Family photo albums tell many stories—what clothes you wore in various decades, the hairstyle mistakes that now make you cringe—but often it’s the furniture that reminds us of the where and when.
Going through old pictures recently with my adult daughter, I was struck not only by the wonderful family faces, but also by the backdrop, in particular our sofas over the years. Those sofas bore witness to many changes as my children grew and treasured pets came in and out of our lives.
Sofas might be the most loved and abused pieces of furniture in our homes: spilled on by babies, toddlers and careless adults; clawed by cats and gnawed by dogs; flopped on casually by rowdy teenagers. Our couches see our kids through countless sick days and cradle us through life’s highs and lows.
The only photo I can find of me pregnant with my first child is on a stylish linen sofa (purchased with the help of an interior designer family friend) in our first house. Not so stylish is the wild floral thing my three girls are sitting on while mugging for the camera. How did I ever think that sofa was beautiful? Maybe I never did. I know my main consideration in selecting the busy print was to mask spills! It’s interesting to reflect how styles change along with various stages of our lives.
Now that I know about the importance of indoor air quality, I would never bring into my home any upholstered furniture or mattress that did not contain certified foam. From the sheer quantity of calls we receive at CertiPUR-US® offices each day, I know I’m not alone. It gives me one less thing to worry about as I recline on that white sofa with a glass of red wine.
The next time you look at your life in pictures, see if you can put your upholstered pieces in chronological order!
About the Contributor Helen Sullivan is Communications Counsel for the CertiPUR-US® program.
TREES ARE BEING BURNED, DEGRADED AND LOGGED AT ASTONISHING RATES
80%of the world's forests are already destroyed
DEFORESTATION COMES IN MANY FORMS, INCLUDING FIRES, CLEAR-CUTTING FOR AGRICULTURE, RANCHING AND DEVELOPMENT, UNSUSTAINABLE LOGGING FOR TIMBER, AND DEGRADATION DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE.
ONLY 20%of forests are properly protected
TREES PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE WATER CYCLE, GROUNDING THE WATER IN THEIR ROOTS AND RELEASING IT INTO THE ATMOSPHERE. IN THE AMAZON, MORE THAN HALF THE WATER IN THE ECOSYSTEM IS HELD WITHIN THE PLANTS. WITHOUT THE PLANTS, THE CLIMATE MAY BECOME DRYER.
70%of the world’s plants and animals live in forests and are losing their habitats to deforestation. Loss of habitat can lead to species extinction. This is not only a biodiversity tragedy but also has negative consequences for medicinal research and local populations who rely on the animals and plants in the forests for hunting and medicine.
46-58 THOUSAND square miles of forest are lost every year. That's equivalent to 36 football fields every minute
THE UNITED STATES has less than 5% of the world’s population yet consumes more than 30% of the world’s paper.
THE WORLD’S RAINFORESTS COULD COMPLETELY VANISH IN A HUNDRED YEARS AT THE CURRENT RATE OF DEFORESTATION.
50%of all plant and animal species in the world live in tropical rainforests
EVERY 2 SECONDS
man destroys an area of forest the size of a football field
if forests are destroyed through logging or burning, their carbon is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, a climate-changing greenhouse gas.
80,000 ACRES of forests disappear from the Earth every day!
THE REMOVAL OF TREES WITHOUT SUFFICIENT REFORESTATION HAS HAD ADVERSE IMPACTS ON BIO-SEQUESTRATION OF ATMOSPHERIC CARBON DIOXIDE, ALONG WITH DAMAGE TO HABITAT, BIODIVERSITY LOSS, AND ARIDITY.
300 BILLION tons of carbon are stored in the Earth's forests, which helps regulate its climate by regulating atmospheric gases, stabilizing rainfall, and protecting against desertification
121+natural remedies in the rainforest can be used as medicines
DEFORESTATION AND FOREST DEGRADATION CAN CAUSE BIODIVERSITY TO DECLINE. WHEN FOREST COVER IS REMOVED, WILDLIFE IS DEPRIVED OF HABITAT AND BECOMES MORE VULNERABLE TO HUNTING. CONSIDERING THAT ABOUT 80% OF THE WORLD'S DOCUMENTED SPECIES CAN BE FOUND IN TROPICAL RAINFORESTS, DEFORESTATION PUTS AT RISK A MAJORITY OF THE EARTH’S BIODIVERSITY.
28,000species are expected to become extinct by the next 25 years due to deforestation
MORE THAN HALF OF THE WORLD'S TIMBER AND 72% OF PAPER IS CONSUMED BY 22% OF THE WORLD'S POPULATION (THE UNITED STATES, EUROPE, AND JAPAN). WORLDWIDE, INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES CONSUME OVER TWELVE TIMES MORE WOOD PRODUCTS PER PERSON THAN NON-INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES.
20% OF CURRENT GREENHOUSE GASTropical forest destruction accounts for about 20 percent of current greenhouse gas emissions
REMOVING TREES DEPRIVES THE FOREST OF PORTIONS OF ITS CANOPY, WHICH BLOCKS THE SUN’S RAYS DURING THE DAY AND HOLDS IN HEAT AT NIGHT. THIS DISRUPTION LEADS TO MORE EXTREME TEMPERATURES SWINGS THAT CAN BE HARMFUL TO PLANTS AND ANIMALS.
4/10 TREES get chopped down and are processed into pulp for making paper products such as tissue paper, toothpaste, magazines and more...
WITHOUT TREE ROOTS TO ANCHOR THE SOIL AND WITH INCREASED EXPOSURE TO SUN, THE SOIL CAN DRY OUT, LEADING TO PROBLEMS LIKE INCREASED FLOODING AND INABILITY TO FARM. THE WWF STATES THAT A THIRD OF THE WORLD’S ARABLE LAND HAS BEEN LOST TO DEFORESTATION SINCE 1960. CASH CROPS PLANTED AFTER CLEAR CUTTING OR BURNING — LIKE SOY, COFFEE, AND PALM OIL — CAN ACTUALLY EXACERBATE SOIL EROSION BECAUSE THEIR ROOTS CANNOT HOLD ONTO THE SOIL THE WAY TREES’ CAN.
15%of all greenhouse gas emissions are the result of deforestation
HEALTHY FORESTS HELP ABSORB GREENHOUSE GASSES AND CARBON EMISSIONS THAT ARE CAUSED BY HUMAN CIVILIZATION AND CONTRIBUTE TO GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE. WITHOUT TREES, MORE CARBON AND GREENHOUSE GASSES ENTER THE ATMOSPHERE. TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, TREES ACTUALLY BECOME CARBON SOURCES WHEN THEY ARE CUT, BURNED, OR OTHERWISE REMOVED.
700 POUNDS of paper are used by the average US citizen every year