Environmental Issues: Deforestation and the conservation of forests

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If you live on earth, you are affected by environmental issues like deforestation, air pollution and more. Whether you want to admit it or not, you have a responsibility to take care of the earth. Each year we are adding more and more issues to the list that needs tending. At Sabie Poles, we no longer choose to look the other way but want to educate our readers on a vital environmental issue that affects us in Southern Africa: Deforestation.

What are environmental Issues?

Environmental issues are defined as problems with the planet’s systems (air, water, soil, etc.) that have developed as a result of human interference or mistreatment of the planet. – Your Dictionary

While there are multiple environmental issues in the world (view complete list here), we want to bring attention to a few of our very own here in Southern Africa:

South Africa’s top environmental Issues:

  • Climate change and variability
  • Desertification-land degradation
  • Deforestation
  • Urbanization
  • Health hazards
  • Population
  • Waste and littering
  • Pollution
  • Poverty

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to environmental issues. If you are looking to read up about these issues you can view an overview of Southern Africa’s environmental issues here. 

But because we are in the wood industry and we are passionate about forests, wood and all things natural. We want to focus on a major one: Deforestation.

What is deforestation?

Deforestationclearance, or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a non-forest use.[2


8 Facts Regarding Deforestation:

  1. Forests cover 30% of the earth’s land.
  2. It is estimated that within 100 years there will be no rainforests.
  3. If the current rate of deforestation continues, it will take less than 100 years to destroy all the rainforests on the earth.
  4. Soil erosion, floods, wildlife extinction, increase in global warming, and climate imbalance are few of the effects of deforestation.
  5. Deforestation affects water cycle. Trees absorb groundwater and release the same into the atmosphere during transpiration. When deforestation happens, the climate automatically changes to a drier one and also affects the water table.
  6. About half of the world’s tropical forests have been cleared, according to the FAO.
  7. It is estimated that 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation, according to the WWF.
  8. In 2016, global tree cover loss reached a record of 73.4 million acres (29.7 million hectares), according to the University of MarylandDeforestation: and conservation of forests

Why does this concern you? Effects of Deforestation:

You might be reading this thinking: “How does any of this concern me?” and “Why is a company that cuts down trees, writing about saving trees?” and we have answers to your questions.

Firstly, let’s start off by saying that all environmental issues affect all people living on the planet earth. At Sabie Poles, we are passionate about the environment and saving it, and you should be too.

Why does this concern you?

Deforestation is an environmental issue that has a wide reach and effects various other environmental issues. Furthermore, it is a major contributing factor to global warming, Emission of greenhouse gases, Carbon stores in the soil, Reduced net oxygen levels, Biosphere instability.

This will turn into worldwide problems that each of us deals with on a daily basis in the future. Therefore, it is your responsibility as an inhabitant of the planet earth to start doing your part when it comes to the conservation of forests.

What can you do to help decrease deforestation?

There are many contributing factors to deforestation.

  • Paper usage
  • Making space for agricultural land
  • Urbanization

What you can do, in your daily life, is to buy products that are eco-friendly and re-usable packaging.

In South Africa, we have many companies that specialize in eco-friendly products and packaging.

Why is a CCA Treated Poles (SABS approved) supplier talking about forest conservation?

We know what you’re thinking. This makes no sense. But here are the facts:

  • On average (in 2013) it takes 22 fully mature trees to build a home the size of 252 square meters.
  • Untreated Timber lasts about 6 months (Depending on weather conditions, season and exposure to insects and other factors)
  • Treated Timber lasts a minimum of 20 years, but can last a lifetime (let’s say 100 years) if painted and well looked after

When opting to build a house/ shed /garden bed/picket fence/ kraal and more, and you use untreated timber the chances of you having to replace that construction in the following year is relatively good.

Untreated Timber

Let’s use the example of constructing a house of 252 square meters:

Initially, you will use 22 trees, with untreated timber/wood. Consequently, you will have to replace and “patch up” certain areas of the house once a year. In the course of 80 years, you will have used 1,760 trees to maintain the integrity of your home. (This is assuming that the wood lasts a year).

With this, the same logic applies to when you are building a garden bed, picket fence, garden shed etc.

You will be replacing and maintaining your construction on a bi-yearly or at least a yearly basis.

Environmental Issues Deforestation

CCA Treated Timber (SABS approved)

Let’s use the example of constructing a house of 252 square meters:

As stated above, you will initially use 22 trees for the construction. But because the treatment of the Timber is according to SABS standards, it has a life expectancy of at least 15 years+.  As a result, it means that over a course of 80 years, you would have used 117 trees to maintain the integrity of your home.Also, the same logic applies to any wooden construction projects.

In conclusion, when using treated timber to build your home, you will be saving at least 1643 trees from being cut down.

Every time you use CCA Treated Timber for your construction projects, you help in reducing the harvesting of trees. Consequently, there is a reduction in deforestation.

The great thing about CCA Treated Poles (SABS approved) is the fact that it has different classes. The application of the wood determines the treatment. You can read more regarding the different CCA Treated Timber classes on our previous blog post:

I want to help with the conservation of forest, but will you have the correct CCA Treated Timber products?

The good thing about CCA Treated Timber (SABS Approved) is that we can treat almost any timber sizes.

You can use CCA Treatment on both Eucalyptus and Pine (The two most used building material in Southern Africa).

CCA Treated Poles (SABS Approved)

AT Sabie Poles, we have a wide variety of CCA Poles (SABS Approved) available in different lengths and widths. You can view the prices and sizes of our poles here.

Poles can be used for a variety of constructions like Timber Log Homes, Cattle or other livestock kraal/pens, Decks, Vineyard Poles. 

Square-Cut CCA Treated Timber Poles

Square-cut poles are the latest trend to create the most beautiful aesthetics in the architectural world. It is perfect for decking and other flooring, fencing, and creating patterns and designs that are pleasing to the eye.

CCA Treated Laths

These are thin gum poles that are mainly used horizontally in lapas and thatch roofs. Many people use these laths for decoration on fences and “lapas”.

If you have any questions regarding our products, you are welcome to contact us.  

In conclusion, while deforestation is a major issue, you can assist in the reduction of it.

By simply choosing where you shop carefully, and making use of quality CCA Treated Timber you are making a difference in the deforestation epidemic.

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