The biggest trend in the retail world today is “green.” Everyone is going green and using lots of energy and natural resources to tell you just how environmentally friendly or green they are. Among all this is the fact that we have a valuable and renewable resource right here in Kentucky but it is being largely ignored in the rush to go green. The resource is trees.
For some people, the concept of chopping down trees and using them is stupid. Trees should be worshiped and left standing to purify the air, to prevent soil erosion, and as a symbol of our dedication to save the planet. While all of these things may be true (except for the worshiped part), it is certainly true that planting trees and leaving them in place has many benefits. But, it is also true that cutting down trees and using them for a variety of products is also a good thing. Left unattended, forests will become overgrown and actually cause environmental harm.
A concept lost in our rush to be green is the fact that trees are renewable resources. When you cut down a tree and replant another, it grows and replaces the one cut down. As one tree farmer put it to me, trees are just like any other crop except they have a longer growing cycle. We don’t see activists chaining themselves to corn stalks at harvest, so why trees?
When you think about it, trees have one of the most productive lifecycles of any crop. While they are growing, trees help improve our air, hold soil in place, and provide habitat for wildlife. When they are harvested, they provide wood, paper, chemicals, energy, and more. These industries employ millions of people and provide billions of dollars in economic activity. And, since they are renewable, they keep doing this over and over and over.
. Clear-cutting forests is bad. However, cutting down old growth forests to make room for a shopping mall is reprehensible. Harvesting a species of trees to extinction is just plain stupid....