Article written by Joss Bennett - Ambassador at Treeapp
Trees are an essential part of the earth’s environment. They make up over 30% of the total land cover and act as anchors for healthy and happy ecosystems. Physically their roots, branches and leaves provide animal habitats whilst their biological processes ensure regular rainfall patterns, increase the purity of that water and enhance the lives of people who live near them. Trees come in many forms, from dense tropical jungles to sweeping coniferous forests. United together they act as natural filters for the air we breathe. They engage in a process of carbon capture - storing CO2. This means they are a natural defence against the rise in emissions, created by our daily human activities.
Mangrove in Madagascar (Source: Eden Reforestation Projects)
Here at Treeapp we want to maximize the potential of a tree to create, support and maintain life. We want anyone (and everyone) to be able to plant trees for free. That’s why we made it our mission to make reforestation projects accessible to anyone. We want Treeapp to be a space where people can take action to support these ecosystems. Using our own team of ecology and reforestation experts we have chosen to support carefully researched projects. These value locally owned land as well as utilize a variety of native species of trees, with proven tree nursery planting success. To fund the planting of trees we created a platform which enables companies to market sustainable products to directly fund these reforestation initiatives around the world. Together, we not only want to increase tree coverage globally but we also want to secure and strengthen forests that already exist.
It is important to understand the deep connection that trees have to our planet. Working together with other climate change initiatives, we want to play our part in building a global sustainable future as established by the United Nations 2015: Sustainable Development Goals. Here, at Treeapp, we recognise this need for global action. We understand how the decisions we make in our daily lives are intricately bound to the ancient rhythms of our planet. With your help we can strengthen our forests but also work towards adjusting our lifestyles. This means minimizing our own carbon footprint, helping to combat inequality and engaging in disadvantaged areas of the world to successfully mitigate the harmful effects of climate change.
Photo: Tree Nursery (Source: Eden Reforestation Projects)
Beyond the branches
Unfortunately, there are significant barriers to achieving this goal. Namely, the destruction of forests, the degradation of the ecosystems they support and the downsizing of protected areas. These are the three core challenges facing trees in the world today. Ironically these actions often occur to create space for further pollution, resource extraction and other harmful activities. Left unchecked these actions threaten around 20% of the Earth’s land mass (according to the United Nation’s Environment Programme research). In some areas, such as Madagascar, only 10% of the original forest remains. Additionally, in 2019, an overwhelming 76,000 fires, many man-made, swept through the Amazon rainforest. This signals the need for immediate attention to protect forests before it’s too late. As explained by the World Wildlife Fund planting trees is a universally recognised act and ‘a symbol of caring for our environment’. Find out more about these challenges here. Without attention, these ecosystems will vanish, as will their climate change reversal potential.
As the Earth is our shared backyard, we need to continue to make room for forests to flourish. We can achieve this by restoring landscapes and empowering grassroots conservation. We asked ourselves, what are the barriers that stop people taking action to support reforestation projects? Maybe they don’t have the time, they might not have the money or they simply don’t know how. That’s why we created Treeapp. We believe that trees are essential and they are fundamentally good at what they do. If we provided a space to overcome these three hurdles then our users can connect directly to reforestation projects all over the world and the ecosystems that they support.
We created a platform embracing the power of marketing, providing companies a new way to reach their audience whilst contributing to the planet. Our app users will discover these companies’ messages or questions on a daily basis, and in return these brands will fund the planting of the tree every day.
At Treeapp, we want to empower people to make a difference. I asked the co-founders Jules and Godefroy why they initially started Treeapp. “In Summer 2018, Athens experienced destructive wildfires. For the first time in my life, I saw the damage and destruction of an uncontrolled wildfire: hearing about it is one thing, but seeing it was a life-changing experience. Over the following months, I promised myself to fight for this never to happen to anyone else.” Godefroy told me. I then asked Jules why he was personally motivated to create Treeapp and he said “In 2019, Turkey set a record by planting 11 million trees in one day, but a few months later 90% were dead. This was a horrific set back, so I started looking for better ways to plant trees.”
Treeapp was created because we believe bringing together a community with shared values is the best way to defend forest ecosystems and work towards a greener future.
We set the bar high and aim to plant 1,000,000 trees every day by 2022. This is why we have connected you with specialised NGO partners – Eden Reforestation Projects and One Tree Planted – to not only facilitate tree planting but to ensure we can create positive environmental impacts and positive human impacts. Together they have already planted 450 million trees worldwide, engaging in 132 projects in 18 countries. We need your support to continue to empower these projects.
We know that one small act everyday can make a long-term impact on our planet. Use Treeapp today to plant a tree for free in less than a minute.
Together, we can try to make this world a little greener 💚