Start to save the planet in your own small way with these inspirational initiatives.

Last Sunday, Sir David Attenborough laid the climate crisis bare in his BBC show, Extinction: The Facts, a show that both Chris Packham and the Rev Richard Coles have called 'compulsory viewing.' Climate change experts agree that, in order to even begin to achieve our carbon reduction targets, we need to more than double the number of trees we plant. For more information on the programme, click here.

Last year, the Committee on Climate Change recommended that we increase woodland cover to seventeen per cent by 2050 (which means planting at a rate of 30,000 hectares every year until then).

In response to the findings, The Woodland Trust said: ‘The UK needs renewed ambition when it comes to tree planting and woodland expansion. The scale of what needs to be achieved to reach net zero targets is obvious.

‘Let’s not shy away from the truth. It will be a challenge, it will cost money, it will mean tough choices. But the human race is at a crossroads for our environmental future. To avoid climate breakdown we have to act. That’s the reality we live in.’

Looks like it is time to act, then. Here are the sites that enable you to do just that.

Tree Nation


tree-nation.com


On a mission to reforest the globe, this site was set up to allow you to plant trees from the comfort of your own home. First, you choose which of Tree Nation’s planting projects you’d like to contribute to. Then, you choose which of 300 species you’d like to plant. Next, you choose how many trees you’d like to go for. Then, you hit a button called ‘plant your trees’, pay your bill and Bob’s your uncle. It is very cool.

Sapling


saplingspirits.com


For every bottle of premium British vodka that the smart people at Sapling make, they plant a tree. The team says: ‘There are many companies that are carbon neutral or plastic-free. But we wanted to give something tangible back to the environment. Being neutral didn’t quite cut it for us, so we decided to go carbon positive by planting trees.’ You can even track the tree planted by the purchase of your bottle by entering your unique number in the Tree Tracker box. Heavyweight reviewers are raving about the brand. GQ magazine says: ‘Not only is Sapling homegrown and of the highest quality, it’s also a sustainability superstar.’ House & Garden magazine says: ‘With Sapling, you can drink with a conscience and help restore the world’s forests.’ It’s pretty difficult to find a downside.

The Woodland Trust


woodlandtrust.org.uk


Established in 1972 around a kitchen table in Devon, the Woodland Trust is now our largest woodland conservation charity. They want to make sure that everybody in the UK has the chance to plant a tree. To that end, they are giving away hundreds of thousands of trees to schools and communities – as well as plenty of advice on how to choose, plant and care for them. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

Ecologi


ecologi.com


Created so that individuals like you can personally tackle climate change, Ecologi, formerly Offset Earth, is a movement that uses its members’ fees to fund valuable climate projects. Described as ‘the perfect-sized plan for an average British citizen’, a basic package costs £4.50 per month. With this money, Ecologi plants 12 trees every month and ensures that one footprint (which they describe as 14 tonnes of CO2) is removed every year. A more expensive plan funds the planting of more trees and the removal of more footprints. Clever, no?

Ecosia


ecosia.org


Welcome to the search engine that uses its profits to plant trees. Completely transparent, it publishes monthly financial reports so that you can see exactly where its income goes. Plus, the servers run on 100 per cent renewable energy and every search request removes 1kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. All you have to do is click on the ‘add Ecosia to Chrome’ button and replace your old search engine with this one. By the time we made the switch, Ecosia users had planted 86,184,055 trees and counting.

One Tree Planted


onetreeplanted.org


One Tree Planted is a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to reforestation. Matt Hill, who set it up, says: ‘When I started One Tree Planted in 2014, my goal was simple: make it easy for people to understand the importance of trees and make it even easier to get trees in the ground. I wanted to highlight the important work these planting organizations were doing, and get more businesses looking at tree planting as a way to give back.’ Its aim in 2019 was to get four million trees into the ground. It is easy to get involved. You donate online. It pools the donations. Its partners grow saplings. Trees are then planted, maintained and monitored around the world. Voila.

If you liked reading this, then you might like:

Five Online Steps To Reduce Your Fashion Carbon Footprint
Best British No Car Days Out
Romantic Train Journeys

September 2020
By Becky Ladenburg

Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.

FIND OUT MORE