Our plan to plant more trees, faster: introducing Ecosia Trees

Thanks to you and other Ecosia users, we have planted over 125 million trees. These trees aren’t just capturing thousands of tons of CO2 every day, but are also saving endangered wildlife, uplifting communities, and protecting biodiversity. With Ecosia Trees, we’re encouraging other businesses to plant trees with us, too — the right species, in the right place, on a bigger-than-ever scale. Because that’s what our planet needs us to do.

How not to destroy the planet

This century, we are facing a huge question: how can we prevent the global rise in temperature from exceeding the threshold that sets in motion runaway feedback loops, irreparable biodiversity loss, and the displacement of millions? In other words, how can we save this planet?

The theoretical answer isn’t as complicated as you might think. We have to stop burning fossil fuels very soon, stop cutting down forests, and change the way we produce food. In short, we have to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

But that’s hardly going to be enough, given that we’ve already emitted so much. So we also need to remove past emissions from the atmosphere.

Some people are betting on risky carbon capture technologies to do this. The problem is that these technologies don’t exist yet, and might not be developed in time. A quick look at the global temperature record tells you that it’s getting rather late for future technologies.

But that’s okay. Because we already have a highly effective carbon capture technology — trees. Planting, protecting and restoring forest ecosystems captures and stores carbon, cools the planet, and protects biodiversity. In fact, restoration is able to prevent 60% of projected species extinctions and provide a third of the mitigation needed by 2030 to keep global heating below 2C.

Not all tree planting is equal

The problem is that, without the necessary technical knowledge and local know-how, tree planting can do more harm than good. If you plant monocultures instead of diverse forests, you end up with ecological dead zones. If you plant non-native species, they could become invasive and destroy biodiversity. If you don’t partner with local communities, you’re growing firewood, not forests.

In contrast, when the right species are planted in the right place, they don’t just capture CO2 at scale, but also prevent erosion, stabilize the soil, increase yields and incomes, protect wildlife — and so, so much more. We’ve seen it again and again: when tree planting is done properly, everything changes.

In Senegal, Nicaragua, Ethiopia and Morocco, for instance, we plant trees on and around farms. These trees create a cooler microclimate and provide shade, which protects crops in the dry season. They attract rain and restore nutrients to the soil. Smallholder farmers often end up producing more than their family needs, and can sell their surplus. This additional income helps them cover essentials such as school fees and medical bills.

That’s why we need many more trees, and why we need to plant them the right way. Ecosia Trees is our solution for this task.

A holistic tree-planting service for businesses

With Ecosia Trees, other organizations and businesses can become a little more like Ecosia by planting trees with us. Here’s how it works. A business can purchase trees for 1€ each. This includes monitoring the tree for at least three years, by which time it is robust enough to survive long-term. We have developed our own monitoring system, using remote sensing, satellite tech, geo-tagged photo evidence, and field visits. If our monitoring shows that a tree did not survive its first three years, we’ll replace it at no additional cost.

Apart from having a long-term and holistic impact on our planet and its people, companies get a certificate and quarterly impact reports, and can attend a biannual webinar with our Chief Tree Planting Officer and his team.

And one more thing that’s important to us: Ecosia trees are planted to restore ecosystems and help communities who are feeling the effects of the climate crisis, not to offset emissions or help companies engage in greenwashing.

“As we kick off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, it’s great to see Ecosia launching a new tree planting service, an example of an organization that is focused on planting the right trees where they are needed most. It’s this kind of collaboration that will help us turn the tide on deforestation.”

— Tim Christophersen, Head of Nature for Climate Branch, UN Environment Program

What does Ecosia Trees mean for you?

For Ecosia users, nothing changes. You can still plant trees by searching the web, and our tree counter isn’t going to be affected by Ecosia Trees. However, scaling our tree-planting projects means that your trees can be part of a bigger, more holistic, more global reforestation effort. Your trees, that is, will soon have company!

How can you help?

We need as many organizations as possible to join Ecosia Trees in order to reforest our planet. So talk to your boss — and if you’re the boss, talk to us! Because we genuinely believe this is the best way to tackle the climate crisis: together. To get started, explore the Ecosia Trees website.

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