As we said before, the great accelerator to climate change is CO2. And, while we all know that we have to reduce our emissions in order to mitigate its effects, there is another road we need to take at the same time: planting trees. How so? As you might remember from your science classes, trees release oxygen as well as absorb carbon dioxide. So if we plant enough trees we could reach the zero emissions target.
Now, before you go to the nearest florist or order online as many trees as you like, let’s just plan(t) it carefully.
Before deciding which tree to plant in the chosen area, it is best to consider the surrounding wildlife, as well as climate and soil. This allows the trees to thrive, to be a house for the near wildlife and to be less dependant on human intervention.
General election 2019 brought many pledges on tree planting from different parties. Conservatives committed to plant 30 million trees a year, while Liberal Democrats pledged to do twice as much by 2025. At the same time, experts from the Committee on Climate Change said 30,000 hectares of woodland should be planted per year to help absorb UK CO2 emissions. Currently, we are not at the lowest we’ve ever been on the matter, but we are not even halfway through. In the year to March 2019 about 13,400 hectares were planted. We still have a long way to reach the target – which, by the way, we met in 1989 and never did again, hitting the lowest in 2010 with just over 5,000 hectares planted.
As you can see, there is still a lot of work to do and you might be wondering how you, as an individual, can help. The first thing you can do is respond to this survey issued by the government. It’s a consultation aimed at presenting a well-thought England Tree Strategy, which may help reach the target.
After that, check out the following projects and get involved.
What started in 1972 as a group of friends wanting to save an ancient woodland in Devon, is now a great project that is saving woods and the world at the same time. Going through the Woodland Trust website you’ll feel their commitment, from protecting woodlands to planting trees, to campaigning for new laws to protect them all. You can buy trees from their shop to plant in your own space, you can find or create your own community wood where you can take an active role and feel like you’re part of the change, or you can volunteer or campaign with them. Look through their whole website and discover their project and find out the many ways you can get involved.
Also a great project, the National Forest started off as a regeneration plan for a land scarred by centuries of coal mining. It grew into 200 square miles of mixed habitat forest that can be enjoyed by everyone. To help them, you can make a donation, be a volunteer or plant a tree in your garden or with them.
And if you want to spread the word and involve your friends and family in this adventure to save the world, look no further. Treedom is an international project that allows you to buy a tree that will be planted in Africa, South America or Italy. Anybody from any part of the world can do it. You’ll receive constant updates on your tree, from the day its seed is planted through its whole growth. And you can decide to keep it for yourself or gift it to someone else.
These are all the great project we found. As always, let us know any project like these we might have left out so that we can share them with all our community.
Let’s save the world together!