Five reasons why trees make a difference
This year’s FSF Charity project focuses on one of the main culprits of climate change: deforestation. Geographically we’re putting our efforts into Russia, which is one of the most critical areas in the world in terms of deforestation. The Russian, and more specifically Siberian, forests are the source of the wildcrafted Chaga mushroom we use in our products, which gives us another good reason to help out in that area in particular.
The Russian forest area is the largest of any state on the Earth – in fact, it’s larger than the size of the Amazon forest. Due to its size, the Russian forest area is one of the main carbon sinks in the world. Deforestation, meaning the the removal of forest after which the land is converted to a non-forest use such as farms or urban use, is especially harmful in Russia as the forests have little time to recover because of the short growing season and the long, extremely cold winters. In the Russian context, petroleum development, overgrazing, logging and tourism are among the main reasons to deforestation.
In September, together with like-minded companies, we’re traveling to the St. Petersburg area to plant birch trees in an effort to restore a bit of the Russian forest. We’re planting part of the trees together with local schools to raise the awareness of deforestation in the minds of these future decision makers. They partly hold the destiny of Siberia in their hands. Unlike most, we’re optimistic about the next generation and want to support their growth, just like we did at our last years FSF Charity Project in Cambodia.
Why trees truly make the difference?
1. Carbon sequestration a.k.a why forests are called carbon sinks
- One tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. This means that you’ll need roughly 1000 trees working for a year to cover your intercontinental return flight!
2. One tree makes two happy, well-oxygenated people!
- One large tree can provide a supply of oxygen for two people.
3. Trees help save energy
- When trees are properly placed around a building, they can reduce air conditioning needs by 30% and save 20-50% in energy used for heating.
- The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree equals ten air conditioners operating 20 hours per day.
4. Trees in water management
- Erosion, flooding and landslides are all effects of deforestation. It’s been calculated that for every five percent of tree cover added to a community, stormwater runoff is reduced by two percent.
- Trees also have a capacity to lift up to 100 gallons of water out of the ground and discharge it into the air.
- Trees improve water quality by absorbing and filtering rainwater.
5. Improved quality of life
- Healthy trees provide habitat for wildlife and aesthetic value for us. They also provide livelihoods for more than 1.6 billion people.
For more information on the specifics of our tree planting charity project, see www.foursigmafoods.com/charity or e-mail mika(at)luontolife.com