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Tree planting the gift of sustainability



Photographs: Pexels

Text: Ophelia Wu


In the last issue, I mentioned planting seeds as setting intentions for the new year. This time, I will talk about planting seeds and trees.


Planting trees and reforestation have been going on for decades - some have been doing for long; while others might be a new option to give back. Participating in a tree planting event where you gift your time and physical labour work to the organisation is fun. But it can generate a much larger impact if you participate in more prominent organisations with global tree planting projects. Why is tree planting the most mindful and sustainable gift? I’ll tell you why.


Remember, you reap what you sow, and whatever you give out will come back to you. So do good - life will reward you in the most unexpected ways.


1. It is affordable and meaningful

How often have you struggled with present budgets or what to buy during big festivals like Christmas, only to randomly buy (or receive) something that’s meaningless? Gifting someone a tree is meaningful, and sometimes it can start from €0.3 per tree, so even with 100 trees, it doesn’t break the bank, but you would have done an incredibly meaningful good deed. You can also share the cost with your family, friends and even colleagues to make a more significant gift to plant more trees or the more expensive ones.


2. It is green and long-lasting

Needless to say, it can’t be more sustainable and long-lasting than this. Usually, with sophisticated organisations, tree-planting projects are well-managed and have many species to choose from. Some might start from the bedding stage, some perhaps a bit later, but in any case, every project is nurtured and cared for by a team of experts or locals who will ensure it’s growing well.


3. It is the easiest way to gift someone

I know the idea and gesture of giving someone a gift is the physical act of giving and the present itself, but you can do both. On top of the present, you can also plant a tree in someone’s name as a gift and sow some good seeds and karma for you and them. It’s a no-brainer!


4. You help empower others

Your work might be done after you’ve pressed donate and pay, but the real work you’re supporting is about to begin. In many organisations, thousands of tree-planting projects globally involve the local community in many ways. Some offer a job opportunity to become a farmer or gardener, some offer education to teach about local agricultural knowledge, and some provide a chance for them to learn new skills and become self-sufficient and independent. So you see, you are one click away from empowering thousands of people in another country. What are you waiting for?


"Your work might be done after you’ve pressed donate and pay, but the real work you’re supporting is about to begin."


5. You become part of a bigger movement

Forests, flora, and fauna are vital to combat climate change and the ecosystem. Not only are they a natural habitat to many insects and animals that balance the eco-food chain, but in some places, they are also a major part of providing clean water sources, flood prevention, landslides, etc. Each project in these organisations clearly states what species are being planted and how it will impact the area and environment. So, while we try our best to be sustainable and take things to recycling and sorting out our waste into the 23 bins at our complex, why not join the bigger movement in such a simple way and make real changes on a global scale?

6. You are supporting local communities

As I mentioned, you’re supporting the local communities with every project. Some projects bring the local communities together to participate and create a social activity for them. Some help replant rare and magnificent species native to the land and offer medicinal properties – with that, you’re supporting an even bigger cause in the local community because you’re also supporting the resources for healing and life-saving remedies.


7. You help offer a chance to move away from poverty

We live in a beautiful country with a high quality of life; sometimes, we don’t see the brutal reality of poverty in some remote places we might never have a chance to visit. How you can support the local communities depends on the project and location. Still, many rely on selling the fruits from trees for a living, and many need a farm to work. That can only be possible with a demand for more trees or fruit-bearing trees to be planted. The more there is to sell, the higher the chance they can sustain a living and move away from poverty.


8. You benefit the future generation

It’s cliché, but it’s true: give the future generation a chance to have what we have. It might take another millions of years to restore the earth to its pre-historical times. Still, with every effort we contribute, we are accelerating the scale of reforestation. With time, the future generation will be able to reap the fruits we planted today.


I am not associated with any of these organisations, but these are the few I’ve donated and planted over 150 trees with over the years tree-nation, onetreeplanted, justonetree.life. They have a relatively comprehensive overview of each project, lots of choices and are very transparent with all necessary information; ultimately, we want to support a trustworthy organisation for such a meaningful cause.

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