Barcodes on Trees will Save Forests

In an effort to prevent illegal logging and deforestation, workers throughout the world’s tropical rainforests are hammering thousands of barcodes into hardwood trees in order to keep track of timber reserves. By implementing barcodes on the trees, firms will be able to comply with tough laws on importing sustainable wood into the US and Europe. Since the entire system is computerized, it makes the timber less prone to fraud than paper-based systems.

Although barcodes won’t prevent trees from being illegally chopped, the system creates a much larger obstacle for those that try to sell or export the wood. By using handheld computers to scan the tags from the moment a tree is felled to its processing and export, the live data is then transferred to a secure database. In addition, when a tree is cut down, another barcode is placed onto the stump and more barcodes are nailed into the processed wood, allowing customs officials to easily audit exports at the docks. With the addition of the barcodes, trees and their lumber will be able to be tracked throughout the supply chain.

Barcodes have already changed the world, so hopefully by placing them on trees, they can save the world as well!