Planting Trees – Yes, or No?

To start with, YES, we’ve planted trees. We’ve planted 1400 trees in two years. But about tree-planting a lot has been said and done. But what you can believe? What is true?

Three main issues are formulated:

  1. “We shouldn’t plant new trees, we should protect our existing forests.”
  2. “Tree-planting is the latest element in a long line of greenwashing.”
  3. “Trees won’t solve our problem.”

The problem: every remark is short-sighted.

  1. We should grow new trees AND protect our existing forests.
  2. Tree planting can be greenwashing but is not perse the case.
  3. Tree planting alone is not enough. It is part of an elaborate strategy.

 Let us explain why.

New trees and existing forests, both are needed

A lot of people claim; “I can cut down one forest and grow another. It is the same.”

Well, no. An old forest has a biodiversity level which is a lot higher than new trees. It captures more carbon. It cools the environment better. It is more robust and better protected in changing environments. To make it easy to understand, the following comparison sums it up.  You do not change an experienced team that has been working together for 10 years, by a bunch of starters with no experience and expect the same result. The same accounts for forests.

Trees are the most efficient form of carbon capture we have. Not modern machines who cost millions. And they have other positive side effects! Did you know, that an everyday 15-minute forest walk has proven to reduce stress levels up to 30%. One of many.

Planting trees does not buy of your guilt!

Planting trees is form of greenwashing, according to some. Well, maybe. But buying a green car can be the same. Or claiming that you put up solar panels and are now sustainable. It’s not all that black and white. Becoming sustainable as a company is a path, a way of thinking, a way of acting. It should all be connected, integrated, and part of a bigger picture. Planting trees is a very visible, efficient, and effective way of contributing to our environment. It can be a first step in a direction of sustainability, it can be the end piece. In the end the intention makes the difference.

Tree planting as an elaborate sustainability strategy

Tree planting alone is not enough, obviously. But it does not make it a bad strategy. On the contraire. Tree planting can, and should be, part of an elaborate strategy of becoming more sustainable. Companies, organisations and people should become more sustainable. Many don’t know where to start. Planting trees, together, or having them planted, is a very visual, interactive way to do this.

But of course, only planting trees will not save our liveable environment. We need to lower carbon emissions, we need to lower pollution, we need to consume less, we need to use less energy, we need to become more efficient, and we need more trees.

The European Union is aiming to plant 3 billion trees by 2030. We have planted 500 last year, and 750 trees this year (2021 at time of writing). We plan to plant many more. We have a lot more to do. We make a small contribution. But if every company would plant 500, we would have 50 million trees. Small steps to become sustainable are better than none.

But who do you plant with?

The Ecological Entrepreneur chooses Go Forest. Why? Simple. We want to plant international, because our impact is not only local. The products we use to run our company are created globally. Thus, our impact is globally.

And we want to make sure our trees are alive, thriving and beneficial for the local economies! The blockchain application being used is the best way to check whether the trees are planted, maintained and have a positive impact on the environment and local economy.

In the end, it is all about growing trees. Planting is easy. Making sure they survive 50 – 100 years is not. That is our challenge. A challenge we tackle with Go Forest.

Trees as part of the system, for the long term!

Sebastiaan De Block

Sebastiaan De Block

TEE ondersteunt ecologische oplossingen om commercieel te schalen. Maar andersom helpen we bedrijven met hun duurzaamheidsbeleid.