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5 Things You Didn’t Know Come from Our Forests

You can never guess #2 and its MAJOR environmental benefit!

Forest in Balok, Malaysia
The majority of things in our houses come from our forests.

Source: Eutah Mizushima [9]

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Our forests are much more than a plot of land covered with trees. Besides providing us with oxygen to breathe and fighting climate change, you'll be surprised to know that the majority of things in your house actually come from our forests!

Having a hard time believing that? Well, let's see if you have any of these familiar items in your house.


1. Honey

A jar full of honey
Honey has been on the upswing due to its many health benefits.

Source: Sonja Langford [10]

The first in our list is none other than honey! This sweet, golden liquid we all love to drizzle over our yoghurt every morning is made by hardworking bees using nectar from various flowers.

Adding honey to your diet is highly recommended. It works un-bee-lievably (sorry, can't resist!) effective against colds that the World Health Organization (WHO) actually recommends taking it as a natural cough remedy [1].

And let's not forget that honey makes a GREAT substitute for sugar, which has long been criticized for being a major source of many health and environmental problems. Did you know that....the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia is a major victim of the sugar industry?

That's right! Waters around the reef are regularly exposed to effluents, pesticides and sediments from sugar farms. Worse, the reef itself is increasingly threatened by the clearing of the land [2].

We don't know about you, but that last bit of information does make honey more appealing than it already is.


2. Wine Corks

Rows of wine bottles
A secret ally in fighting climate change—cork oak trees absorb CO2 when they self-regenerate.

Source: Elle Hughes [11]

Regardless whether you’re Team Red or White, there's no denying that cork has been the go-to material for sealing wine bottles. It's elastic and tight, yet lets just the right amount of air through so your favorite wine can age perfectly.

Wine corks come from the outer bark of the Quercus suber (or the cork oak tree) in Southwestern Europe and North Africa. Interestingly, each time cork is harvested, the outer bark would self-regenerate and absorb CO2 in the process, making it a formidable ally in fighting climate change [3].

Want to know another reason why we love wine corks? They are completely renewable and biodegrade!

3. Rattan

Woman wearing grey skirt and round brown rattan crossbody bag
Rattan promotes forest preservation and provides a source of income for rural communities.

Source: Artem Beliaikin [12]

Did you know that….80% of the global rattan supply is from Indonesia? [4]

Rattan is a natural climbing plant that grows as a vine on other tropical trees. Over the past few years, it has increasingly been used as an alternative to timber, not only because its light, durable and flexible nature makes it perfect for a wide range of products (furniture, shelters and handicrafts), but also because it's more sustainable in the long-run.

Why is that, you ask? Well, rattan needs other trees to survive. To ensure its continued growth, rattan gatherers have a bigger incentive to take care of the surrounding trees, which results in forest preservation.

Economically, rattan production continues to be an invaluable source of income for people who live in rural areas where incomes and food supplies are often insufficient. In fact, rattan collection in Southeast Asia has an estimated annual value of $50 million [5].


4. Skincare

A bee on honeycomb
Full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, beeswax is one of the beauty industry's favorite ingredients.

Source: Matthew T Rader [13]

Surprise, surprise. Honey is not the only product that bees produce.

That's right, there's also beeswax, which is naturally secreted by bees to build honeycombs.

Alright, it sounds disgusting, we know, but you might be shocked that beeswax is an integral part of your nighttime ritual.

Yes, we're talking about skincare.

The beauty industry loves beeswax. Many brands have used beeswax in their line of face creams simply because beeswax can help hydrate, exfoliate and calm the skin (*gasp*) [6].

On top of that, beeswax is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, meaning beeswax provides a long-lasting barrier against environmental pollutants, which can cause premature aging (*major gasp*).

Wait, there's more! Since it comes directly from bees, beeswax is also environmentally-friendly. All the more reason why bees are so awesome (hey, they don't call it the queen bee for nothing).

Last but not least....

5. Açaí Berries

Delicious-looking açaí smoothie bowl
Tiny but mighty—açaí berries are rich in nutrients and have huge potential in saving the Amazon rainforest.

Source: Ella Olsson [14]

Dubbed as nature’s purple gold, açaí berries are the not-so-secret ingredient for your picture-perfect smoothie bowl. But, there's more to these berries than what meets the eye.

Found on açaí palm trees in South American rainforests, these berries are packed with antioxidants and fibers, which work wonders for your immune system, fight off radicals and keep your blood sugar steady [7].

And don't underestimate açaí berries for their size because these tiny berries have a huge potential to save the Amazon rainforest!

You read that right. The Amazon rainforest has been suffering by way of clearing for cattle ranching and soya production [8]. By promoting non-timber products such as açaí berries, this can reduce reliance on wood exports by local communities, which would help prevent further deforestation.


Do you have some, most or all of these items in your house? Honestly, the most important thing here is not the number but rather the fact that forests play an essential role in making sure that our daily lives can keep running smoothly.

That's why major deforestations that are happening all around the world should grab your attention and inspire you to take action to defend our Earth guardian.

May the forests be with you.


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