If you want to know how to reduce climate change, the answer is actually pretty simple: plant a tree.
Of course, trees are just one component in the fight against climate change, but they’re a vital one. The good news is just about anyone—anywhere—can plant a tree without a lot of effort or even gardening experience.
Besides being beautiful, offering cooling shade on a hot day, and providing a great place to climb and play, trees are also pretty amazing for their ability to benefit the environment. “As trees grow, they help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere,” according to the Arbor Day Foundation.
The more trees we add to the planet, the better our chances are of figuring out how to reduce climate change. In celebration of Earth Day this year, why not plant a tree yourself to help make a difference? Here are a few ways you can go about it:
In Your Own Backyard
If your yard has the space, then consider planting a tree that you can watch grow and appreciate with your family for years to come. Aside from being great for Earth, a tree can add shade, which can help cool your home and cut down on energy use. Plus, a beautiful tree adds to your home’s curb appeal.
If you do decide to plant a tree in your own backyard, make sure to choose one that’s native to your area and take into account your local climate. For example, if you live in an area that’s prone to drought, choose a tree that doesn’t require a lot of water.
If you’re unsure of what tree to choose or how to plant it, it’s best to consult an expert. I recently planted a new tree in my backyard after finding out that one of the trees that already existed was dying. I was sad to lose the old tree, but excited about planting a new one. With so many choices, I consulted with an arborist (and landscaper) to determine the species of tree that would be best for our yard and local climate.
Volunteer in Public
Another way to make a difference is by volunteering with an organization to plant trees in your local area. This is a great activity you can do with your whole family to not only learn the importance of planting trees, but also give back to the community. You can even organize a planting event yourself.
Maybe your school could use a new tree to shade the playground, or maybe a local park could use a few new trees. Use social media and meet-up apps (or get together with families from your school) to come up with a planting day in your neighborhood.
Make a Donation
Even if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands to volunteer, or the space to plant, you can still plant a tree virtually by making a donation to an organization that plants trees. Through a charitable environmental program, even a donation as small as $1 can help make a difference. The most successful of these programs use donated funds to work with organizations across the world and help plant trees in impoverished communities.
Just one mature tree can absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and provide a day’s supply of oxygen for four people—proving that even one small act, like planting a tree or making a donation, can really make a tremendous difference.
Will you consider planting a tree? Share pictures of your new trees with us by tweeting them to @TomsofMaine!
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.