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Become a Tree Champion

Learning Objectives 

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify personal ways to support the conservation, restoration, and growth of trees.
  • Analyze the larger impact your actions will have.

Your Voice Matters

Throughout this module we’ve shared the urgency around climate change. It comes down to this: The World Economic Forum (WEF) considers climate change to be the global issue. In fact, 154 of the 169 targets of the UN's Sustainable Goals are aligned with tackling climate change. WEF’s Global Risk Report includes these sobering points that indicate just how off-track we are. 

  • Climate change issues are among the top-five long-term risks to our planet.
  • With current targets, we could see 3.6° Celsius of warming by the end of the century.
  • The current rate of extinction is tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the past 10 million years—and it is accelerating.

(Read the WEF report in the Resources section at the end of this unit.)

With the urgency of climate change, businesses are becoming more conscious of ways they can act to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Many companies are now prioritizing climate change mitigation as they build their corporate sustainability strategy. You might be wondering, “What can I, as one person, do?” As an individual, there are many ways you can help the planet. You can help drive this critical work at work and home. Your voice matters!

  • You can tap into your company’s existing sustainability programs, or offer to lead an effort where one doesn’t exist.
  • You can help by spreading the word about what people are doing to make a difference.

Salesforce employees working outdoors on various tree volunteering projects

Support Trees for Climate Change 

Consider protecting or restoring forest ecosystems as part of a broader climate change response. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Volunteer

There are many organizations that need your help and support. Check to see if your company offers volunteer opportunities. For example, Earthforce is a Salesforce group of more than 7,000+ passionate employee volunteers who are dedicated to promoting and celebrating environmental responsibility, both at Salesforce and in our communities. Outside of work, you can find volunteer opportunities that match your interests. (Check out the Resources section for suggested opportunities.)

Voice Your Opinion 

Forests depend on people, like you, who appreciate all that they provide to our current generation and can provide to future generations. You don’t need to run for elected office or be a CEO to have influence. Act in these ways:

  • Talk to your friends and neighbors about what is important to you, and what you think would help improve the community while lowering its environmental footprint and boosting benefits to people and nature.
  • Attend community events, or host your own. When citizens get involved in their local communities, it elevates the quality of living for everyone. Look for opportunities to attend public council meetings where you can advocate for environmental responsibility. Participate in or organize community events that promote trees and green spaces in your neighborhood.
  • Let your elected officials and policy leaders know about the most pressing forest-related issues of the day—and solutions to address them. (Learn more in the Resources.)

Consume Sustainable Forestry Products

It’s important to make sure our consumption of goods isn’t sabotaging our efforts to protect forests. Not all wood is harvested the same, so it’s important to select products that are ethically and sustainably sourced. A variety of wood-based products, from furniture to paper and coffee cups are certified. Although exotic woods such as Ipe, Brazilian Cherry, or Cumaru might sound enticing, these types of wood travel farther distances and contribute to rainforest deforestation. The most sustainable option of all? Using less or upcycling local wood that has been salvaged or reclaimed. (Learn more about certification programs in the Resources.)

Incorporate Sustainable Eating Habits

A healthier diet with less meat means less land is needed for agricultural purposes. By eating more plant-rich foods, you can help reduce the amount of land cleared for agricultural and farming purposes and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Switching to a plant-based diet could cut 70% of food-related greenhouse gas emissions.

Plant a Tree or Garden

What better way to start a change than by planting a tree in your own yard? Find a tree species native to your region that you like, then visit your local nursery to purchase and plant your own tree seedlings. Your budding tree would make a great anchor for a garden. A more sustainable garden uses minimal energy and water to maintain, minimizes additives like fertilizers and pesticides, composts its waste, and mostly includes plants that feed people, bees, or both.

Donate

Check to see if your company supports global tree organizations or reforesting programs. You can also search Salesforce’s list of tree projects and help support those that inspire you. While the cost varies depending on region and project, a $1 donation typically covers the planting of one tree. Just imagine the impact a gift of a tree will have, especially when the amount gets multiplied into acres! 

Remember to ask if your company offers a donation matching program. At Salesforce, each employee is eligible for a match up to $5,000 (with a minimum $50 donation) for eligible organizations every fiscal year. 

Next Steps

Protecting and restoring forest ecosystems is one of the most powerful actions we can take in the global race against climate change. And as you are now aware, there’s no time to waste. Salesforce’s tree journey is just starting, and we know there is more to do. Our vision for 1t.org is to catalyze change on a much bigger scale by demonstrating, enabling, and advocating for nature-based solutions to climate change. As we work to meet our commitments and set the world on a more just path, we encourage every company, every community, and every person to join us. Together is the only way we can meet the challenge of this moment and preserve our planet for generations to come.

Resources 

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