You may be surprised how much forests influence your everyday life. Whether you are walking your dog in your local forest, sitting at the breakfast table, or even just writing the shopping list, our forests have made an important contribution.
Forests provide opportunities to improve our quality of life through recreation, and by their natural beauty. In our busy modern world, they give us a place to go to relax and unwind. They are a natural playground for children and adults alike.
Forest based products are all around us
Most of us are aware of the obvious products supplied by wood from forests – timber for our homes and furniture, paper for our books and magazines, packaging for our food and toiletries and tissue paper for the bathroom.
But did you know that all of the following things contain forest materials, too? See how many you know.
- Chewing gum
- Rayon fabric
- Piano keys
- Medicines (Treehugger)
- Wine corks
- Car wax
- Hair dye (WWF)
And by choosing to buy these products and select Responsible Wood-certified products the next time you go shopping.
Forest services we all benefit from
There are also the many “hidden” benefits of forests that we enjoy. From the air we breathe to the water we drink, forests deliver invaluable benefits that we often take for granted.
A single mature, leafy tree is estimated to produce a day’s supply of oxygen for anywhere from two to 10 people. An estimated one-third of the world’s largest cities, including Mumbai, Barcelona, Bogotá and New York rely to a large extent on forested protected areas for their drinking water (FAO).
But not only forests, trees themselves provide us with services in everyday life. Their shade helps to cool hot city streets, and they can be planted in areas where people congregate or spend time outside, like at bus stops.
They also help to filter pollutants from the air, contributing to lower rates of hospitalization from asthma. And being able to walk, meet friends, and exercise amongst nature, even in cities, benefits our mental health (IUCN).