If a tree falls in the forest…

We are very ethically minded these days when it comes to our food, clothes and other items such as recycled products, renewable energy and more. But for those about to put another log on the fire, do you know if you are burning someone else’s home to warm yours? Do you know where your firewood has come from?

Recent, but not isolated, incidents of illegal firewood collection has seen the felling of a number of prime nesting trees – essential habitat for critically endangered Swift Parrot, as well as other tree-hollow dwelling animals. Native fauna across Australia have important ecological functions, including pollination, which in turn sustains forests. Trees are a renewable resource, but hollows can take hundreds of years to form and are found in mature trees, often in conserved lands. Losing them can have long-term dire results for species and landscapes.

If you want to take an active role in supporting positive practices, check out the following tips, courtesy of the Threatened Species Commissioner.

One key action is about all of us taking personal responsibility about the firewood we buy. Buying firewood from reputable suppliers, who follow forestry regulations and safety protocols, helps ensure habitat is kept safe. If you’re interested in ensuring that your firewood doesn’t warm your home at the expense of our endangered species, you could consider:
* Buying from reputable businesses
* Asking your firewood supplier where the wood comes from.
* Requesting plantation offcuts, salvage wood or recycled wood rather than freshly cut native trees.

If we all choose to only buy sustainably-sourced firewood, we take away the market for illegal firewood harvesting and protect the homes of our remarkable species.

Swift Parrot image by Chris Tzaros

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