It is no secret that we are experiencing an unprecedented rapid warming of our planet at the hands of humans. According to UN, around two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions are linked to private households, and the energy, food and transport sectors each contribute around 20% of lifestyle-related emissions. The UN urges that to preserve a livable climate, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to net zero by 2050, and the transition to a low-carbon world requires the participation of its citizens. From the electricity we use to the food we eat and the way we move, we can and must make a difference.
Strong allies in the fight against climate change are trees, which play a vital role in the health of our planet with their incredible carbon sequestration potential. The problem is that they are being destroyed at an alarming rate and urgent action is needed to stop deforestation and accelerate reforestation. A recent study found that there is currently an area the size of the United States available for reforestation of trees on Earth, and that once mature, these trees could store about two-thirds of the 300 billion tons of carbon that have been released into the atmosphere as a result of human activity. activity.
Reforestation is one of the most powerful tools we have to counter the effects of climate change, and brands like tempterwho have planted more than 60 million trees to date, are making reforestation more accessible through a new program called Climate+. By shining a light on our not-so-sustainable everyday pleasures and making it easier to offset their environmental impact, they demonstrate the lasting impact that a small choice can have.
Make tree planting accessible
Seemingly harmless habits like cravings for burgers at 2 a.m., extra-long showers, or endless hours of binge watching, actually have a bigger impact than you might think. Climate+ lets you plant trees and feel good knowing the carbon emissions associated with your lifestyle have been offset. With packages like Offset to Hipster, Tying the Knot, Avocado Obsession and Fast Fashion Retailer for One Day, tentree makes tree planting accessible. You can even add trees to DeAndre Jordan’s forest of the 50,000 trees he’s planted to date or compensate your favorite influencer for a year. “We wanted to create something for consumers that relates to their lives and connects trees and the environmental impact of trees to their own lives in a fun and engaging way,” said Derrick Emsley, co-founder and CEO of tent.
So how does it work?
Do you think that the time spent soaping up in the shower is not a problem? With estimates suggesting that standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water/minute combined with the energy needed to heat the water, the impact is starting to add up quickly. The tentree team crunched the numbers, and assuming the average person showers 7 minutes longer each day, that equates to 4.024 tonnes of CO2 over 7 years. To compensate for these 4 tons, 20 trees are planted.
And the avocado that garnishes your toast? In fact, it wreaks more havoc on the environment than you might think. With 11 billion pounds consumed annually worldwide, intensive production to meet demand has a significant environmental cost. In the Mexican state of Michoacán, avocado cultivation has a production area equivalent to 196,000 football fields. Forest lands have been destroyed and approximately 9.5 billion liters of water are used daily to produce the fruit. Assuming you eat 1 to 2 avocados/day, that’s 500/year representing nearly 1.5 tons of CO2 over 7 years. To offset this carbon, tentree will plant 7 trees. Even Netflix has carbon emissions. If the average person watches 1.5 hours/day, that equates to about 1.8 tons of CO2/year requiring 9 trees to compensate. Consumers are rewarded for doing good, earning seeds to spend on tentree.com.
Using technology to track trees
So how can you be sure the trees are actually planted? The carbon market is incredibly murky according to Emsley, pointing out that there are reports every week of massive fraud in space, sometimes intentional and sometimes unintentional. “The reality is that we are dealing with an incredibly complex system and it becomes even more difficult with nature-based solutions,” says Emsley. He goes on to point out that this is part of the reason why nature-based solutions are woefully underfunded right now and not accelerating at the pace they need to meet climate commitments.
Because tentree isn’t committing to donating a “percentage of proceeds,” but rather 10 trees planted, it puts them in a very fallible position should they ever determine they haven’t met their pledges, according to Emsley. “To address this, about three years ago we started investing in a technology solution to verify, monitor and ensure there was no double counting in the trees we were funding,” says Emsley. . This technology eventually became green tree; the world’s first integrated plantation management system built with blockchain technology. While it was originally intended for tentree, they have since started rolling it out with a number of other organizations such as 1t.orga campaign with the lofty goal of planting 1 trillion trees by 2030.
Where are the trees actually planted?
For tentree, planting trees is as much a human project as an environmental project, lifting communities out of poverty and enabling planters to support their families. Working with partners like Eden Reforestation Projects, tentree employs workers to plant their trees around the world. In Indonesia and Madagascar, the emphasis is on the reforestation of mangroves. These trees are said to be the best in the world for carbon dioxide sequestration, capturing up to four times more carbon than any other tree species. In Peru, a unique species that can grow at some of the highest altitudes on the planet is planted on the slopes of the Andes. In Senegal, planted trees form a garden-forest system, with multipurpose trees providing more than one product or function. But don’t take tentree’s word for it. Consumers can register their trees and track their impact with their own interactive virtual forest.