2017 calendar: make a monthly forest date

Posted: January 7, 2017

Source: Tree Hugger



Make 2017 the year you support North America’s forests—like clockwork. Forests clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, and help control our climate. Resolve to put the time to support forests on your monthly schedule, so forests can keep supporting us for many years to come. This monthly adventure guide provides an idea for every month of the year.

January: Choose Your Own Adventure
In the United States, public forests offer:

  • More than 150,000 miles of hiking, biking, and horse trails
  • 57,000 miles of streams
  • 338,000 heritage sites

According to a recent U.S. Forest Service survey, the most popular activities were: relaxing, hiking, walking, skiing and viewing natural features. North of the border, about 94 percent of Canadian forests are on publicly owned land, offering nearly unlimited options for recreation, from white water rafting to native craft workshops.

February: Visit a National Park

The National Park Service turned 100 in 2016, and centennial events continue. As part of the milestone, the nonprofit partner of the park service, the National Park Foundation, is offering an online tool to help you Find Your Park. You can browse by state and get ideas from “true park stories,” including celebrity experiences.

March: Celebrate Clean Water

Forest play a vital role in providing a resource that we literally could not survive without – water. Forests supply more than half of all drinking water for U.S. communities, and Canadians get closer to two-thirds of their drinking water from forests. This service has a true economic benefit – studies have shown that drinking water treatment costs decrease as the amount of forest cover in a watershed increases. Celebrate clean water on March 22 in honor of World Water Day and raise your glass to the role of healthy forests in our drinking water.

April: Mark Your Calendar for Earth Day

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, inspired 20 million Americans across the country to demonstrate and rally on behalf of the environment, raising awareness of environmental issues such as clean air, clean water, and healthy wildlife habitats. By 1990, events were celebrated in over 141 countries. See what’s going on near you for Earth Day 2017 (April 22).

May: Plant a Tree

More than 40 countries recognize Arbor Day on various days of the year. Last year, SFI connected more than 1,072 volunteer tree planters from throughout North America, who set a record by planting more than 200,000 trees in their communities in one hour simultaneously. Participate in a tree planting initiative in your community or simply add a tree to your own backyard. Get tips on how to plant a tree from the Arbor Day Foundation.

June: Find Outdoor Opportunities for the Kids

A lack of outdoor activity is taking a toll on the health of the next generation. Physical activity is critical to reversing the obesity trend. Many youth organizations are getting kids into forests throughout the United States and Canada. Here are just a few:

  • Girl Guides of Canada
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Scouts Canada
  • 4-H

See what’s available in your area.

July: Stay Informed

Just last Fall, more than 10,000 of the world’s leading conservationists came together at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress to take immediate action to meet aggressive sustainability goals set by 200 nations the year before. Members of the congress debated solutions for:

  • Protecting biological diversity
  • Achieving sustainable development
  • Reaching climate neutrality

Members of the congress included heads of state, policymakers, CEOs, leading scientists, and highly influential non-profit organizations, including SFI. Look for members of this congress to move forward at a bold pace in 2017 and find ways you can help.

August: Buy Certified

You can find the SFI label on hundreds of everyday products, from milk and paper cups and plates to cosmetics packaging and school supplies. When allergy season hits or cold and flu strikes, you can even choose certified tissue. The SFI label means that the wood fiber used to make the product and/or packaging was legally sourced from responsibly managed forests, meets rigorous requirements of the SFI Standards, and has undergone an independent third-party audit.

September: Build Greener

More and more green building materials are becoming available, whether you’re renovating your kitchen, adding a new deck, or replacing a window. SFI forest certification standards offer proof point that the forest has been managed for multiple environmental, social, and economic values. Every time you buy a product with an SFI label, you personally help drive the demand for sustainable product choices.

October: Decorate Greener

As with everyday products and building materials, you can look for the SFI label when you buy your next piece of furniture. When you buy certified, you reward business leaders who take the environment and forest communities into consideration.

November: Hit the Trail

Take a Hike Day takes place every year in the United States on November 17. National Trails Day takes place on June 4. Pick a hike and celebrate. The American Hiking Society has partnered with Hiking Project to help hikers share information, including ratings and reviews, about trails in the United States.

December: “Leave” the Stress Behind

Many studies have linked interacting with forests to improved mental health. “Forest bathing”, also called Shinrin-yoku in Japanese, has become a popular stress-buster in Japan. One recent study of 498 volunteers showed forest bathing reduced depression and hostility significantly.

Ready for 2017? Our forests are ready and waiting. Let’s resolve to keep them healthy and available for public benefit. To learn more about what forests offer and how you can help sustain them, visit sfiprogram.org.