Plant trees with the web
In this post we are going to show you three ways in which everyone can contribute to plant trees all over the world, staying comfortably at your own desk.
Why is it important?
Planting trees helps to recover ecological functions and economic value lost with deforestation, improving the lifestyle of the local population, avoiding further deforestation (Lamb et al. 2005; Knoke et al. 2013). At a small scale, reforestation projects increase the food security of the involved populations (Acheampong et al. 2020). At a bigger scale, reforestation contributes to the mitigation of climate change (Kemppinen et al. 2020), since trees sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) during photosynthesis, and release oxygen (O2), that we simply use to breath.
100% free, you just need a click!
There are free browser extensions that will use the profits generated with the ads to plant trees. The first extension that we suggest you is Ecosia, that counts more than 15 millions of users. It’s a browser extension easy to install, available also in the Chrome web store. How does it work? While you search on the web, search ads generate income for Ecosia. Ecosia uses this income to plant trees and contributes to the creation of sustainable farming, resilient to climate changes, that improves soil fertility, water reservoirs and lifestyle of local communities. Besides, you can check in real-time the number of trees planted through your searches on the web.
Treeclicks is another free Chrome extension that allows you to plant trees while shopping online. Treeclicks also uses the income generated with the ads on the website for shopping (eg. eBay, Ikea, Etsy, TripAdvisor, and even LinkedIn) to plant trees and contribute to the sequestration of CO2. Fast to install, one minute of your time will make the difference even when you are relaxing on the web.
Plant while shopping
A lot of brands aim to give a positive contribution to planting trees every time you purchase from them. Imagine how better the world could be if every clothing brand would contribute to a social or ecological cause! Brands can directly plant trees or collaborate with charitable associations, like for example, Tree for the Future. Hereafter we display a list of brands that contributes to plant one or more trees for every purchase (thanks to the Mindful of the Home for providing the list):
- WEWOOD. An Italian brand of watches that plants trees from 2010.
- TENTREE. A brand that produces clothes with eco-friendly tissues, like hemp, organic cotton, recycled polyester, linen, etc. For each purchase, they plant 10 trees!
- AMOUR VERT. A French brand that plants a tree for every tee sold.
- BARON FIG. For each notebook sold, a seed is planted.
- WOODCHUCK USA. They plant a tree for every item sold through their program Buy One Plant One.
- CREATE A FOREST. A Canadian Azienda canadese di abbigliamento eco-sostenibile che pianta 2 alberi per ogni prodotto venduto.
- 4EST SHADES. For every pair of glasses sold this brand plants two trees.
- TREE TRIBE. It’s a brand with items for a sustainable lifestyle. They plant 10 trees for every purchase!
We quote other brands that contribute through purchases to plant trees: whine decanters (PRESTIGE DECANTERS), toys (EVER EARTH), cosmetic products (ZERO WASTE CARTEL). Needless to say, this shortlist is not meant to be complete and there are other eco-friendly brands that contribute to this cause.
There are platforms created to gather donations to support reforestation projects all over the world.
Treedom, founded in Florence is a platform in 2010, is a platform that allows you to follow the growth of the tree that you planted. Plants are grown and planted directly by local farmers. The donations support them also during the years that you have to wait before the plants start to be productive. From its foundation, Treedom planted over 1.000.000 of trees all over the world, Italy included. Each tree has an online profile, it’s geolocalized, photographed, and can be “kept” or virtually donated to another person. It is possible also to give a name to your plants, personalizing the experience of contributing to the production of social, environmental and economic benefits.
ZeroCO2 is another Italian platform committed to growing new trees in a region of Guatemala, a victim of great deforestations. Besides, it started a project of agricultural forestation in the north-east of Italy (close to Trieste). There projects that aim to the environmental safeguard and the soil regeneration, are deeply linked to the social and economic development of the local communities. Their first Italian project will support the work of a social cooperative that deals with job placement and recover of abandoned agricultural lands.
Our small contribution
Using the plugins cited above, anyone can without effort participate to make the world a greener space. Every small action, summed with all the others, lead to a great change. Take for instance the forest created on Treedom by Barbascura X, an Italian researcher/scientific populizer/YouTuber/pirate, that launched the initiative the 24 of February 2020 and managed after only 2 months to gather 766 people (included us) to plant in total 926 trees (numbers related to the 21 of April 2020). We planted a coffee tree, an orange tree and a grevillea. Besides absorbing CO2, they will contribute to environmental protection, food safety and economic development of the farmers to which they will be given.
Acheampong E.O., Sayer J., Macgregor C., Sloan S (2020) Application of Landscape Approach Principles Motivates Forest Fringe Farmers to Reforest Ghana’s Degraded Reserves. Forests, 11, 411. doi:10.3390/f11040411
Kemppinen K.M.S, Collins P.M., Hole D.G, Wolf C. Ripple W.J., Gerber L.R (2020) Global reforestation and biodiversity conservation. Society for Conservation Biology. doi: 10.1111/cobi.13478
Knoke T, Calvas B, Moreno S.O, Onyekwelu J.C, Griess V.C (2013) Food production and climate protection—What abandoned lands can do to preserve natural forests. Global Env Change 23(5):1064–1072. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.07.004
Lamb D, Erskine P.D, Parrotta J.A (2005) Restoration of degraded tropical forest landscapes. Science 310(5754):1628–1632. doi: 10.1126/science.1111773