How planting trees can (and does) make a difference

 

As 2020 progressed, there was a definite uptick in nature photos posted across social media. As friends and family took their government-mandated walks, or watched the world wistfully from windows, feeds filled with photos of sunshine, flowers and trees. Unsurprisingly, this increased appreciation for nature at our doorsteps has increased our appreciation for the natural world as a whole, and our concern for climate change.

It is easy to feel powerless as an individual in the face of the global environmental challenge that is climate change - but there are in fact things that we can all do to make a difference, with tree planting being one major option. And that’s where Treedom comes in. Treedom is a small Italian company taking on climate change - one tree at a time.

Based in Florence, Treedom knows that trees do not only form the foundation of entire ecosystems, but of communities too. Working in partnership with local NGOs, Treedom identifies smallholder farmers who will benefit the most from planting trees, providing young saplings for these farmers to plant and maintain on their own land.

This is an important distinction too - the farmers are guardians of these trees, they look after them and reap the benefits that they bring. This provides a motivation to move away from slash-and-burn agriculture (a cultivation technique using controlled fires to clear fields for replanting), and towards long-term sustainable land management techniques - like agroforestry.

Agroforestry is the practice of planting a combination of productive species (think fruit and nut trees!), which brings food security for the farmers and their families. They can harvest the fruits to supplement and diversify their diets, or sell them at local markets for additional income. Some even launch small businesses!

Treedom keeps this entire process as transparent as possible. Every tree is geolocated and photographed, and has its own landing page with regular updates on the project posted in an online diary. The digital counterpart of the trees can be named, can bear messages, and can be gifted or dedicated to loved ones with an email or text. You could even say that a Treedom tree has roots that can reach anywhere in the world!

And all this doesn’t even begin to touch on the wider environmental impacts of tree planting - like offsetting CO2, combatting soil erosion and deforestation, boosting biodiversity and providing animals with food, shelter and protection. There are also countless studies attesting to the mental, physical and emotional advantages of spending time in nature, and around trees specifically. Proven to relieve stress, anxiety and depression, to restore energy and concentration and to improve focus, trees can be a real balm in times of anxiety. In Japan, shinrin yoku (forest-bathing) is common practice to aid relaxation - it is literally the process of surrounding yourself with trees.

Tree planting, then, is a small action that has countless, far-reaching benefits. Planting a tree is an action that can change lives.

Gift a tree with Treedom this Christmas: http://go.treedom.net/8g3f  
Use code STAYWILD at checkout for 20% off. Offer ends 31st December 2020.