One Brush = One Tree mission update: we've now planted 24,190 new trees around the world, in places particularly badly affected by deforestation. A huge thank you to all of you who have made this possible!
One Brush = One Tree Mission and the Benefits of Reforestation
In addition to reducing plastic waste, our biggest goal at BAMWOO is to plant new trees - one tree for every bamboo toothbrush (and every other product) we sell. We call it the One Brush = One Tree mission.
It's becoming clearer and clearer that reforestation is absolutely crucial to help protect the environment; that it is one of the most potent tools we can use in the fight against climate change; and that it even has the potential to reverse much of the damage already inflicted on our planet.
As trees grow, they use and absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and store or sequester large amounts of carbon in their leaves, trunks, and their whole root systems deep in the soil. This has the potential to remove CO2 from the atmosphere for many hundreds of years - and more in the case of mangrove trees, which can act as a carbon sink long after they are dead, in the silt at the bottom of the ocean.
Scientists around the world are now beginning to recognise the incredible potential of reforestation. A recent study published in Science reported:
"The restoration of trees remains among the most effective strategies for climate change mitigation. We mapped the global potential tree coverage to show that 4.4 billion hectares of canopy cover could exist under the current climate. Excluding existing trees and agricultural and urban areas, we found that there is room for an extra 0.9 billion hectares of canopy cover, which could store 205 gigatonnes of carbon in areas that would naturally support woodlands and forests. This highlights global tree restoration as our most effective climate change solution to date."
How Much Carbon Can One Tree Absorb Per Year?
Calculating how much CO2 a tree can sequestre per year is a complicated process, with many variables such as soil type and quality, climate, and age of the tree. Additionally, much less research has been done on tropical forests compared to temperate forests.
Estimates vary from around 48lbs (21.7kg) a year in a 10 year old tree to 34kg per year averaged over a tree's lifespan, and on the high side over 60kg per year.
The best estimates applicable to the types of trees we plant in tropical areas, are that each tree can absorb approximately 50lbs or 22.6kg of CO2 per year (Sources: HERE and HERE)
Where We Plant Trees, and the Social Benefits of Reforestation
We've partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects to plant trees in places particularly baldy affected by deforestation, currently:
Planting more trees in places like this is important for a number of reasons, including to act as a buffer against natural disasters like tsunamis and flooding, but also to provide and protect important resources for local people.
Forests protect against land erosion that degrades agricultural land, provide essential nurseries adjacent to fishing grounds in the case of mangroves, and generally improve the health of the land.
In contrast, deforestation degrades the land and decreases its productivity, perpetuating a cycle of poverty.
As Eden describe the situation in Nepal:
"Nepal is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world and rural villagers in Nepal directly depend on their natural environment for food, shelter, and income. When the local environment is damaged or destroyed, the poor are the first to feel the negative effects. Forced to live on marginal lands, they are at greatest risk. Without financial resources or the knowledge to manage vulnerable resources in a sustainable way, they often further degrade their lands in order to survive. In this way, the problem perpetuates their poverty."
Beyond helping to restore the land, the 24,190 trees we have planted have also directly provided 242 full days of employment for local people to plant trees at the planting sites.
Learn more about how trees are planted in and the positive impacts in Indonesia HERE.