Forests – “Earth’s Lungs”

Posted on Apr 22, 2011 11:46:00 AM

Just as our lungs absorb carbon dioxide from the blood and infuse it with oxygen, green plants absorb carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and release oxygen into the atmosphere. The earth’s forests act as Earth’s air purifiers, soaking up the large amounts of carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere. Over describe the image40% of the world’s oxygen is produced from the rainforests(1).

Rainforests are one of the world's primary carbon reservoirs. By absorbing carbon dioxide from the air, storing the carbon and giving us oxygen to breathe, tropical forests act as the Earth's thermostat, regulating temperatures and weather patterns. The loss of our forests contributes to between 12 and 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions each year -- to put that in perspective, trains, planes and automobiles combined contribute to about 13.5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions(2).

Did you know?

  • A 25-acre plot of rainforest in Borneo may contain more than 700 species of trees
  • A single rainforest reserve in Peru is home to more species of birds than are found in the entire United States
  • The U.S. National Cancer Institute has identified 3000 plants that are active against cancer cells. 70% of these plants are found in the rainforest. Twenty-five percent of the active ingredients in today's cancer-fighting drugs come from organisms found only in the rainforest.describe the image
  • Today, no forest can be considered undisturbed
  • Every year we lose over 32 million acres of forests to deforestation
  • It has been estimated that we are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation, which equates to 50,000 species a year

What can you do to help?

At Home

  • Recycle everything you can
  • Re-use brown paper bags as garbage bags
  • Store food in reusable containers
  • Have your water heater insulated free of charge by your utility company
  • Get a free energy audit from your utility company
  • Start a compost pile
  • Pull weeds instead of using herbicides
  • Use mulch to conserve water in your garden

At Work

  • Recycle office/computer paper, cardboard, etc.
  • Print on both sides of paper
  • Think twice about buying "disposable" products. (They really aren't disposable and are extravagant wastes of the world's resources.)
  • Buy paper products instead of plastic if you must buy "disposables."
  • Don't buy products, such as Styrofoam, that are hazardous to the environment or manufactured at the expense of important habitats such as rainforests.


  • Plant a tree
  • Volunteer for local organizations
  • Text "Tree" to 85944 to help the Green World Campaign plant 5 trees! $5 will be added to your phone bill.
  • Donate to the Rainforest Alliance (
  • Spread the word!

OnTrac and the Environment

OnTrac is proud to do its part in saving the forests. Through our promotion of electronic waybills, we save thousands of trees per year. OnTrac also optimizes driver delivery routes in order to reduce emissions that would be released into the atmosphere. To further our reduction of emissions, OnTrac leases its trucks so we continue to have the newest, most efficient vehicles, greatly reducing our carbon footprint. Other OnTrac environmentally friendly programs include:

  • Corporate paper and document recycling program
  • Shipping Material Recycling Program
  • Paperless billing & reporting
  • Trip reduction / car pooling
  • Complete online resources

In honor of Earth Day and our continued dedication to our environment, OnTrac has made a generous donation to Rainforest Alliance. Founded in 1987, the Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. The Rainforest Alliance works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. From large multinational corporations to small, community-based cooperatives, we involve businesses and consumers worldwide in our efforts to bring responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is growing steadily. We promote standards for sustainability that conserve wildlife and wildlands and promote the well-being of workers and their communities.

Please, do your part in saving our precious environment. Thank you.

-The OnTrac Team


  1. WWF
  2. Rainforest Alliance