Sunday, 28 August 2011

FSC at Random House

Deforestation is a worldwide environmental issue. It results in the destruction of irreplaceable communities of plants and animals, as well as contributing to climate change, increased flooding risks and decimation of the livelihoods of the native peoples who live in forested areas.

You can find out more about this issue at the following places :
www.fsc-uk.org/?page_id=5
www.greenpeace.org.uk/tags/pulp-and-paper
www.ifees.org.uk


But, unusually for such a severe problem, you can make a real difference to reversing this situation, by ensuring that any paper products that you buy are made from Forest Stewardship Council(FSC) certifed or recycled paper.

FSC paper will have come from trees that are sustainable grown and have not been planted in areas that have previously been covered in natural forests. Although price competitive, FSC paper may not always be the cheapest paper on the market. But the cheapest paper is so for a reason, often because it has been produced by simply chopping down an ancient rainforest and converting it to paper. It's a bit like a bloke selling very cheap cars - because they are all stolen. Your local supermarket will have FSC paper versions of kitchen towels, printer paper, notepads etc and a number of publishers have also switched to FSC paper.

Talking about publishers, BFTF recently send the following, self explanatory email to Random House.

Dear Random House
I just wanted to say thank you for using FSC certified paper for many of your publications.
Some years ago, I decided to stop buying new books as I did not want to be supporting the destruction of the worlds natural forests to produce the paper used in these publications. Instead, I started buying second hand and from charity shops.
As a fan of Bill Bryson, I picked up a copy of his book "At Home" (Imprint: Black Swan) in ASDA recently and was chuffed to see that it was printed on FSC paper. As a result I felt able to buy it there and then (and a very entertaining and interesting read it is proving to be). Please keep up the good work.

Dear Reader, perhaps we are all to ready to complain about things and not ready enough to tell organisations when they are doing THE RIGHT THING.

If you know of a company that is behaving in a particularly ethical manner, why not let them know it?

This kind of action has a number of benefits.
a) Obviously, it helps protect the worlds forests.
b) It is an area where the Muslim community can find common ground with wider society, rather than just campaigning on issues of self-interest.
c) If the leaders of the Muslim community were to get behind actions like this, and recommend them to the congregations at Friday prayers, it would encourage the Muslim community to see this kind of action as being something that Muslims should do.

It would be great to hear what you think, or what response you have had when pursuing this kind of action

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