Find out why we rely on trees, how they will help us battle the climate crisis and how to help trees in 7 ways
Life on earth as we know depends on trees. But did you know trees might also be our greatest ally if we're to tackle the climate crisis? Trees sequester carbon from the atmosphere and store it in their trunks, branches, leaves and roots. Global forest restoration could remove two thirds of our emissions from the atmosphere.
If we planted another 1.5 million hectares of trees in the UK we'd reach net zero. These trees would also prevent flooding, reduce temperatures in urban areas and fight pollution. Crucially they'd also help reverse biodiversity loss and the collapse of natural ecosystems.
While 1.5 million hectares of trees seems an overwhelming number, every tree is hugely valuable and each supports its own ecosystem. So how can you help trees? Explore our top tips:
1. Plant a tree!
If you're lucky enough to be able to plant a tree in your garden or a community space, check out this guide from the Woodland Trust. It tells you where, when and how to plant a tree and includes information on native UK species to help you choose a tree that will thrive.
Which native UK trees sequester the most carbon you ask?
1. The mighty oak
3. Beech trees
Also good: London planes, horse chestnuts, black walnuts, sweet chestnuts and hornbeams. Find out more in this guide from Chew Valley Trees.
2. Get young people involved in Young Tree Champions
The Tree Council's Young Tree Champions is a programme that helps young people become a force for nature. Its goal is to inspire teachers and children to grow deeper connections with each other, trees and nature, to learn from trees and strive for every young person to stand up and be heard. You'll find resources to help children and young people engage with the climate crisis, empowering them to speak up and to plant and care for trees. Ideally this programme is delivered in partnership with schools, but there are also lots of activities for young people and their families to get involved with.
3. Dedicate a tree
Whether as a memorial or to celebrate a special birthday or a birth, dedicating a tree is lovely gesture - and planet-friendly too! You can dedicate a tree in the national forest, a 200-square mile forest located in the Midlands, and choose to plant one of a range of native trees.
4. Protect it
Got a particular tree in mind? Established trees are vital as they're already working hard and capturing carbon. In the UK you can apply for a tree preservation order online and protect a tree for (possibly hundreds of) years to come. Trees can be protected on public or private land. This guide from Friends of the Earth explains how to do it.
5. Give a little time
You can support the Woodland Trust's important work by adding trees to the Ancient Tree Inventory, or tracking the changing seasons and adding information to Nature's Calendar. You don't need a garden, just a little time! Find out more about how you can get involved with informal volunteering with the Woodland Trust.
6. Send a card and plant a tree
1 Tree Cards creates contemporary, colourful and fun designs on 100% recycled and FSC-certified card. One tree is planted for every card sold, helping restore forests in Nepal, Madagascar, Indonesia and Haiti. Each card includes a seed token with bee-friendly seeds, ready to be planted too! Have a look.
7. Switch your search engine
Ecosia is a search engine with a difference, because every search plants a tree! Since launching in 2009 they've planted over 150 million trees around the world.
Ecosia generates income from search ads (like most search engines), but instead of making profits for investors, this revenue is used to plant trees. The are also B Corp certified and power all searches using 200% renewable energy!
Our commitment to the natural world
At Good Things we want to be good for people and planet. We donate 20% of profits to charity and since launching in 2019, we've made a donation every year to the World Land Trust, helping protect threatened habitat in Ecuador and Mexico (above), crucial for jaguars and macaws. This land is turned into a reserve, and protected forever. Thank you for helping make this happen!
At Good Things you’ll find inspiring ethical and sustainable gifts that support charities, empower people and protect our planet. Discover gifts for all ages and inspiring ideas like cards that plant trees, handmade cushions empowering people in Tanzania and eco toys made from recycled milk bottles. Have a look at our collections.