How can we improve our forests?

You can do that

Five tips for protecting the forest in everyday life

As consumers, we are connected to the forest in a variety of ways, often without our noticing it. The tips should help you to protect the forest with small measures such as using recycled paper or buying certified wood products.

Summer deciduous forest - Photo: Helge May

As consumers, we are connected to the forest in a variety of ways, often without our noticing it directly. The following tips should help you to protect the forest with small measures or to promote its environmentally friendly use.

1. Use wood and paper products sparingly
Wood is a valuable raw material; it grows back, but is still not infinitely available. In any case, it is advisable to use this resource sparingly. We are 7.8 billion people on earth, together we share a total of four billion hectares of forest. In purely mathematical terms, there are only 0.6 hectares of forest available per person on earth. All of this for building houses, bridges, railway sleepers, pallets, furniture, paper, cardboard boxes or firewood. And we also have to leave something to nature. Wood is not an endlessly available raw material. Use it sparingly!

2. Use recycled paper wherever possible
The per capita paper consumption in Germany in 2009 was 226 kilograms per year. This makes Germany one of the front runners in global paper consumption. If all 7.8 billion people had this paper consumption, all the forests in the world would not be enough to meet these paper needs. Does it have to be the ultra-soft toilet paper from Brazilian eucalyptus plantations, for which rainforests have been cleared and people driven from their land? Certainly not. You can recognize good recycled paper by the blue angel. The criteria for the award of the blue angel are adjusted at regular intervals to the latest available environmental standard.

3. Look out for the FSC seal of wood products
Certification with the FSC seal is an instrument for enforcing important sustainability standards in forest management. Currently is the best certificate available worldwide, with which consumers can see when buying wood products whether they have been produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. NABU therefore recommends that products with the FSC seal always be given preference over products with other seals or no certification at all. When buying wood products in the hardware store or furniture retailer, actively ask for FSC-certified products!

4. Become a sponsor for the diversity of our forests
NABU is very committed to the protection of forests in order to enable endangered animal and plant species to survive: in dialogue with forestry and with its own protection projects in the forest. In doing so, we set a good example, buy valuable areas and show in projects and on our own areas how living forests can be designed today. Help us with a sponsorship to preserve this fascinating living space!

5. Make the forest tangible for yourself and others
You can only protect what you know. That is why the motto applies: Find out more about the forest, not only use it as a place to relax, but also learn more about it and its inhabitants. How do you know whether a forest is managed in a natural way? What is the difference between a primeval forest and a commercial forest as we know it here in Germany?

There are many ways to get involved in the forest, for example in one of the around 2,000 NABU groups on site or when hunting nuts. Ask NABU how you can stand up for the forest.

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Here's how you can help

Use recycled paper or buy certified wood products: As consumers, we can also help protect the forest.