Recently, the National Tree Day blog discussed a paper in the journal Science that reported that are approximately 0.9 billion hectares of land across Russia, the US, Brazil, Australia and China suitable for reforestation.
When mature, those trees could potentially capture two thirds of human-made carbon emissions – approximately 205 billion tonnes of carbon. The authors of that study stated that forest reforestation at that level is the best climate change solution available.
While that is big picture stuff, I have been thinking about ground roots level action: how we can personally make a positive contribution. Obviously, one way is participating in National Tree Day (which is coming up on 28 July!) by hosting or joining a planting, but there are other things you can do as well.
If you have a yard, you can start by planting some trees there yourself (which is what we have just done at our house). A bonus of this is that you can choose which trees you like best for your space and the wildlife around you (here is a guide from Brisbane City Council with some great tips).
Even a humble lawn is also good for carbon storage and has other environmental benefits, like improving soil quality. If you are in an apartment, you can have small potted trees, but as they have less soil, they don’t store as much carbon as ground-planted trees (they still have lots of advantages though!)
If you have no space to plant a tree, you can donate to Plant a Tree For Me and they will plant native trees to restore bushland, woodland and even rainforests, increasing diversity and providing habitat for our amazing native wildlife. Greening Australia and Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund are other programs to which you can donate – you can even gift a tree to someone.
If funds are an issue, there are still options for you! Ecosia is a perfect example - you can support tree planting right from your computer without spending a cent. Ecosia is a search engine that uses the profits they make from online searches to plant trees. Installing Ecosia as your search engine is a super easy switch to make (you won’t even notice it) and so far they have planted over 61 million trees all over the world.
Another cost free option is volunteering with planting organisations (outside of National Tree Day), like Greening Australia, Trees for Life, Trillion Trees and Conservation Voluteers. The ways you can volunteer vary broadly, and you can also organise corporate volunteering events.
Lastly, many councils, as part of their initiatives to maintain and increase urban canopies, allow you to request the planting of street trees around your property. Our council, Inner West Council just planted 2 trees and some groundcover after we put in a simple online request. Once it is planted, you can care for the tree like it was your own with watering and mulching.
You can do one or all of the above but even just one of these options will help you contribute to combating climate change and that is very good news.
See you next time! - Elise
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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.