It’s estimated that around 15bn trees are cut down every year, meaning in the time it takes you to finish reading this story another 171,234 trees will have been felled.
Aside from having a devastating impact on the ecosystems in which these trees exist, deforestation is also actively slowing down our efforts to combat climate change; trees naturally sequester around 10kg of atmospheric carbon every year meaning they play an important role in offsetting global carbon emissions.
Put simply, fewer trees in the world leads to higher CO2e levels in the atmosphere.
In fact, according to new research from global heating company Viessmann, who looked at how many trees are needed to offset many of our day-to-day activities, a massive 327bn trees are needed to offset the world’s yearly carbon footprint.
On a much smaller scale, Viessmann’s research found that to offset the carbon footprint of the average person like you or me, around 825 trees are required, due to activities like watching Netflix, sending emails, and charging our phones.
So, the world is in desperate need of some trees.
Fortunately, there are a number of projects across the world trying to ensure it gets just that.
The UK’s leading developer of woodland carbon capture projects, Forest Carbon work with organisations to support the planting of new woodlands, and have worked on over 200 projects in the UK. Between 2006 and 2020 they have supported the planting of over 9.5m trees.
The 200+ woodlands Forest Carbon have helped to create range from 5 acres to 500. They’ve been made possible through partnerships with organisations large and small, from sole traders to global industry leaders. You can check out their project locations using the interactive map on their website.
UK TREE PLANTING IN DODDINGTON NORTH
Back in 2018 planting started on an ambitious project, converting an old cattle and sheep farm into the UK’s largest private woodland in over 30 years. 350 hectares of new woodland – 680,000 trees – have been planted.
Run by the company Pennine Forestry, the Doddington North woodland is made up of a mix of native broadleaf trees such as birch, alder, aspen and oak and the commercial timber species, sitka spruce.
EDEN REFORESTATION PROJECTS
Eden Reforestation Projects is a nonprofit organisation that works in developing countries to rebuild natural landscapes that have been destroyed by deforestation, and while their main goal isn’t to help combat climate change, their work still helps achieve this. They currently have projects in over seven countries including Nepal and areas of Central America.
Anyone wishing to contribute to their work can donate through their website, with the money going towards planting new trees in their ongoing projects and they even allow you to plant trees in memory of a loved one or as a gift.
INDIA’S RECORD PLANTING
An older project, which started back in July 2016, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh set a new world record in mass tree planting when 800,000 volunteers planted 50 million trees in a single day. The record was then broken the following year once again by India when the state of Madhya Pradesh had 1.5 million volunteers planting 66 million tree saplings in just 12 hours.
The country’s efforts have let very little stop them, including the ongoing pandemic. Just last year, 2m socially distanced volunteers in the Uttar Pradesh state planted 250 million saplings.
TURKEY COMBATS DESERTIFICATION
Currently facing increasing threats from wildfires and even the possibility of desertification, Turkey decided to take action and initiated its own record setting planting project.
In 2019 the government announced that November 11th would become the National Forestation Day and in the first year, volunteers planted 11 million trees in more than 2,000 locations across Turkey. The Northern Anatolian city of Çorum even managed to break the world record for the most trees planted at a single site in one hour – achieving 303,150 saplings.
Last year’s event didn’t get as much publicity, but Turkey has set a goal to plant a total of 7 billion young trees by the end of 2023.
At a time where the effects of climate change are more obviously felt and yet the action needed appears far too monumental, it is very easy to start to feel helpless and overwhelmed. Ecosia, a search engine, is a simple, free way in which we all can help with the essential replanting of trees worldwide.