You’ve seen the headlines; the climate crisis is at boiling point and now, more than ever, it’s crunch time for action. The current situation is no joke, but the carbon-sucking, earth-cooling powers of reforestation could be the ‘re-leaf’ that our climate needs.
To explain reforestation, let’s start with deforestation.
Deforestation is the damage or destruction of forests due to natural disasters or human negligence. According to a 2015 study, 46% of trees on earth have fallen since humans started cutting down forests.
Reforestation is the process of revegetating these damaged forests and planting new ones.
You probably learnt this in primary school, but in case you need a refresher, trees absorb the carbon dioxide we earthlings exhale and release oxygen, the handy stuff that we breathe. They also absorb the carbon that many of our activities emit.
The continuous loss of trees that we have seen through deforestation has meant that there are less trees to suck-in and store the carbon that’s driving our planet’s rising temperature and less trees to let out the cooling oxygen that is essential to our survival in so many ways. By restoring our forests and harnessing trees' carbon-sucking powers, we can drastically reduce the carbon emissions that remain in our atmosphere.
Forests aren’t just trees though; they’re intricate ecosystems of organisms, animals, fungi, bacteria and (our favourite) soils that all work together to push moisture into the air and pull carbon into the ground. Reforestation also means we can increase biodiversity by reviving habitats lost through deforestation.
One of the most frustrating parts of the climate crisis is finding out what we can do as individuals to make a real difference. While reforestation is a large-scale operation that you may feel you can’t contribute to directly, planting trees in your own backyard and getting involved in local tree planting programs can have a tangible effect on the impacts of climate change in your community.
To go one further, you can support and donate to forest restoration organisations.
We may be dirty by trade, but we’re particularly dirty on deforestation, which is why we are proud to offset our carbon emissions with Greenfleet.
Greenfleet is a non-for-profit that plants native, biodiverse forests in Australia and New Zealand to absorb carbon emissions from the atmosphere and in turn, protect our climate. Find out more about how you can do the same.