Despite a few voices to the contrary, we know what the price of modern society’s dependence on carbon-producing power and technology is. The climate has already started to change, and that change could soon spiral out of control.

We’re past the point that reducing or even eliminating CO2 production can help. We have to find ways to actively remove that carbon form the atmosphere, or the Earth itself could become all but uninhabitable.

So how will we do this? What huge, shiny machine will the men and women in the white lab-coats give us to save our climate? None. Machines can’t really do this. We need to look to something much more basic, and something we already understand.

Plants. Forests and trees. Every green leaf pulls carbon form the atmosphere and replaces it with oxygen. We all learned that in school. But what we may have overlooked is the fact that every twig, stick and log is a solid, enduring trap for carbon, and for once that ‘waste’ comes in a safe, non-toxic and immensely useful form. Wood and forest products, harvested and produces in a carbon-neutral manner, are truly the future.

Every time you select a forest product over some other material, you are not only removing that piece of wood or paper’s weight in carbon from the atmosphere, you are also removing the carbon that would be dumped there when a piece of plastic, or concrete or steel is produced to do the same job.

Lastly, be selective when you buy forest products, or products packaged or shipped using forest products. Chose ones which proudly proclaim themselves to come from sustainably managed forests and ecologically friendly processes. After all, healthy, living forests can get us out of this mess. Clear-cut ruins can only make the problem worse!