Teddy Roosevelt / United Gold Wildlife Initiative
*Trees Planted to Date: 12,464
*The total number of trees that you see above is the forest we are growing. These trees restore landscapes, sequester carbon, create rainfall and provide a habitat for wildlife.
“To exist as a nation, to prosper as a state, to live as a people, we must have trees.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
WHY PLANTING TREES HELPS TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
IF you’ve been paying attention to the climate crisis, you’re probably aware that humans are at least partially responsible, and that we release massive amounts of CO2 and other GHGs into the atmosphere every year (around 40 billion tons). So what can you do to address your impact and flatten the carbon curve? You can begin by bringing more attention to your lifestyle and habits — and how much CO2 those activities release as a result..
WHAT IS YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT?
A carbon footprint refers to how much CO2 we produce in our day-to-day lives. The more energy you use, the bigger your carbon footprint — even if you’re far removed from the smoke stacks and power plants that combust fossil fuels and power our lives. So what's an adventure-loving environmentalist to do?
All of the following can help to reduce your carbon footprint:
Trade your car for a hybrid or begin biking, carpooling, or using public transportation
Make your home more energy-efficient
Purchase locally produced food and other products
Pay to offset your carbon emissions
Plant trees to reduce your carbon footprint
Source your energy from renewable sources
Because our lifestyles and access to resources vary, carbon reduction looks different for everybody — but it's likely that if you look around and consider how you can reduce your carbon emissions, something will stand out as a clear next step.
PLANTING TREES WILL SEQUESTER CARBON IN THE FUTURE
Because trees use carbon dioxide to build their trunks, branches, roots, and leaves, they are natural carbon absorbers and help to clean the air. In fact, one mature tree can absorb up to 48 lbs per year! And the benefits don’t stop there: healthy trees hold the soil together, provide a home for wildlife, regulate temperatures, slow the flow of water through landscapes, grow vital foods and medicines, and more.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy's 2017 analysis via their now defunct Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, the average American emits around 16.2 metric tons of CO2 from fossil fuels each year. To offset that, they should plant around 8-10 trees per year.
But as awesome as tree planting is, any project is only as effective as the planning that goes into it. While it’s always important to prioritize trees that are native to a planting area, different species accumulate carbon at different rates. And while it may be tempting to plant fast growing trees that can absorb more in the short term, the better option is to plant a mix of fast and slow-growing trees to ensure steady and timely sequestration.