Up until I read The Future We Choose, I didn’t fully understand the impact tree planting could have. As more and more companies use tree planting as their only green initiative, I started to become a bit dubious of them. Brands were using trees to offset their emissions and that didn’t feel good to me. I guess it is better than not doing anything, but planting 1 tree isn’t enough. One baby tree does not equal the amount of emissions you emit into the atmosphere from buying a product.
However, when I read The Future We Choose, I read a chapter on tree planting. It helped me to remember the importance of trees and the positive impact of tree planting. We shouldn’t only be planting trees as a way to ease our guilt, we should be doing it anyway.
This ties in nicely with the latest post for the Climate Change Collective by Michelle, on microforests.
Microforests – A tiny idea with big potential by Boomer Eco Crusader
Michelle shares the history and benefits of microforests. She discovered a Tiny Forest initiative in her region which was a fundraiser for Bereaved Families of Ontario. A tree is such a lovely idea to have in memory of loved ones.
I haven’t heard of a microforest before but it is a “dense tiny forest with high biodiversity.” It involves planting a variety of native trees in patches, commonly in urban areas. There are so many benefits to microforests, including environmental, social and economic benefits.
Since reading Michelle’s post and The Future We Choose, I have wanted to do something. I had a search on the internet and found a local climate youth group which I am looking forward to joining. At the welcome fayre during fresher’s week, I was speaking to the sustainability team, and I’m hoping to join that as well. We are meeting next week, so I hope to find some local like-minded people. There isn’t a Tiny Forest initiative near me, but I am going to suggest it to these two groups and see if we can start a tree-planting scheme in my town.
Continue reading: The impact of tree planting – Climate Change Collective
Impacts of tree planting
There are many benefits of tree planting, including environmental, social and economic.
Environmental benefits of tree planting
Did you know that there are 900 million hectares of land available for planting trees without interfering with agriculture or human habitation? (Bastin et al., 2019). If we planted trees on all of the land available, once they were mature, they would absorb 75% of the CO2 that has been released into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution.
Other benefits of tree planting:
- Clean the air – trees photosynthesis, but also filter out dust and particles to clean the air. Green roofs and houseplants have similar effects.
- Reduce temperatures by up to 10 degrees Celsius
- Reduce soil erosion – trees keep soil in place with their roots, and they absorb water which reduces flooding.
- Biodiversity – provides habitats and food sources to birds, small mammals and insects.
Social/Economic benefits of tree planting
- Reduce energy costs – trees bring the temperature down and shade buildings so no need to have air-con on.
- Trees and green spaces are known to help our mental and physical health.
- Establish a sense of community.
- Improving air quality improves health conditions and reduces medication costs.
Make sure you read Michelle’s post and stay tuned for the next Climate Change Collective post.