You can Plant Trees Through the Action of Your Daily Life

By Alice Grendon | TCAT Communications Coordinator 

Many of us know trees play a critical role in creating a climate safe future. It is not enough to simply cease producing emissions. We must actually draw down Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) from our atmosphere and sequester carbon in the soil. Project Drawdown lists reforestation among the top 5 most impactful ways to sequester carbon. If you want to learn more about the role of Trees in addressing climate change, check out this Webinar from our Tree Action Group.

There are a few small, simple things we can all do to support reforestation efforts just through the actions of our daily living. I want to be clear that these actions are not the same as carbon offsets where large corporations pay to continue polluting by giving to tree planting efforts. We need corporate polluting to halt AND sequestration efforts on top of that if we are to have a livable planet. The actions below are steps you personally can take to contribute to reforestation while you go about your regular activities:

I would wager a guess that we all use search engines like Google, Firefox, or Safari, probably every day. A simple thing you can do if you are a Google Chrome user is download the free Ecosia chrome extension. It works with Google’s search engines to bring you the same search results, but Ecosia takes the ad revenue they earn through your searches and uses it to plant trees worldwide through community partnerships in 30+ countries. And if you ever are having a hard time searching something through Ecosia you can always still go to Google’s home page. So all the internet browsing you do anyway can get trees planted where they are needed most. Click here to learn more and download Ecosia as your web browser. 

You can also plant trees instead of earning air miles. Many of us probably use credit cards as the credit system has become an integral part of surviving within the economic structure of the U.S., whether we believe in it or not. There are credit card companies like Aspiration, or debit cards like Treecard that plant trees with your purchases instead of perks that exacerbate the climate crisis, like air miles. In my view the purpose of these options is not to offset your personal carbon footprint. I believe it’s imperative that we live lighter on the earth no matter what. But since most of us use debit and credit cards to make purchases regularly, why not donate trees at the same time?  

I don’t believe carbon offsets will get us out of the mess we are in, and I am not advocating for corporations paying for their pollution. But I do believe that planting more trees is a good and necessary act. So if the actions many of us already take in our daily life can plant trees at the same time, great! Let’s plant trees with our morning coffees or daily web searching while continuing to engage in local action and work for systemic change.  

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