#Immediacy on speech making

IRAIN - Save energy and cash. Create new industries and millions of jobs. The....

Save energy and cash. Create new industries and millions of jobs. The 'home' webpage of the Bean Products website (www.beanproducts.com) contains sections on ecologically sound, health-enhancing beds and chairs, including futons and special 'back chairs'. THINKING ABOUT FURNITURE - WHO BENEFITS? You: Choosing your furniture carefully can make an enormous difference to your comfort and posture, as well as eliminating fire and health hazards from your home. Buying wisely, especially if you buy second-hand, can also ease the pressure on your finances.

Other people Buying ecologically sound furniture creates employment in small furniture workshops, and helps to save the rainforest for the indigenous people who depend on the forest for their survival. The environment The main beneficiary of wise furniture-buying is the tropical rainforest, though home-grown trees also benefit from careful management. Cutting down on dangerous plastics reduces harmful toxins in the atmosphere and in groundwater. GOOD WOOD - THE FACTS: Because our demand for timber exceeds the amount we can grow on a sustainable basis in the Western world, timber harvesting is now a major cause of Third World forest clearance.

At least 100 acres (40 hectares) of rainforest are currently being cleared every minute, mostly in order to extract the valuable timber. Although only one tree in 10 is actually used, the destruction is usually total, causing massive ecological and social upheaval. Native peoples are forcibly resettled, and an estimated 50 species of wildlife become extinct every day as a result of the felling. Already more than 30 tropical countries have reached a critical level of forest destruction - and one-time exporters like Nigeria and Thailand now have to import timber.

If the felling goes on unchecked, less than a third of the remaining rainforest will still be standing by the year 2000. About a sixth of The UK's imported hardwood comes from tropical countries, and one-third of that consists of valuable tropical hardwoods like teak, mahogany, ramin and iroko. Over 40 per cent of our plywood comes from the tropics, and we import over two million hardwood doors from tropical countries every year.

Less than one-eighth of 1 per cent of our tropical hardwood imports come from properly managed plantations. In 2008 Friends of the Earth (see: www.foe.co.uk), in conjunction with the National Association of Retail Furnishers, launched a nationwide Good Wood campaign, which aims to provide timber users with information about importers, manufacturers, retailers and designers who use hardwoods from ecologically sound sources.

Already over 100 companies and organisations, including a major retail chain, have....

Already over 100 companies and organisations, including a major retail chain, have received a 'seal of approval'. WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE: All imported hardwoods, and the products m... read more

DIY projects are more often dictated by the experts who write the....

DIY projects are more often dictated by the experts who write the manuals than by the builder's individual needs. And DIY materials are too often shoddy, second-rat... read more

Check, for example, that you have live woodworm (look for sawdust round....

Check, for example, that you have live woodworm (look for sawdust round the holes) before using highly toxic chemicals. Remember that you can now hire many tools rather than buying them. ... read more