Last month in Paris hundreds of leaders including heads of state, corporate executives, scientists, government officials, and more gathered at the 21st Session of the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP 21). The goal for this Session was to discuss a global climate agreement where countries around the globe reduced their carbon emissions. The collaboration amongst individuals from countries all over the world illustrates the importance for each of us to address our impact on the environment.
How can trees and my daily habits change my carbon footprint?
At the Arbor Day Foundation we work closely with companies and individuals who are seeking to positively address their impact on the environment. Whether it’s carbon emissions or water usage, we all individually and collectively have a specific footprint that impacts our world. The good news is that by working with the Arbor Day Foundation we can create a positive effect through trees.
Carbon offsetting – Carbon emissions are one of the largest contributors to climate change. Through reforestation in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, corporations and individuals can retire verified carbon credits for each “ton” of carbon they emit. This opportunity allows us to offset individually such as our car’s emissions, or offset air travel or heating bills.The benefits of tree planting go far beyond sequestering carbon. It creates jobs, restores vital wildlife habitats, and helps control flooding.
Watershed restoration – Strategically planting trees in impaired watersheds throughout the country has been proven to drastically change the water quality of these watersheds. Millions of Americans all over the country depend on trees to filter the water they use. This opportunity allows is to ensure that future generations will have clean water.
Ways to reduce your own Footprint:
- Carpool or ride your bike to work
- Turn off lights and appliances when leaving rooms
- Wear clothes like jeans more often between washes
- Moderate printing, better yet go paperless
- Take shorter showers
- Wash clothes in cold water
The meetings in Paris are a great reminder that whether or not you are reducing your footprint as a major corporation or in your own home, we all have a role and we all belong to something greater.Visit ArborDay.org to learn how you can get involved.