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Philanthropy 09 September 2020

A Year of Tree Planting

This month marks a year since my family and I started supporting 8 Billion Trees, and Mike Muise, Operations Director, wrote to me recently to let me know how our support has helped them over the past 12 months.

At its core, 8 Billion Trees is resolved to increase awareness of the problems associated with deforestation, and offer actionable solutions for combating it. Their goal is to plant 8 billion trees before the world’s population reaches that same number, and I’m fortunate that my family and I are able to support them on this mission, helping them plant trees that offset carbon.

I’m immensely pleased to report that over the last 12 months, we’ve been able to individually help plant 6,000 new trees in areas such as the Amazon, Madagascar, Nepal, Nicaragua and more. In addition to this, because the enterprise operates under a specific, socially conscious goal, proceeds are used to conserve another 10 trees for every new tree that is planted. This means that we’ve helped conserve an additional 60,000 trees over the last year.

8 Billion Trees - Planting Team

Carbon Offsetting

Because the climate crisis seems so insurmountable, it can sometimes feel like we’re individually small and insignificant by comparison. It’s easy to imagine we’re not individually able to make a powerful enough impact to offset carbon in large amounts. That’s not necessarily the case, however. If we all start doing our little bit, change becomes possible – big change. By supporting tree planting activities around the world, and supporting organisations that conserve and protect, every one of us can really help to reduce carbon emissions, combat climate change, and safeguard the future of our world.

Planting Trees Offsets Carbon Emissions

Trees are the lungs of the earth, accounting for around 28% of the Earth’s oxygen, and certain trees sequester more carbon than others. For example, a number of deciduous trees lead the way in offsetting the highest amounts of carbon, while pine tree species are a close second. The Environmental Protection Agency has developed the method for calculating the carbon sequestration of particular tree species based on age, which is why conservation efforts are so crucial to reducing greenhouse gases.

8 Billion Trees currently plants native species in 20 countries around the world, ensuring that the natural habitats are preserved and maintained. They also protect existing trees to maximize sequestration.

Analysing our family’s yearly contribution purely in terms of carbon, they have calculated that we’ve sequestered over 1 million pounds of carbon emissions… an equivalent of 555.6 U.S. tons of carbon (or 496 imperial tons, if you’re a Brit like me). That’s something I feel very good about.

Making a Positive Difference

I firmly believe that each one of our actions has the power to define the future – for either good or ill.

With the world going through unprecedented times with the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, mankind’s focus has very much switched onto survival, and countering the threat. Whilst understandable, it’s important that we don’t lose sight of the fact that vast swathes of the Amazon continue to be cut down at an ever-increasing rate – an area the size of 30 football pitches every single minute. Our need to act gets ever more urgent by the day.

I’m incredibly proud that we, the Hazell family, continue to be able to support the wonderful work of 8 Billion Trees to counter the enormous threat to our planet and the future of all the species that share it with us. We’re also doing our best to support local tree-planting initiatives – every tree planted or saved makes a small difference.

Our future is in our hands.

The Hazell Family wearing t-shirts for 8 Billion Trees

Alastair Hazell

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