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Why Planting Trees Is One of the Most Effective Forms of Climate Action

Tree planting is one of the most effective ways for us, as individuals, and collectively, to positively impact climate change.

Weather events have posed significant challenges to communities around the world this year, and they attest to the magnitude of the climate crisis we’re facing. While these events are certainly not new, the rate at which they’re happening signifies an urgent problem across the country and around the world.

For many of us, climate change can feel like an overwhelming challenge. Yet the impact we can have as individuals is greater than we realize. Especially when we all come together. Experts agree that collective action is one of the best ways to address the climate crisis. By focusing our efforts on tree planting and reforestation through initiatives such as #PlantYourChange, which allows you to plant a tree with every purchase, we can help reduce carbon emissions in a meaningful way.

A Growing Climate Crisis

Climate events have been one of the defining issues of the past few years and they show no signs of slowing down. The forest fires raging in Australia, California, and Oregon this year have proven just how far-reaching the effects of climate change can (and will continue to) be.

What’s more, forest fires are just one part of the picture. Hurricanes, droughts, and heatwaves are also on the rise, posing threats to communities around the world.

Image Credit: Rahul Nimje

A Sustainable Solution

Addressing climate change starts with understanding that the climate crisis is bigger than all of us. To combat it, we need both adaptation and mitigation. We also need systemic solutions, and we all need to do our part. Tree planting is one of the most effective ways for us, as individuals, and collectively, to positively impact climate change.

In fact, a study published in Science found that planting trees can be one of the best ways to offset the effects of global warming. The researchers determined that: “The restoration of trees remains among the most effective strategies for climate change mitigation.”

In addition to reducing carbon emissions, tree planting has been shown to increase biodiversity and strengthen ecosystems. Studies have also shown that forests are capable of providing 23 percent of the climate mitigation needed by 2030. Despite that, reforestation efforts account for just 3 percent of the funding dedicated to tackling climate change.

The #PlantYourChange initiative aims to change that and make climate action accessible to everyone. With a goal of planting 100 million trees by 2021, #PlantYourChange enables individuals to contribute to sustainable reforestation efforts by rounding up everyday purchases to the nearest dollar. This can be as simple as buying a cup of coffee or shopping for groceries.

Working together with the Arbor Day Foundation and Eden Reforestation Projects, the initiative, powered by Aspiration, commits to planting one tree for each purchase made and has already planted more than 3 million trees, offsetting 5 million miles of carbon emissions. Best of all, #PlantYourChange doesn’t require you to open a new account or sign up for a credit card—connecting an existing debit or credit card is easy, and you can pause or cap your weekly planting anytime.

As we come to grips with the consequences of climate change, it can be difficult to know how to contend with the challenges we’re facing. Tree planting offers a simple solution with a far-reaching impact. By rounding up a few cents with each purchase, you can reduce your personal carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Article: Irene Huhulea

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