Whether you’ve seen the latest David Attenborough documentary on Netflix or not, the fact that the natural world is suffering is inescapable. Climate change is a real and immediate threat – the wildfires in Australia and the US this year have been catastrophic – and it’s not going away. There is a global target of reducing the rise in temperature to 1.5C, this way the Earth could avoid the worst effects of climate change, but according to recent reports, there is now an increased chance that temperatures could exceed that figure in the next 5 years. Reports like this scare me so much, and as much as I try to live a sustainable life, I know I can always do more. So today, I tried to make the world a little greener and planted a tree (or 10).
This is where I confess that I personally didn’t plant a tree, my track record of planting things isn’t a strong one. No, I donated money to a non-profit organisation called I Plant a Tree who will plant my chosen amount of trees when rebuilding a destroyed forest area in Germany. Through I Plant a Tree I will be able to see roughly where my trees have been planted and a guesstimate of how much carbon emissions they’ll have saved.
There are hundreds of charities dedicated to the planting of trees for a reason – they are one of the cheapest and greenest ways to address climate change. They naturally absorb carbon emissions out of the atmosphere and provide homes for diverse wildlife. In fact, they are so important in the fight against the climate crisis, that the Trillion Tree Campaign, an effort to plant a trillion trees this decade, was announced by the World Economic Forum earlier this year, which even had attendee Donald Trump’s backing.
This was so easy to do, it almost doesn’t count as a new thing. It’s something small that I could afford but hopefully can make a big difference. Planting trees in Germany isn’t the best way to address climate change, trees in the rainforest or more tropical climates are more efficient at absorbing CO2, but it’s a way I can help the environment and local wildlife too. I will definitely be considering donating trees as alternative Christmas presents this year