Over the last thousand years or so we’ve had a significant impact on our environment. Some say that we’re now at a breaking point, and the extreme climate issues of scorching summers and vicious storms seem to evidence that things need to change. But you don’t need to march in the streets or block bridges to do something – you can do your bit for the environment by planting a tree or two this year.
The Average Person’s Carbon Footprint
Did you know that the average person produces just under 6 tonnes of CO2 every single year? That sounds like a lot – and it is. In fact, as a nation we produce around 360,000,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. This is made up of all sorts of things from electricity and gas in our homes to the production and sourcing of our food, fuel for transport and the luxury products we buy every day.
So it’s no surprise that reducing emissions on a personal level is now the personal goal of many people across the world. But what can you do to make a real difference? Well, you could cycle or walk rather than use the car for shorter journeys, you could better insulate your home so you can turn the thermostat down a few degrees, and you could plant a tree to help offset what you cannot change in your life.
Will Planting Trees Save The Planet?
Honestly? Not by itself. Climate change is such a complicated thing that no single action could possibly reverse it. But by planting a tree you will be offsetting your carbon footprint and making your property and community more beautiful at the same time.
Trees are amazing things. They are natural carbon eaters and form the yin to our yang of unavoidable carbon creation. You see, every living thing on Earth is made up of four basic elements – carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Those four elements make up around 96% of the human body, and they also make up most of the roots, trunk, leaves and branches of trees. The only difference is how all the molecules are all arranged!
But while we humans get most of our carbon through eating food, trees breathe it in the same way we breathe air. When a tree ‘breathes’ it is inhaling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and exhaling oxygen – the exact thing we need as humans to survive. And as the tree grows and matures, a single one can consume around 48 pounds of carbon dioxide every year. So, think of trees as our natural air filters. At a time when we are producing too much CO2 for the environment to handle, what we need is more filters to get rid of it. That’s where more trees can help.
How Can You Help?
When it comes down to it, there are a lot of different ways you can support the environment. And if you do a quick Google search, you will soon be swamped with ideas. But one of the best, in my opinion at least, is to plant a tree (or even more than just one). Though, before you go rushing out to your local garden centre, it would make sense to speak with your friendly neighbourhood tree surgeon to find out which species will thrive in your garden, where to put them and how many.
If you don’t quite have the space for a tree at home? You can always donate to one of the many organisations dedicated to planting trees across the country and the world, like The Canopy Project (1) or Offset Earth (2) to do your bit to reduce your personal carbon footprint.
To book a survey and consultation with one of our ARB Approved arborists for advice on your trees, or to book our tree surgeons to prune/maintain or fell your tree(s), call us on 0208 292 8992.