At GROW MY TREE, the planting of every single tree is certified. This is to provide absolute transparency so that you can be 100% sure that your trees are actually being planted. This process is a crucial part of our GROW MY TREE methodology and is implemented together with our local partners. The following is also included in your tree package:
Planting a tree through GROW MY TREE means helping smallholders financially in planting a tree. We would like to explain to you exactly how it works:
In our reforestation projects, we attach great importance to the content of the projects and the local social conditions. In collaboration with our partners, we reduce extreme poverty and restore healthy forests by planting trees in cooperation with our partners. This is important to us:
Trees are a natural miracle because they absorb CO2 from the air and use it as an energy supplier for wood, roots, leaves or needles. Thus, a tree can convert about 22kg of CO2 into oxygen per year through photosynthesis.
In Germany we cause approx. 9,600 kg CO2 per year * through our consumption, food, travel and energy consumption. Each individual contributes to the CO2 emissions in Germany and around the world and can also reduce his or her annual emissions at the same time. We cannot completely reduce our CO2 consumption. Therefore, we have to make sure that our CO2 disappears from the air again.
If everyone would plant as many trees as they emitted CO2, CO2-induced climate change could be reduced enormously. If we approach the goal of planting 440 trees per capita, we can manage to neutralize our entire CO2 emissions for lifetime.
Our position on this is: Planting trees allows actors (both individuals and companies) in our global system to neutralize their CO2 emissions. But this does not mean that planting trees replaces more conscious consumption or necessary legal environmental restrictions. That's why you can find tips for sustainable consumption on an individual level in our blog. Because we are convinced that every single one of us can make a great contribution!
We have to change on all levels and tree planting is an important lever that helps to stop climate change. At the same time, it empowers the local population to use their own resources sustainably and thus build a new model of global collaboration.
Transparency is an absolute priority for us: If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to share your thoughts with us via firstname.lastname@example.org. We strive to answer all concerns promptly and take your comments seriously - because we want to achieve great things: Saving our Planet A and creating a better future together.
Below, we have already summarised and responded to some common criticisms - because we want to take every criticism seriously and communicate our mission clearly.
Question 1: Isn't planting trees just like a sales of indulgences - good conscience for cash?
We hear this criticism very often - and it is justified where planting trees increases climate-damaging consumption patters, according to the motto "I planted a tree, now I'll drive to the supermarket 50 metres away". Therefore, we say clearly that planting trees is only one lever of many in the fight against climate change. This in no way replaces a rethinking of consumption - everyone is still called upon to shape their own lives as green as possible. That is why we provide many useful tips for sustainable living in everyday life for you in our blog.
Of course, hardly anyone manages to live "perfectly". Moreover, we in the Global North have a historically much higher CO2 footprint than people from Africa or Latin America, for example. Unfortunately, a change in our own consumption behaviour is not enough to compensate for the damage we have already caused. Therefore, planting trees is a way for us to do something good right now on our way to CO2 neutrality and a globally fairer world. And this in countries where, in addition to the positive effect on the climate, poverty can also be reduced and future poverty-related deforestation of existing primeval forests can thus be counteracted.
Question 2: Shouldn't we rather ensure that existing forests are protected than plant new trees?
No question - the primeval forest must be protected and the planting of new trees does not justify cutting down existing forests! Fortunately, through our work, we can now create mixed forests whose permanent existence is assured. At the same time, by planting with our partners about 10% of trees as agroforestry species, we manage to minimise the incentive to clear existing forests. By allowing smallholders to use the stock of new avocado or mango trees, for example, we counteract the main cause of illegal deforestation: Existential poverty. At the same time, the local communities learn how the topic of sustainability can be implemented in such a way that they also benefit from it and that climate protection and economic development are not opposites.
Question 3: Shouldn't you be a not-for-profit if you really just want to plant trees?
We believe that profit orientation ensures that more creative solutions are found, things run as efficiently as possible and are oriented towards growth. Therefore, we want to build a performance-oriented and competitive organisation that can best pursue our main goal: to plant as many trees as possible. To make tree planting as popular, easy and versatile as feasible, we invest in marketing, sales, software, technology and processes. This idea of innovation requires investments that we want to raise via our profit orientation. We believe that with this strategy we can ultimately plant more trees than pure non-profit organisations which are often dependent on donations and where inefficient structures, a lack of creativity and a lack of performance culture prevail in some places. Your money does not end up in bureaucratic structures (as is unfortunately the case with some non-profit organisations) nor does it end up in exorbitant salaries. Instead, it goes into the expansion of our technology, offers, marketing & sales and thus fully into our mission to plant as many trees as possible. In addition, we have decided to donate 50% of all possible profits to sustainability research and reforestation.
We think that every non-profit organisation also has its role to play and that every customer should decide for themselves which offers suit them best. The main thing is that as many people as possible are inspired to plant trees and thus invest in a more sustainable future right now.
Further questions or suggestions? Feel free to share them with us via email@example.com.