Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a major contributor to climate change. When fossil fuels are burned, carbon that has been locked away for millions of years is released into the air, causing the Earth's temperature to rise.
Since trees have a vital role in the balancing of CO2 and oxygen levels, widespread deforestation across the world has also had a negative impact by releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere.
The rise in global temperature is causing more extreme weather events, rising sea levels, warmer oceans and threats to animals and plants that are unable to adapt to the rapid changes. If carbon emissions continue unchecked, the impacts of climate change will be potentially catastrophic to people and wildlife.
If you would like to help combat climate change, the first step is to identify your carbon footprint and take action to reduce it. This can include actions ranging from using energy saving light bulbs and turning down the heating to car sharing.
You can also mitigate your unavoidable carbon emissions by supporting tree planting because as trees grow they soak up carbon dioxide.
The Forestry Commission’s Woodland Carbon Code provides up-to-date data on how much carbon trees fix as they grow in different conditions and locations. We have used this information to estimate how much carbon native trees planted in one of the areas of the Highlands of Scotland in which we work will fix over a 100 year period.
Please note that these figures may be updated as we apply the calculations to additional planting areas. There are intended as a guide only to help you calculate how many trees planted by Trees for Life could mitigate your carbon footprint.
There are many schemes available around the world which promote tree planting as a way to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. At Trees for Life, we are planting trees first and foremost in order to save the Caledonian Forest and all the wildlife it supports. We grow the majority of the trees we plant at our own tree nursery from seed which we have collected locally. We inspire and support volunteers to help grow and plant the young trees and we often work in remote areas which are difficult to access. The forests which we are creating are for nature and for people to enjoy – no timber is extracted.
As more trees are donated to help restore the forest, open barren hillsides will be transformed into healthy young woodland, rich in wildlife such as red squirrel, black grouse, capercaillie, wood ants and twinflower. Once the trees reach seed-bearing age, natural regeneration will go on to create the wild forests of the future for generations to enjoy.
The trees you donate in this way will not just be tonnes of fixed carbon, they will also be all the wonderful wildlife that will grow with, and around, them.
Here are just a few of the free, online tools which can help you to calculate your carbon emissions.
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