Reading the news around climate change can be disheartening in our times. It has been estimated that the koala populations in Australia have fallen by as much as 85 % following the months of fire damage on the continent. Every new year brings new temperature records, with 20 °C being measured in Antarctica for the first time earlier this year. Too many governments still take too little action to combat these drastic changes. Thus, it is no surprise that, particularly as individuals and small organizations, we often experience a feeling of powerlessness in the face of this worsening situation.
However, there is plenty of individual action that helps. This, of course, includes cutting down on traveling by plane, saving water and energy at home, or using public transport instead of a car. And, there is one more step you can take to contribute and fight climate change as effectively as possible: planting trees. By this, we do not mean that you need to go out into nature, armed with a shovel, and randomly start planting trees – although that is nothing to be discouraged of – as the solution is much simpler. The start-up, Time4Trees has the mission of planting trees all over the UK and restoring damaged land in the process through consumers´ investment in tree-planting schemes offered by Time4Trees.
Why invest in tree-planting now? Trees play an often-underestimated role in regulating the climate. Through photosynthesis, they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen as a by-product of this process, thus contributing enormously to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The rate of absorption depends on the type of tree and their speed of growth, yet even a young tree, for example, can absorb 5.9 kg of CO2 per year and thus clean up the air. This is why Time4Trees aims to plant our trees in areas of particularly high CO2 emission, such as next to motorways and airports.
Our aim is to plant 500,000 trees in the next three years. Is this ambitious? Yes, but so is the UK´s plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the economy to zero by 2050. Climate change demands action now, and this has to be an ambitious action if it wants to be effective. However, government-led initiatives so far have not had the desired impact and the number of trees planted still needs to be increased considerably. Time4Trees aims to fill this gap by providing planting schemes of which small businesses and organisations can buy shares, thus improving the carbon emission profile of the economy and helping to combat climate change.
Therefore, even if the news concerning our climate continues to be mostly negative, not all hope is lost. It is precisely individualized efforts like the planting of trees that are invaluable in the fight for protecting our environment and planet, generating and maintaining this hope for our future. Scientists have estimated that, from 2020 onwards, we have twelve years left in which our actions will be decisive for how much the temperature of our planet will increase in total. In twelve years, a lot of trees can be planted – with your help.