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One Million Trees: Here's how your next supermarket trip could help fight climate change in Africa

Glenisk is working with Self Help Africa to plant over one million native trees in developing countries and in Ireland.

Image: Shutterstock

WHILE WE CONTINUE to learn to live with COVID19, climate change remains a big issue that we need to pay attention to.

According to a report published by the Environmental Protection Agency last week, Ireland’s current performance on climate change is “very poor”.

One action that can make a lasting impact against climate change is planting trees – and Self Help Africa, with the help of Glenisk, has set a goal to plant over one million trees in Africa and Ireland this year.

While visiting the continent with Self Help Africa CEO Ray Jordan in 2019, Glenisk Managing Director Vincent Cleary “was struck by the landscape and absence of trees”.

“It’s often the case that those least responsible for climate change bear the worst brunt and this is the case in parts of Africa that have been affected by floods, droughts and crop failures, all made infinitely worse by dramatically shifting weather patterns,” he says.

The pair began to think about how the two companies could work together to make a positive difference, and the One Million Trees initiative was born.

shutterstock_580933222 Source: Shutterstock

Trees are a vital resource for rural poor communities in Africa; they provide shade and shelter, help to prevent soil erosion, restore degraded land, and can be a valuable source of food and nutrition.

On top of their benefits for the community, tree planting is also one of the most effective ways to mitigate the effects of climate change: A single mature tree can remove upwards of 25kg of harmful greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. 

Planting a tree is a simple but powerful action in the fight against climate change.

So far, more than 750,000 trees have been planted in Africa as part of the initiative. “We are well on our way to reaching our target of one million trees by March,” says Vincent.

“Over 1,500 acres have been planted already, at 22 locations with 25 different varieties of trees. Over 175,000 people have received training as part of the initiative.”

shutterstock_562927264 Source: Shutterstock

Back here in Ireland, 100,000 native woodland trees will be planted in the coming months by Glenisk and local partner Trees on the Land.

“As the planting season in Ireland has just begun, we’re now getting started here,” says Vincent. “We’re now focused on how we make the next million trees happen.”

“It’s a great source of pride to know that we are reforesting parts of Ireland that have been denuded over time. While I won’t be around to see these native trees reach maturity, I will get to see them grow in the landscape and make an immediate difference in terms of the biodiversity that is attracted to the area.” 

Source: Glenisk/YouTube

Glenisk is encouraging shoppers to show their support and help One Million Trees reach its target on your next grocery shop. Pick up a pot of Glenisk BIO Organic Yogurt (450-500g) at SuperValu before December 9th and €1 from each pot will go directly to the campaign. Alternatively, a €5 donation made directly to Self Help Africa will see 10 native trees planted in Africa and 1 native tree planted in Ireland. To find out more, see selfhelpafrica.org. #OneMillionTrees

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