Appalachian forests will be eliminated by 2012 by large-scale mining operations. Scary to think about? Scary to see…
What Can You Do to Stop it?
Recycle- One way to prevent the cutting down of trees is to start recycling! I suggest creating your own recycle bin. By eliminating the need of trees, we can help save them by committing to recycle when possible. Though this is specific to the United States, Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper a year; about 680 pounds per person.
Become a Tree Advocate- There are different organizations that you can become a member of. These organizations may have different missions statements; however, in the end they are here to protect our environment. An example, is the Mountain Justice organization. This organization seeks to end steep slope mining and surface mining for coal.
“Mountain Justice seeks to add to the growing anti-MTR citizens movement. Specifically Mountain Justice demands an abolition of MTR, steep slope strip mining and all other forms of surface mining for coal. We work to protect the cultural and natural heritage of the Appalachia coal fields. We work to contribute with grassroots organizing, public education, nonviolent civil disobedience and other forms of citizen action.”
Take Action Today.
By becoming aware and making changes in your life to help save our trees, is a step that needs to be taken today. Do not just make this difference in your life, but tell others. Together we will have a larger impact.