Planting trees gives all of us humans a connection to something bigger than ourselves. We also know they suck up greenhouse gases, create habitat for wildlife and other plants and organisms, and simply beautify our world. To counter deforestation and climate change, there has been a trend for social innovation projects and NGOs to offer tree planting services as memorials or in the names of loved ones. One of the biggest problems with tree planting in the name of someone else in remote locations in Africa, Europe, Asia and beyond is accountability.
Some countries like Israel have been tree-positive planting nations. The state today now has more trees than it did 100 years ago. The only country in my mind that can make such a claim. It a bid to make the country green, it also has a national campaign that extends to the Diaspora, prompting Jewish people everywhere to plant trees, and in return they get a certificate and in the case of sizable donations a placard on a part of the forest.
I love the idea of planting trees, but one must know that there is more to the story that just putting a seedling in the ground. Coldplay learned that the hard way about 10 years ago when it worked with a tree-planting carbon offset company to offset the production of their album a Rush of Blood to the Head. The group bought 10,000 mango tree seedlings in India, but they died. Because when you plant trees, you have to consider who will take care of them, and how.
This is sort of why we love the idea of Treepex. The social startup is planting trees around the world (mine were just planted in Georgia) and is then giving customers the ability to login and follow the trees’ growth over their lifetime. The company connects tracking chips to the trees so if you want you can plant trees all around the world. Or companies can offset greenhouse gases by planting parks and forests.
Each tree has an NFC microchip monitoring its progress, according to Treepex. They call it the “API tackling deforestation,” which makes a lot of sense if you are a tech geek.
After you plant the tree, you can get photos, and updates as it grows over time. You can even visit individual trees.
What I like about the idea is that if you are American, you can support local tree planting too, with one of the Treepex locations being in California, to plant after massive deforestation from forest fires this summer. I like the idea about accountability, or at least the promise of it, and I also like the idea of creating more tree planters out there.
According to the company’s Georgian founder Bacho Khachidze, “Businesses of all shapes and sizes have used our API to create loyalty programs, automatically planting trees on behalf of their customers once they accrue enough points. Even hotels have started to adopt Treepex, enabling guests to plant trees when they book a room on their website.
“When you consider, for example, the recent wildfires in Northern California and the flourishing hotel trade in places like Napa and Sonoma, allowing hotel guests to gift a tree can help to gradually regenerate an otherwise ravaged ecosystem.”
Want to start planting our future? For $10, you can start here at the Treepex website.