• Michele Zampa

Seeds of Change: OneTreePlanted


Most people reading this article will be familiar with the issue of deforestation – we have all seen videos of a bunch of people with big machines cutting down forests of trees. However, it is rare to hear about the reverse process. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the non-profit organization OneTreePlanted (OTP), established in Vermont in 2014.

The core idea of OneTreePlanted is pretty straightforward: donate a dollar and a tree will be planted for you. They’ll plant it in North or South America, Asia or Africa. However, if you want to get more involved, you can either participate in a fundraiser or start one yourself. Nonetheless, even if the participation of several individuals indeed carries weight, I found that one of the most interesting features of this organization was the willingness to engage corporations as well. There are various options here too: OneTreePlanted can either offer their help in making the business more sustainable and the team more aware of environmental issues or the business can choose to plant a tree for every product it sells.

I think this second option could have a lot of potential: just imagine a company the size of, let’s say, Apple planting a tree for every IPhone it sells. Imagine thousands of trees for the thousands of iPhones we purchase on a daily basis! Sadly, I believe we are nowhere close to the above mentioned scenario, however it’s reassuring to know that somebody is trying to involve corporations on such environmental issues. And they are starting to have some small successes: RBC took advantage of their environmental counseling by offering a seminar on sustainability to its dependents and Bell donated 1000 dollars. Sure, that is not much given the size of these companies, but it’s a start nonetheless.

However, especially if you live in Canada, you might think that deforestation is not such a pressing issue; it’s pretty hard to look somewhere and not see a tree around here. It does not seem like we are going to run out of trees anytime soon. However, if you take a moment to check out the OneTreePlanted’s website, you will realize what a big misconception that is.

Here we are provided with some chilling true facts about trees: for starters, 80% of the world’s forests are already gone. Of the remaining 20%, 80000 acres disappear everyday (in other words, a forest area of a football field disappears every 2 seconds). Moreover, only 20% of the remaining forests are properly protected.

Now, If you have not considered these astonishing facts about our world’s forests, you might want to consider the reasons why we actually need them. Trees reduce the effect of greenhouse gasses by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They also produce oxygen, that stuff that we love to breathe. Moreover, they host the great majority of terrestrial biodiversity, provide prime material for health products, regulate climate, and the list goes on.

So, if you feel generous today or just considerate about the planet you live in and you want to get more information, I strongly advise you to check out the OneTreePlanted website, see for yourself, and maybe plant a couple trees. That’s what I’m going to do.

Bibliography

"One Tree Planted." OneTreePlanted. Web. 7 Oct. 2015.

Visit the official OneTreePlanted website at: http://onetreeplanted.org/


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