Most people are trying to do their bit for the environment, whether it’s recycling more, switching to a vegan diet, driving an electric car, or insulating the home. But the truth is that we can all do a lot more to reduce our carbon footprint.
Everyday habits can have a significant impact on the environment, and not many people realise this. Watching Netflix, sending emails, cooking, washing and drying clothes, and even charging your phone all add to a person’s carbon footprint. This is why we should be more aware of how our actions can affect the environment.
We can all try and reduce our carbon footprint by making small changes that could effectively have a significant impact. So how can you help? You can help the environment by planting trees which will help combat climate change.
Viessmann are encouraging more people to plant trees in their gardens and have a new campaign that looks at how many trees would be needed to offset the UK’s annual carbon footprint.
You can help the environment by planting trees which will help combat climate change.
How many trees would need to be planted?
The study by Viessmann found that in order to offset the combined carbon footprint of the UK for one whole year, 35,150,000,000 (thirty-five billion, one hundred and fifty million) trees would need to be planted. That figure alone just shows the amount of damage that is being done by people’s everyday activities.
This number was worked out by how much CO2e was generated from selected daily activities over a year and was then converted into kilograms. A single tree absorbs around 10 kg of CO2 each year, and this was used to work out exactly how many trees would be needed to offset the emissions.
What can you do to help?
Although the figure is alarming, there are things that you can do to help fight climate change. There are a number of nature-based solutions that people can turn to to make a difference.
Firstly we can try to protect our marine environment and implementing mass programmes of reforestation should be encouraged. We should also look to restore peatlands and recreate wetlands. Not only that, but we can look to plant more trees to help save the planet and help reduce our carbon footprint.
What trees should you plant?
Planting trees at home can be incredibly beneficial for the environment, which is excellent news. However, the UK has a particular climate, which means that some trees will grow better than others.
Some of the most suitable trees to grow in the UK include oak (both pedunculate oak and sessile oak), silver birch, aspen, crab apple, wild cherry, and field maple. These types of trees are likely to thrive in such climates, but you still need to consider other factors. If you are planting any of these tree species, think about soil type, latitude, and exposure to weather to help determine which one would be best.
Top tips for growing trees in the UK
If you can try to make a difference to the environment by planting trees in your garden, here are some top tips for you to remember.
- All trees that you are considering planting in your garden should be planted between October to March. Planting trees during the winter months means the tree can gradually spread its roots to search for water and nutrients, allowing the tree to thrive during spring and autumn time.
- Use peat-free compost when planting trees. If you use compost that is not peat-free, you may be unwittingly contributing to the UK’s carbon footprint. This is because peatlands are the largest terrestrial carbon store in the UK. The peatlands are mined to produce compost, which does more harm than good. But by using peat-free compost, you are helping the environment.
- Both types of oak trees are the most suitable for absorbing the most CO2e. Crab apple trees absorb the least amount of CO2e, but if that’s all you can plant, then it’s still serving a purpose and helping the environment.
What else can you do to combat climate change?
Planting trees in your garden is another step you can take to help combat climate change, but you can still do other things to help reduce your carbon footprint. Switching to a more sustainable lifestyle is beneficial for the environment, but it is also beneficial to you.
If you haven’t already, consider making small changes to your lifestyle, such as driving fuel-powered cars less and travelling by foot, bike or train.
A vegan or vegetarian diet has plenty of benefits for your health and the environment. If you don’t want to change your diet completely, try eating less meat. You could also improve the energy efficiency of your home.
Switching to a more sustainable lifestyle is beneficial for the environment, but it is also beneficial to you.
If you have made changes to your lifestyle to help fight climate change, or you have planted trees in your garden or are looking to, share your tips online using the hashtag #HowManyTrees.
What are you doing to combat climate change?
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