Planting trees is one of the easiest ways to offset your carbon footprint and become carbon neutral. Trees absorb carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and wood, both of which are very useful for humans and other animals.
According to carbonfootprint.com it is estimated that the average person needs to save about 7,000 kg of CO2 per year. So planting just 7 trees each year is one strategy for achieving this.
Planting trees has other benefits too, like creating a habitat for birds and other wildlife. And of course, it beautifies the place we live.
Tree planting is recognised the world over as a practical short-term solution to offsetting carbon dioxide and it’s probably the easiest and most tangible way to offset your carbon emissions.
Each tree planted ‘offsets’ your environmental impact by ‘breathing’ in about 1 tonne of CO2 emissions over its lifetime of 100 years.
Cityhop, New Zealand’s first and only car share company has calculated that its members in the past 12 months have driven approximately 120,000kms.
Says Victoria Carter, a former Auckland City Councillor who knows the importance of car sharing and reducing carbon emissions and co-founder of Cityhop car share, NZ’s only cars by the hour service says, “We decided as part of out commitment to sustainability to measure our carbon footprint based on the carbon emissions of the cars our members use and the average kilometres driven.
“According to a carbon footprint calculator, each one of our Sirion cars uses 1.09 tonnes per year based on the average kilometres driven by members. We used an average, because we added to the fleet so some cars used more than others. We also found some locations were better used than others.”
“We calculated that the 17 cars had driven roughly 136,000 kilometres in the past 12 months –that equates to 18.5 tonnes of carbon emissions which means that we need to plant 18 and a half trees to become carbon neutral.
If you want to find out how much carbon your car produces you can go to NZ’s Greenfleet or Carbon footprint’s website and use their calculations. Carbon footprint has a handy calculator that does it all for you!
Obviously the offsetting of your car’s emissions will depend on the size of your car, fuel you use and how far you drive each year.
So what did Cityhop do with this information? Victoria and her son planted 100 Pittosporums (A New Zealand native) around the border of a wetlands. They reckon they have without doubt made cityhop carbon neutral in terms of it’s entire office footprint this weekend!
Despite the back breaking work, Victoria says, “she’d do it again, when you know that on average each of us just needs to plant 5-7 trees to put back what we have taken out it makes going green and being carbon neutral seem so much more manageable.
“If we want others to not feel overwhelmed with the size of the problem then we need to share this information and show that we can all make a difference. That difference starts by planting one tree!”