With Arbor day now come and gone, we've been reflecting on trees. Green Tree Project will always be about celebrating sustainably, and trees are a core part of how we do that. Family values are the roots are business grows from, but sustainability is the trunk that stretches us higher.
So, what is the actual impact of trees on our environment?
It all comes down to the sequestering of carbon dioxide. The exact amount of carbon sequestered by a tree depends on the variety of tree, maturity, size, etc. For example, mature trees sequester about 88 lbs of carbon per year, while very young trees (think seedlings) will sequester about 400 lbs of carbon from the time they're seeds to the time they're 20 or so years old (From The Architect's Newspaper and The Sierra Club, respectfully).
You might be thinking that sequestration is a short term answer to a forever term problem, and you're not wrong. However, a pine tree that dies in the forest will take as long as 500 years to fully decompose and release that sequestered carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. Conversely: a Christmas tree that's been chopped down and later thrown away to the landfill will decompose at a much quicker rate and result in the rapid re release of CO2 Given the immediate crisis we're in environmentally, that 500 years doesn't seem too shabby.
But let's bring this back to Green Tree Project and our flagship service: Christmas trees. When a Christmas tree is chopped down, it is no longer able to continue sequestering carbon dioxide. When it is eventually thrown away, it will begin the process of releasing that carbon dioxide again. Given the fact that evergreen trees are pretty immature when they're at the sizes they need to be to fit into homes, this process represents a huge loss in future environmental good. So, what if your Christmas tree got to stay a living tree?
What if your tree was planted in a pot, delivered to your home at Christmas and then picked up afterward and immediately donated to a local nonprofit who planted it in the ground? What if every single year our Christmas tree tradition represented the opportunity to plant a tree? What if we let our trees do the job they're meant to do on this earth instead of killing them at the beginning of their ability to help us?
Green Tree Project is founded on a belief that was must do better for our families and the earth, even when it's uncomfortable. It can feel comfortable, even empowering, to recycle or decline a plastic straw at a restaurant.