Trees are so important for our planet, from giving us the oxygen we breathe, absorbing Co2, providing food, and homes for wild life – we can’t live without them. Yet, billions of trees are cut down each year to make room for agricultural land, development, or paper. Trees are one of our best defences against climate change, not only because of oxygen, but also because they provide food and homes to wildlife, which play their own role in the eco-system, without enough trees we have no hope off halting the climate crisis. Here’s little things we can all do to save some trees:
Switch your search engine
Ecosia is a search engine that plants trees with it’s ad revenue. Approximately 45 searches plants one tree, so you can save the Earth without needing to put your phone down. All their servers are run on renewable energy, so they’re not just carbon neutral, they’re taking Co2 out of our atmosphere, and planting native trees where there needed most.
Keep up with Tentree
Tentree posted the above image which became the third most liked photo on Instagram, and as a result will be planting 500,000 trees on Biak Island. The trees will absorb 500,000 tons of carbon across their lifetimes, provide over 5,000 days of work for locals, and provide homes & shelter to wildlife. Tentree also sell clothes, accessories, and more, where for every sale made, 10 trees are planted. Personally, I have my eye on their seed cards.
Buy a Loxtox Box
Lowtox box plant one three per box sold, and are a treasure trove for sustainable products – from zero-waste essentials, snacks, seasonal essentials, seed bombs, to beauty products. They have pre-made boxes such as travel, mindfulness, or plastic-free shaving, but you can also purchase items individually.
So far the ideas have been about others planting trees on your behalf, but if you can plant trees yourself then go for it! Make sure to plant something native to the area, so you don’t disrupt the eco-system. You’ll be surprised at how attached you’ll get and the proud mom feeling that comes with watching your plants grow.
Buy bamboo instead
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing crops in the world, and absorbs more Co2 than trees. Bamboo fibre can be made into almost anything from paper, tissues, toilet paper, clothing, toothbrushes, and more. It’s also compostable so will biodegrade.
Animal agriculture uses approximately 83% of the world’s agricultural land, for only 18% of a average person’s diet. Whereas, a vegan diet cuts land-use by 76%, and halves greenhouse gas emissions (The Guardian). Forests are cut down to make way for agricultural land, and 75% of the world’s soy is grown to feed livestock – not the vegans. One of the best ways to save trees is to try veganism, or at least give Meat Free Monday a go.
Adopt a tree
Adopting a tree or sponsoring trees being planted is also a good way to save trees, and you can adopt or sponsor trees for so many organisations that you can find one you love. For example, if you want to help maintain the rainforest, you might like Amazon Aid, The Orangutan Project, or something more local, which if you’re also Irish, a tree in Dún na Sí Amenity Park might jump out at you.
Say no to palm oil
Palm oil is a cheap ingredient found in almost everything from food to shampoo, but the production of it requires cutting down oil palm trees in the rainforest, which means wildlife loses it’s habitat. The rainforest is also referred to as “the lungs of the Earth”, but has steadily been getting smaller and smaller for decades now as consumerism has taken over. Make sure to read ingredients on products before buying, and also beware that palm oil can be known as different names such as, but not limited to: palm kernel oil, palmate, palmitic acid, stearate, and sodium kernelate.
Planting trees is important, but we also need to protect the trees that we already have. Old hardwood trees are the most efficient at absorbing Co2 and producing oxygen, which is why it’s important to protect them and younger trees aren’t as capable yet. One time an entire motorway in Ireland had to be re-planned because we didn’t want a tree/bush to be cut down – which was actually more for superstitious reasons rather than environmental in this instance but it shows that we do have power in cases like this.
Individuals can make huge changes
A story went viral about a couple in Brazil who planted 2 million trees in 20 years to recreate a forest that had been cut down. Once the trees had grown, the native wildlife moved back into the area and it flourished. Individuals can make astonishing changes if we put our minds to it.
What are you doing to save the trees and live a greener life?
This is not a sponsored post, any companies, organisations, or groups mentioned were included because I agree with their ethos, and was not contacted or asked to include them.