Why I'm gifting trees instead of things this year | Melissa Hemsley
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Why I’m gifting trees rather than things

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 Why I’m Gifting Trees Rather than Things

melissa hemsley planting trees

Last year, I gifted trees to all four of my Godchildren in their name.

It’s a small act but an important one (plus the kids love the idea of ‘owning’ their own tree). Trees play an incredibly important role in combating climate change by removing carbon emissions from the air around us. 

The thing is, right now, there isn’t anywhere near enough trees to really make any significant dent in our global carbon emissions and with devastating forest fires happening across the world, from Australia to the Amazon, it’s a serious issue. 

Thankfully, there are more and more brilliant organisations and social enterprises out there planting and growing trees and forests across the world. You can donate to them or buy ‘plant a tree gifts’ for yourself or a loved one.

Beware though. There are some companies out there that aren’t really doing what they say, claiming to help you ‘carbon offset’ by planting trees only to cut them down later on. If you do decide to donate to a tree planting organisation, do your homework on them first! 

There are two tree planting organisations that I recommend:

Tree Sisters is a global network of women planting tropical trees to sequester carbon and directly helping to replenish the world’s forests. Trees in tropical areas sequester three times more carbon than those in more temperate climates. You can pay a monthly subscription for as little as £20 or you can choose just a one-off donation.  

Hometree is based on the west coast of Ireland. Over the past three years, they’ve planted 15,158 native, non invasive trees. They’re a small project, they run tree planting days and you can donate as few as 10 native trees for 30 euros. 

A note on carbon offsetting

Donating to tree planting organisations is a popular way for people to offset the damage caused by their own personal carbon emissions, when taking planes for example. But remember that planting trees alone won’t help to cut our emissions and save the planet.  It has to be done alongside other carbon-cutting, planet-saving actions. 

Even small actions, like reducing how much meat we eat, buying more locally grown vegetables or reducing our plastic packaging can all help to reduce our overall carbon emissions. Plus flying less and stay-cationing more! 

Here are 10 more ways you can travel in a greener way.

PS. Ecosia is a search engine that plants a tree every time you search for something. Use Ecosia instead of Google!

 

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