Are Your Kids’ Books Killing Tigers?
—By Zaineb Mohammed
Getting your kid a book this holiday season? Before you pat yourself on the back for not buying some plastic crap destined for the dump, consider this: The book you bought might actually be destroying the rainforest.
On Wednesday, the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) announced that in the pages of several popular HarperCollins children’s books, it had found controversially sourced wood fibers, possibly connected to the destruction of the Indonesian rainforest.
RAN conducted independent forensic fiber tests on seven books and found that Splat the Cat: The Perfect Present for Mom & Dad, Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued from the Past, and Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas were composed of between 6 and 25 percent acacia fiber. According to RAN forest campaigner Robin Averbeck, ninety percent of acacia fibers come from plantations on land that used to be Indonesian rainforest.
Indonesia has the world’s third largest rainforest, which contains 10 percent of the world’s known plant species, 12 percent of known mammal species, and 17 percent of known bird species. But the rainforest also has one of the world’s highest rates of deforestation, and Indonesia is the third largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, with about 80 percent of its emissions coming from the conversion of peatlands and natural forests.