Take Quizzes, Plant Trees!
JetPunk is excited to announce a new charitable initiative! Starting now, and retroactive to January 1st, JetPunk will donate 5% of our revenue to the Arbor Day Foundation. The Arbor Day Foundation, based in the U.S. state of Nebraska, is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to tree planting. The money we donate will be used to plant trees, which will restore native ecosystems and absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. On the JetPunk home page, we will keep a running tally of the number of trees that were planted on our behalf.
Where Will These Trees be Planted?
The Arbor Day Foundation plants trees in the Mississippi River Valley. If you visit this Google Map, you will see an area of land that was planted in February 2017. The foundation doesn't own the land, but instead works with farmers who allow trees to be planted on their property. Once the trees are planted, the land is placed into a wetland trust, which will protect the forests in perpetuity. In return, the farmers earn revenue from the sale of carbon offsets.
The land directly adjacent to the Mississippi River is a great place to plant new forests. While the land is of marginal agricultural value, there is a huge potential benefit to planting forests along its banks. Currently, agricultural run-off from the lands surrounding the Mississippi River creates algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico. These algal blooms remove oxygen from the water, creating a 6,000 square mile Dead Zone in the Gulf. Planting forests along the river will create a Riparian Buffer, reducing the amount of pollution that enters the river, and potentially shrinking the dead zone.
This project has been ongoing since 2008. As of 2017, about 485 square kilometers have been reforested. In the coming years, the Arbor Day foundation hopes to reforest a total of about 4,000 square kilometers, an area larger than the state of Rhode Island.
Will There be a JetPunk Forest Someday?
Sadly, no. We're not big enough to fund an entire project ourselves. Our donations will be pooled with money from other donors and will be used to plant trees in different locations every few months. Our running tally will be an estimate of the number of trees that were planted using our funds.
What Kind of Trees Get Planted?
Farmers can choose from dozens of species of native trees for their land. Generally, a mix of a few different types of trees is chosen. The most common is the Cottonwood which is the fastest growing native tree, growing 8-12 feet per year. Oak varietals and bald cypress are also popular choices.
How Much Carbon Will be Absorbed?
In its first fifteen years, a freshly-planted forest will absorb about 1 metric ton of carbon dioxide for every 10 trees. This figure is vetted by registered third party companies who conform to ISO 14064-3:2006 and 14065:2007 standards. According to the EPA, a typical car emits 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. So every 47 trees planted will be equivalent to taking 1 car off the road for a year.
Are There Better Ways to Fight Climate Change?
Possibly. I'm not sure. I like trees, so this project appeals to me.
Wouldn't This Money Go Further in the Third World?
Probably. What I like about this project is that I am confident that trees are being planted and legally protected from deforestation. There may be projects like this in other parts of the world, but I haven't done enough research to know.
Well, that's it. We're excited to start this project and watch as the number of trees planted goes up over the years. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or comments!