The recent news that the Government is providing £10 million to plant 130,000 trees in urban areas of Britain highlights the importance, and the shortage, of trees. We tend to think of trees as being a feature of the countryside but urban trees do their bit for the environment too by reducing pollution (by absorbing greenhouse gases) and reducing flooding (by intercepting rainfall). Parks in our towns and cities encourage exercise and reduce stress by providing clean open spaces. This has been especially important in this year of the lockdown. All over Britain there are schemes to encourage people to participate in tree planting in inner cities. To quote Michael Gove:
Trees are vital in the fight against climate change, which is why we must go further and further to increase planting rates. We need trees lining the streets of our cities and towns, not only to green and shade them but to ensure we remain connected to the wonders of the natural world and the health and well-being benefits that it brings us.
Unfortunately other governments aren’t so far sighted and 46% of the world’s forests have already been destroyed; every 1.2 seconds man destroys an area the size of a football pitch and the destruction of tropical rainforests accounts for approximately 20% of greenhouse gas emissions. Over half the world’s timber and 72% of the world’s paper is consumed by 22% of the world’s population. This destruction is especially apparent in the Amazon; 80000 acres of forest disappear each day. This has a huge impact on the amount of greenhouse gases which can be absorbed and causes unimaginable loss of habitat; 80% of the world’s plants and animals that live in forests are losing their homes to deforestation. 12.4 million acres of forests have been converted to growing crops such as palm oil and soy (especially in Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia), which are unable to hold the soil and therefore exacerbate erosion and flooding. Species are being lost and will never be replaced and global warming is increasing, as can be seen by the ongoing fires and unprecedented temperatures in Australia.
At OneLessCup we recognise the problem, which is why are cups are made using sustainable plant fibres and not paper. We also support One Tree Planted, with one tree being planted through their charity for every cup sold via our website. They are planting trees in North America; Latin America, including the Amazon; Indonesia; India; Africa; Europe, including Iceland, Romania and Scotland; New Zealand and Australia where they are trying to replace the habitat for koalas and cockatoos that was destroyed on such a disastrous scale by the catastrophic bushfires earlier this year.
The natural habitats of our world are disappearing at an alarming rate and we should all do what we can to help stop this, whether it be by planting trees, and supporting charities which do so, reducing our consumption of red meat, buying FSC certified products, wasting less paper and recycling that we do use, and buying sustainable plant fibre cups!