Most of us recognise that the human race is destroying the natural world and heating our climate to dangerous levels. Thankfully, many of us are keen to do our little bit to make the situation better.
But there’s a lot of apathy out there. Saving the planet sounds a very noble cause, but it takes effort, doesn’t it? Well, not always.
It has become a trendy marketing tool for eco-conscious brands to ‘buy one, get one tree.’ You buy something of theirs, they’ll promise to plant a tree to contribute towards the fight against global warming.
But there are other ways to ‘do your bit’ without spending anything. We’ll look at both here…
Why do we need to plant trees?
Nobody is saying that planting trees will completely ward off dangerous climate change, but it will certainly help the earth restore some balance.
And there are many schemes involving many millions of trees being planted. So your action WILL make a difference,
Planting trees is the best natural solution to fighting climate change, as trees trap carbon dioxide, which is heating our atmosphere and thus raising sea levels, and causing dangerously extreme weather conditions.
Planting trees can also tackle existing health conditions, helping to prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of asthma and other acute respiratory symptoms.
Tree-planting projects are also breathing new life into communities, providing employment (and therefore income) for people, in turn allowing parents to afford to send their children to school, as well as buy medicine and even build homes.
Trees help to regenerate poor quality soils, so that people can live off their land by growing fresh produce.
And who can argue with creating new forests, when they look stunning, support wildlife, help to hold back floodwater, stop deserts from spreading and turn barren ground into fertile land?
So we’ve established that trees are good for the planet and good for us. And you want to help.
No problem. Grab your phone and open the browser…
First of all, let’s look at an initiative that does not involved spending any money. You can save your online shopping for later.
You’ll need to search the web for ethical shopping websites, and you can do that with the Ecosia search engine.
Who needs Google tracking all their movements and storing and sharing all their personal information?
Nobody. Ecosia doesn’t track you, or share / sell your details to any third parties.
And the real beauty is, every time you search for something on the web through Ecosia, it will contribute to planting trees where they are most needed in the world.
Just 45 web searches should translate into buying and planting one sapling, and you’ll be shown a running total of your contribution.
So far, Ecosia has planted more than 120 million trees, from revenue generated by search ads.
Ecosia’s search results and ads are powered by Microsoft Bing, so you know they are detailed and relevant.
Ecosia supports more than 20 tree-planting projects in 15 different countries. It also supports methods of protecting existing trees, such as employing people to manage fire-threatened forests in Brazil.
Ecosia is transparent and publishes monthly financial reports, showing how much money it made from your searches, and what percentage of the revenue went towards planting trees.
Are you ready to ditch your plastic bank card and put a wooden one in your pocket instead? The world’s very first wooden debit card, by the way.
TreeCard will be that first wooden top-up debit card, and it will plant trees with your payments by partnering with Ecosia.
What can you do about it right now? Sign up with your email and join the waiting list!
TreeCard is aiming to arrive in many regions of the world this year. Its ambitious reforestation goal is to plant one billion trees by 2026. Each debit card will be made from sustainably-sourced cherry wood. The core will be made from recycled plastic bottles.
You don’t need to switch banks – TreeCard will be used alongside your existing bank.
TreeCard will make money from interchange – a small fee paid by stores to accept card payments.
More than 300,000 debit cards can be made from the wood of a single tree, which means that only a few sustainably-sourced trees will be needed to make the cards – and of course they will help to plant millions more.
Download Treeapp if you’re in the UK or Ireland, then plant trees across the world in less than a minute.
Choose which reforestation project you’d like to support, check out three messages from sponsors of the scheme, then with one free tap you can plant your tree for the day.
You can also view your global impact and carbon footprint – and you haven’t moved from your seat yet!
This is a free extension for Safari or Chrome browsers, which partners with more than 50,000 well-known stores across the world.
Install TreeClicks and if you shop with one of these stores, TreeClicks will receive a fee – without you having to pay any extra.
TreeClicks uses that fee to plant trees in either the Amazon region, Australia or Tanzania – you decide.
5 Trees For The Future
This incredible organisation has already planted almost 200 million trees in more than 19,000 forest gardens, helping more than 150,000 people and restoring more than 26,000 acres of land.
Its mission is to end hunger and poverty by training farmers to regenerate their land.
Farmers plant thousands of trees that enrich the soil, allowing them to grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Farmers of these forest gardens can access income and food in the first year – all while improving the environment, of course.
You can make a one-off donation, or set up a monthly payment, or dedicate trees to the memory of someone.
TreeTribe is a US-based company with branches across the planet. Branches… get it? Never mind…
The outdoor lifestyle brand partners with Trees For The Future and three other organizations, and has so far been responsible for planting more than 400,000 trees in 12 countries.
Other partners are Eden Reforestation Projects, which has planted more than 250 million trees to date across Indonesia, Nepal, Madagascar, Haiti and Ethiopia.
Also American Forests, which has been protecting forests for nearly 150 years, and Cirenas, a small non-profit based in Costa Rica, which is also a worldwide education hub.
7 Treeborn Wines / WeForest
Have you worked up a thirst yet? Perhaps you’d like to order some organic wine from Treeborn.
Why? Because they’ve teamed up with WeForest, another wonderful organisation that works with communities and authorities to develop scalable reforestation projects.
WeForest has been responsible for planting 22 million trees since 2008. Treeborn can account for more than 170,000 of these.
Global craft brewer BrewDog launched its own ‘Buy One Get One Tree’ scheme, aimed at planting one tree for every pack of beer sold through 2021 – including its non-alcoholic beers.
Partnering, as Tree Tribe does, with Eden Reforestation Projects, BrewDog already announced last year that it was the world’s first carbon negative international beer brand – which involved a massive overhaul of business operations.
Brewdog has more than 102 bars across the world and exports into 60 countries.
To have a tree planted on their behalf, Brewdog customers must visit brewdog.com/tree and enter the code on the bottom of their beer can.
9 World Land Trust
So far responsible for planting more than two million trees across almost 6,000 acres, the World Land Trust puts a great deal of emphasis on the long-term picture.
So your small donation will help to fund every stage of the reforestation process, from seed collection, to growing, planting and protection.
Careful attention is given to which tree species are grown in which area. Saplings are nurtured to ensure that they are successfully established, and the World Land Trust ensures that any trees that do not survive are replaced.
The popular brand of sustainable clothing, much of it suitable for outdoor adventures, derives its name from the promise that one sale will be rewarded with TEN trees planted on your behalf.
The ambitious vision of tentree is to plant one billion trees by 2030. Already they’ve planted more than 30 million trees and restored land in eight countries.
So there you go. All while holding your phone, you’ve had a chance to search the web, buy products or simply donate, and help save the world through tree planting.
Saving the planet doesn’t have to be hard work.