Our 13 year old son has been talking to his Dad today about rainforests. He loves geography. At school they had been discussing the destruction of the rainforests and to plant trees for the use of palm oil. He was telling his Dad they were talking about mahogany and teak which have been cut down and how its having a huge effect on the world and global warming. He asked Dad if he used mahogany or other hardwoods. Mark sat and explained. Yes he uses mahogany, teak and rosewood, but these are hardwoods that were cut down many many years ago before anyone had even heard of global warming. Some of the hardwoods were cut down well over a hundred years ago. Mark was not ashamed of using these woods and explained that we have been reusing hardwood timber for many years. One of the reasons why it has lasted it because its hardwood, slowing growing and had been around for probably hundreds of years before it was cut down. Mark also explained that he does not feel guilty when making new sofas and chairs. The reason for this is we use hardwood beech, a timber which is specifically grown in Europe for the use in making furniture. This beech will last for probably a hundred years so rather than have cheap disposable furniture, this type of furniture is actually better for the environment. Mark also went on to explain that the UK was once covered in oak trees before we cut them all down to make ships and other things needed to expand our Empire. We are now asking some of the poorest countries not to chop down their forests when they are doing this to provide for their citizens. As we are now much more aware of what we have done to the planet over the last two hundred years, we need to help other countries, educate them and give them an alternative to clearing the rainforest.
As our son said, we all need to do our part and he now wants me to check that our light bulbs are energy saving. I think he's on the right track but as a country and world, we all need to do our part for the sake of our children and grand children.
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