Today is Blog Action Day which invites bloggers to use their blogs once a year in unified action to discuss a chosen issue of global importance. This year’s topic is climate change.
In the overarching view the picture is clear. Global warming is occurring faster than ever and is caused by releasing greenhouse gasses, the most common of which is carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere.
We certainly need to do what we can, individually, nationally, and globally to dramatically and quickly reduce our carbon emissions. Action means lots of different things, but one of the things that interests me on all sorts of levels is the planting of trees. It seems straightforward. We need to stop clearcutting rainforests and other areas, and plant more trees. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and release oxygen into the atmosphere. So I’m all about planting trees. It just seems like a good thing to do.
It’s true there is some complex and confusing research that suggests it’s not truly possible to “offset” carbon emissions by planting trees, and that the greatest benefits depend where the planting is done. Planting in the tropics is most beneficial. In mid-latitude locations like the United States and most of Europe it seems that only marginal climate-perspective benefits can be expected. And even further from the equator, planting dense forests may actually be counterproductive, creating a raise in temperature.
Although the greatest benefit to fighting global warming seems to indicate we should focus our most intense efforts in tropical zones, there are additional benefits to planting trees everywhere. They provide shade, attract birds and wildlife, block wind, prevent soil erosion, help clean our water, and quite simply add beauty to our world.
In an effort to encourage everyone to plant trees, here are some possible action ideas:
- Every day offers the opportunity to contribute to Ecotonoha’s project by leaving a brief message on their site which gets posted as a “leaf” on a virtual tree. As the virtual trees grow NEC commits to planting real trees. This is an action everyone can take daily and it costs you nothing.
- Plant your own trees whenever you can. They’re wonderful markers for births, celebrations, memorials.
- Donate money and have trees planted.
Heifer International is another favorite of mine and I whole-heartedly support their mission. You can give a gift of trees or a share of seedlings.
Mokugift is the official partner of the Billion Tree Campaign, a United Nations Environment Program. Mokugift lets you plant trees for $1 and choose where they’ll be planted – Central America, Africa or Asia. You can plant the trees as a gift and send an e-card. This is the organization I’m supporting in the month of October with a portion of all money earned from my business.
I’d love to plant even more trees and you can be part of my efforts. For everyone who leaves a comment here, it’d be my pleasure to plant a tree. I really do believe that each of us can make a difference and I invite you to share that vision also.