Guest Author - Tricia Krietzberg
If you want to give a gift this year that will keep on giving, why not consider saving a tree in the Amazon rainforest? For as little as $5, you can purchase the protection of one individual tree that is considered endangered from among 12 rainforest tree species.
Everyone benefits – the person on your gift list, you, and every other person in the world. Because when you protect just one tree, you’ll be helping to save the rainforest from deforestation, which will help reduce CO2 emissions and the global warming that goes along with it. It may not be a glamorous gift, but it sure is an impactful one.
“The 12 Trees of Christmas” is another cool idea from our friends at Cool Earth, the non-profit organization that tries to engage individuals everywhere in the fight against the destruction of the rainforest. Since its inception in 2007, Cool Earth has helped to preserve 121,502 acres of rainforest.
Why should we care about saving the rainforest? There are many answers to that question, not the least of which is how the rainforest is directly linked to global warming.
“This could be the biggest difference you ever make to our environment,” says Cool Earth on its website. “Keeping rainforests standing is the first step in the fight against climate change.”
Every day, approximately 100 acres of rainforest is cleared to make way for cattle ranching, logging, farming, and oil production. But, the rainforests are made of carbon, actually 100 tons of carbon. When it is destroyed or burned, that carbon is transformed and released into the air as CO2. As a matter of fact, 100 tons of carbon translates into 260 tons of carbon emissions. It has long been determined by scientists and even political heavyweights in countries around the world that these carbon emissions are directly related to global warming.
The destruction of just 100 acres of rainforest releases as much CO2 into the atmosphere as 8 million people flying from London to New York. Add that up, and each year, according to Cool Earth, the destruction of rainforests releases more climate-warming CO2 than the entire USA. That’s 6 billion tons each year that are polluting our environment and escalating the climate crisis.
Cool Earth is trying to have a positive impact by protecting trees from destruction. If they have to, they’ll do it one tree at a time like in their “12 Trees of Christmas” campaign. But, they also encourage individuals to save the rainforest by the ½ acre or acre, for $50 of $100 respectively.
And Cool Earth doesn’t just save trees. They are also educating those who live in and near the rainforest how to create other forms of sustainable income rather than clearing the rainforest for logging, farming and ranching. Cool Earth also monitors the rainforests with satellite imagery and reports any illegal clearing or burning of the land.
So, this Christmas, while you’re decorating your Christmas tree, why not think of protecting a tree of another kind? The tree you save may not be covered in ornaments and garland, but it is just as special. For more information about saving a tree this Christmas, check out Cool Earth’s website.
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