The true cost of IKEA: logging old-growth forests

Those labyrinthine IKEA showrooms full of dirt-cheap shelving units have to come from somewhere. According to a report released May 16 by the Global Forest Coalition, some of them are clear-cut from old-growth forests in Western Russia.

According to the report, the Swedish nongovernmental organization Protect the Forest and the Russian environmental organization SPOK conducted a field inspection in the Russian Karelia, an area along the border with Finland, and found IKEA’s wholly owned subsidiary Swedwood was clear-cutting virgin trees 200 to 600 years old and in areas of “high conservation value.”

Clear-cutting of an old-growth forest by IKEA/Swedwood in Russia

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Possible good news: according to Protect the Forest's recent press release (Sep. 27), IKEA and Swedwood have agreed to meet with Protect the Forest, Friends of the Earth Sweden, SPOK, and Greenpeace Russia to discuss the logging in Karelia.

"The meeting will take place during the fall," says Linda Ellegaard Nordström, board member of Protect the Forest. "We hope that IKEA and Swedwood will listen to the criticism from customers and environmental organizations, and stop logging valuable natural forest."

I've still signed the petition.

One can do better than Ikea, just by going to yard sales and estate sales.  Much better.  Lower price, higher quality.   Cutting old growth forest to make disposable, self-disintegrating, ugly furniture is obscene.


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