Let's Plant Some Trees
What if I told you that you could plant trees without even getting your hands dirty? I've got some tips that are low-effort for you but huge wins for the planet. Introducing: Ecosia, Tentree and Woodsnap.
But first, why invest in planting trees? Well, they are medicine for our planet. In a time when temperatures are rising and climate change threatens, trees absorb C02 and other pollutant gases whilst churning out oxygen. Large forests create clouds which reflect sunlight and cool our planet and these forests too are home to millions of species, as well as provide food worldwide for the 1.6 billion people whose livelihood depends on it. Forests also create fertile land (no trees = desert), preventing floods whilst soaking up water and reducing droughts. Pretty magical stuff.
Without much further ado, here are three companies who invest part of their profits into planting trees:
Ecosia is the search engine that plants trees with the ad revenue it racks up each time you search. It's free and available for your computer or smartphone. Each time you use their search engine, Ecosia responsibly invests their profits into sustainably planting trees. Around 7 million people actively use Ecosia as their default search engine (including me) and the income generated means they can plant one tree every 1.7 seconds. That's 19 million since they started.
Ten Tree is a Canadian casual wear brand that plants 10 trees for every item they sell. They have 20 projects in 6 different countries and last year they planed 7 million trees (their running total is 18 million). As well as using sustainable fabrics to make their garments, Ten Tree donate to organisations in need. Last year they gave $8K to fresh water well drilling, $9K to wildfire relief and $8K to maternity health and education.
Woodsnap are a photo printing company who print photos on wood (don't worry, it's sustainable wood). For every WoodSnap product you create with them, they plant a tree. Simple. They also implement Fair Trade standards in their own tree-planing farms.
Although we use paper like it grows on trees (pun intended), our dependency on paper-products may not be as sustainable as you think. Whether it's the paper we write on or the to-go cups we sip or the toilet paper we buy, companies which chop down trees aren't necessarily replanting them and we need to keep an eye on that. Read the labels of the paper products you buy to check that they upkeep sustainable forestry habits. A subtle contributor is the disposable coffee cup. Whilst lots of products can be made from recycled paper (yey for the world), coffee cups can't. The risk of germs is too high so coffee cups are always made with new, bleached paper. Not awesome for the planet, especially considering over 500 billion disposable paper, styrofoam and single-use plastic cups are used worldwide annually.