Tackling climate change, one tree at a time
In his speech at COP24 on Climate Change, the BBC reported that Sir David Attenborough said “right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years.”
Climate change is a huge and complex issue and, as individuals, we can feel helpless. But there is something we can do – and that's plant trees. Trees are only part of the solution - other changes have to be made to reduce our CO2 emissions but we need to plant more trees, quickly. According to the Woodland Trust, the reality is we need to increase the UK’s woodland cover from 13% to at least 19%, and we’re far from achieving that target.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that global temperatures need to be kept from rising by more than 1.5°C. We've already passed 1°C, so we need to act now. The UN’s sustainable Development Goal 13 urges us all to take action to combat climate change, and right here in the UK there are many charities taking up the call to action. And it’s needed if we are to hit out target as the UK has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, but how can we achieve it?
Trees are the ultimate carbon capture and storage machines. Like great carbon sinks, woods and forests absorb atmospheric carbon and lock it up for centuries. They do this through photosynthesis. The entire woodland ecosystem plays a huge role in locking up carbon, including the living wood, roots, leaves, deadwood, surrounding soils and its associated vegetation.
The bottom line is, we need more trees and we need to protect the ones we already have.
“Forest restoration isn’t just one of our climate change solutions, it is overwhelmingly the top one,” according to Prof Tom Crowther, a British scientist specialising in ecosystem ecology, who is also the chief scientific advisor to the UN's Trillion Tree Campaign. According to Professor Crowther’s recent research, tree planting isn’t just in the top 10 climate change actions, “it is overwhelmingly more powerful than all of the other climate change solutions proposed.”
ChooseWell donates money from the sale of every bottle of hand wash to charities that help protect all life from the effects of climate change. ChooseWell has partnered with the UK based charity, Just One Tree, who plant one tree for every £1 donated.
But it’s not all just about trees says founder, Amanda Bronkhorst. Kelp forests are one of the most productive and biodiverse environments on the planet. They create an oasis of life wherever they grow, providing food and shelter for fish, invertebrates and marine mammals. Plus, they may be a vital tool for mitigating climate change as they can store vast amounts of carbon. Studies suggest that kelp forests may be able to store up to 250 million tonnes of carbon per year, globally.
“We’re really happy that ChooseWell is supporting our vision to restore our planet through reforestation” said Amanda “it makes it easier for everyone to participate in the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, when brands act on their social and environmental conscience.”