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Help Wanted: 1.2 Trillion Trees

By Pat Brady, DivvyBack

So dense was the original forest, it was claimed, that a squirrel might travel from the Atlantic to the Mississippi from tree limb to tree limb without ever touching the ground.” -Folklore

Try searching your favorite search engine for “1 trillion trees”. You’ll find a surprising list of support for the trillion tree idea from the previous GOP administration that is friendly to traditional “tree-huggers“.

Why all this interest in 1 trillion trees? The simple answer is that every new tree drops the temperature of the earth about 1 trillionth of a degree.  We could just leave it at that but you probably have about a trillion questions, like: “Who says we need so many trees?”, “Where are we going to put all of them?”,  “What is this going to cost and who is going to pay for a trillion trees?” and “Are there alternatives?” Well, that’s only five questions so maybe I exaggerated.

treesWho Says So?

A group of scientists led by Jean-Francois Bastin published a paper in Science with the unpretentious title, “The Global Tree Restoration Potential”. In the article, they somehow look at the Earth for available areas to plant trees and conclude that there is room for an additional 0.9 billion hectares of forest. That’s 2.2 billion acres or about 3.4 million square miles (~3,000 Rhode Islands of course). This is a big area. Roughly the size of the United States. Squirrels would love it.

If we plant all these trees, and nothing else, the temperature of the Earth will increase less than 1.5 degrees and we’ll all be reasonably OK.

Who is Going to Pay for All This?

In early 2020, then president Donald Trump declared the US would join the “Trillion Trees Initiative” and in October, 2020 signed an executive order to establish the “One Trillion Trees Inter Agency Council”. He recommended passage of the “Trillion Trees Act” to pay for all this planting.  Problem solved.

Well, not really. The “Trillion Trees Act” only provided a $30 million increase to funding the Reforestation Trust Fund and a $25 million increase to Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act.  Estimates for the cost of reforestation start at $64,000 per square mile so this funding will reforest about 859 square miles. Hmm, not even .1% of what is needed.

So who is going to pay for all these trees? Well, the NRDC estimates the cost of not planting these trees is $1.9 trillion. So, I guess all of us are going to pay for this one way or another.

Are There Alternatives? Bamboo

One thing we can do is stop using trees for products when other plants serve as perfect substitutes. Bamboo and sugarcane are great substitutes for tissue products.Using these alternatives would reduce the “tree budget” by 9% to about 1 trillion trees. Not bad.

Well then. We should all purchase tree-free tissue products right away. If only there was a way for us to easily do this.  A way that these products could be purchased with the click of a mouse. A way that somehow these products would just show up at our door when needed – like magic.

This, of course, is where I pitch the benefits of purchasing all of your household tissue and cleaning products from…DivvyBack.  We can help make this a habit in just a couple of clicks and deliver right to your door. You already purchase all these products, so for a change, doing something good won’t cost you a thing!

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