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Combat your carbon by planting trees

Carbon – we’re all responsible for it. From the daily commute to the summer holidays abroad; from heating our homes to the food we eat – every one of us leaves a carbon footprint trailing in our wake.

Did you know that a return flight from London to New York releases just shy of one tonne of carbon into the environment for each passenger on board? Even seemingly small, every day, activities can have an impact – the 11.5 billion sandwiches eaten in the UK each year are estimated to be responsible for a greater carbon output than eight million cars.

These silent, invisible emissions are one of the main factors contributing to climate change across the world. This is because carbon is a greenhouse gas, which means it traps the sun’s energy in the Earth’s atmosphere; the more carbon that is released into the atmosphere, the more energy that is trapped, leading to a higher overall global temperature.

This is already having a significant, unpredictable, impact on our environment and, without urgent action, the effects are only going to get worse.

Flooding is one potential consequence of climate change. (Photo: WTPL/Phil Lockwood)
Flooding is one potential consequence of climate change. (Photo: WTPL/Phil Lockwood)

Combat your carbon with the Woodland Trust

Small steps can make a big difference

But just as everyone of us is responsible for emissions, we can all take steps to reduce our carbon footprint where possible. Turning the lights off when you leave a room, joining a car share at work, making your own sandwich instead of buying one – small actions can make a big difference when carried out on mass. You can even go a step further and swap that holiday abroad for one here in the UK.

Planting power

Of course, even with the best will in the world, we can’t cut out our emissions entirely – we all have lives to lead. However, we can help to mitigate our impact with the help of nature’s lungs – trees.

Planting trees boosts nature’s ability to deal with our emissions. It’s estimated that the UK’s woods and forests store close to 800 million tonnes of carbon. The more trees we plant, the more carbon that will be absorbed and kept out of the environment.

A donation to the Woodland Trust helps us to plant the trees needed to mitigate carbon emissions. For example, a donation of £25 could allow us to plant 25 square metres of woodland – enough to store the CO2 generated by a flight to New York.*

Using a carbon calculator, you can work out your carbon footprint and then calculate the donation required to help plant the trees necessary to mitigate your emissions. This could be a one-off payment to cover something like a flight, or a regular donation to cover ongoing emissions.

A study estimated London's trees alone hold more than two million tonnes of carbon. (Photo: Phil Formby / WTML)
A study estimated London's trees alone hold more than two million tonnes of carbon. (Photo: Phil Formby / WTML)

A real win-win

Capturing carbon is just one of the benefits the trees you help to plant will bring. They will produce oxygen, provide homes for wildlife and, in time, offer people a place to admire and connect with nature – everyone’s a winner.

We can’t cut our carbon footprint entirely, but we can give nature the helping hand it needs to deal with our emissions.

*A personal carbon mitigation donation helps to cover the cost of land acquisition and tree planting, care and maintenance.

Combat your carbon by planting trees.