National Tree Day: How you can help tackle climate change

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Want a simple way to help tackle climate change? Plant a tree for Planet Ark’s National Tree Day on Sunday, July 28.

The annual tree planting day is Australia's largest nature protection event, which sees over 300,000 eco warriors volunteer their time to engage in environmental activities that educate individuals about caring for the environment.

“National Tree Day is an excellent opportunity to work together on a local level to benefit your community and the environment at large,” says Planet Ark Deputy CEO Rebecca Gilling.

Co-founded in 1996 by Planet Ark and Olivia Newton-John, every year the environmental organisation puts the call out to Australian families, schools, businesses and communities to help plant one million new native trees and shrubs across the country.

Since it’s inception, Planet Ark estimates over 25 million plants have been planted across Australia.

How can you help? Simple… just head down to your local nursery, chat to them about which native trees or scrubs would be appropriate to plant in your own garden (many nurseries will provide local natives at reduced rates for Tree Day, so it’s worth asking) and head home to plant your tree. Easy!

Live in an apartment or renting? Donate to Plant a Tree for Me and they will plant native trees for you to increase biodiversity and provide vital habitat to help protect the country's wildlife.

“Trees may be the most cost-effective and positive urban intervention available to us,” says Dr Tony Matthews, Urban and Environmental Planner and Planet Ark Ambassador.

“While some of us may be lucky enough to live in areas with plenty of trees there are many other places that would benefit from tree planting.”

A recent report published in the journal Science has revealed that nearly one billion hectares of land is suitable for reforestation, across Russia, the US, Brazil, China and Australia.

When mature, it’s estimated those trees could potentially capture up to two thirds of human-made carbon emissions (that’s approximately 205 billion tonnes of carbon).

“To avoid the devastating effects of climate change and biodiversity loss, humanity must protect and restore native ecosystems,” the report states. “International conventions and organisations support forest restoration as a method for mitigating hazardous environmental shifts.”

This highlights just how crucial trees are in the fight against climate change.

For more information on how you can get involved in National Tree Day, click here.