How Our Own Wellness Involves the Wellness of Our World

How Greenpeace Helps Save Our Forests

Our personal wellness is inextricably linked with the wellness of our planet

Canada recently emerged as the world’s worst country for loss of intact forests, largely in the Boreal Forest. After putting it off for quite a while, I decided to join Greenpeace and do something to help change this. I wanted to help save our forests and raise awareness of what we need to do to help slow down climate change too. 

Many Canadians Feel the Same Way I Do About Urgent Environmental Concerns

At the end of November I took part in Greenpeace's Best Buy activity to stop the store's current purchasing arrangement from Resolute Forest Products, which sources its forest products from the Boreal Forest in an unsustainable way. Resolute Forest Products is a controversial Canadian pulp and paper company that has previously been exposed for logging in endangered forests and for repeatedly violating forestry regulations.

Our Greenpeace group talked to people on the street outside the Best Buy store at Yonge and Dundas streets in downtown Toronto. I found that all of the people I talked to were generally open-minded and supportive of saving the Boreal Forest through our activity. If so many Canadians feel strongly about this, why was Best Buy still buying over one hundred million pounds of paper annually from a company that sources almost exclusively from the Boreal?

How Best Buy Changed Its Policy

It turned out that Greenpeace's two week campaign mobilized over 52,000 supporters across North America. On December 9th the world’s largest electronics retailer, Best Buy, announced major improvements to its paper supply chain to better protect Canada’s Boreal Forest, one of the lungs of our planet and a vital buffer against climate change. For its paper purchases from Canada, Best Buy will shift business away from Resolute Forest Products and now require Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper from this supplier.

Affecting Change About Something Greater Than Ourselves

I believe that wellness of ourselves also involves the wellness of our world. The two are not really separate. There were also some unexpected personal benefits that my participation in Greenpeace's November campaign gave me:
  • A sense of accomplishment in affecting change about something greater than ourselves
  • The reward of really connecting with people on a busy downtown street and changing their minds about something important to all of us
  • The warmth and responsiveness of my team members, who were much more encouraging and helpful than many people who cross my path on a daily basis
  • A sense of having a voice that was being heard
  • The knowledge that if we keep trying, we can stop the dangerous environmental spiral we are currently on


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