THE REGENERATIVE HOUR: Storing carbon with 15 trees

The eight Regenerative Hour is recorded at a beautiful place called Narmbool, situated at Elaine between Ballarat and Geelong in Victoria, Australia, where we meet with Colleen Filippa, who is founder and director of Fifteen Trees, and Mathew Dowler from the Narmbool Education Team.

Colleen and Mat talking with Jackie and Tony

Colleen Filippa’s treeplanting company Fifteen Trees from Ballarat has raised funds for 3,000 trees and shrubs to be planted by school children and community groups at this site. All together, the company has planted more than 160,000 trees since they started 10 years ago.

Fifteen Trees offers to plant any number of trees on your behalf. For instance, 15 trees is estimated to reduce the carbon footprint of your car for one year, whereas 60 trees could reduce the carbon footprint of your lifestyle for one year. If you are about to travel by air, one tree per hour in the air would reduce the carbon footprint of that flight. Or you could consider planting one tree per person you invite to your next big celebration – as a way to reduce the carbon footprint of your events and parties.

But won’t carbon offsetting in this way just delay the process of us cleaning up our act genuinely and decarbonising our activities – like for instance figuring out how we can transport ourselves, fly and party without emitting any carbon in the first place? That is one of the topics we discuss with Colleen.

Mathew Dowler explains about the project

National Tree Day
Tree Planting at Narmbool

Sunday 2 August 2020
10.00 am – 1.00 pm

National Tree Day started in 1996 and has grown into Australia’s largest community tree-planting and nature care event.

It’s a call to action for all Australians to get their hands dirty and give back to the community. ​​​This day sits right at the heart of Narmbool’s ethos and is the perfect place to bring your family and make a connection with, and contribution to, our incredible natural environment. BYO morning tea and lunch.

Children & Adults: $10 (towards cost of trees, guards & stakes)

Toddlers (0-4): Free

03 5337 1199 or

→

McClellands Consulting Engineers team and Fifteen Trees travelled to Narmbool to carry out their planting. Over the course of a couple of hours we planted ~ 400 native grasses and trees.

After the interview with Fifteen Trees, we play excerpts of the following youtube- and Facebook-videos:


What if, rather than mere props in the background of our lives, trees embody the history of all life on Earth?

A senior lecturer in Philosophy and a professor of plant physiology at the University of Sydney have collaborated to challenge our essential philosophical position on trees and what makes an organism autonomous and thus gives a subject “rights”.

Trees are the longest-living life form we know, and manifest their temporal and geographic histories within their very bodies. In both form and function, trees tell the stories of their individual past, which is intimately connected to the history of their microenvironments as well as that of the planet. This distinctive and intimate relation between trees and their temporal and geographic histories is what we call the ‘embodied history of trees’.

→ Read more at Aeon

Major tree-planting fundraising on Youtube
Veritasium: Why Trees Are Out to Get You

Dr. Derek Muller is the creator of Veritasium, a YouTube channel about science with over 5 million subscribers and half a billion views, winner of the Streamy award for Science or Education in 2017.

“To anyone who’s contemplating planting trees on a piece of land because they have specific goals for it, as we did – wind protection, privacy, nitrogen fixation, firewood and timber, amenity value, fruit and nuts, even wildlife habitat or carbon sequestration at a stretch – I say don’t be put off by the permaculture purists who insist on natural regeneration. Go for it.”
~ Chris Smaje

→ Resilience – 16 October 2019:
The Case for Planting Trees

Published on Youtube on 25 October 2019, this video had 35 million views in just two months
TeamTrees song by JT Music – “Feel Like Fertilizin’ “
More on

Potential: 40 per cent reduction in global emissions

“Forests globally are estimated to be able to absorb between 3 and 20 tonnes of CO2 per hectare annually, while agricultural land which is converted from intensively cultivated land to perennial grass, is estimated to be able to absorb about 2 tonnes of CO2 per hectare annually.

Assuming that, as a global average, 1 hectare of forest can absorb 10 tonnes of CO2 for 150 years (globally, the number varies greatly depending on climate and forest type, from 3-> 20 tonnes CO2 per year), the global potential for replanting forest areas is approximately 20 billion tonnes of CO2e annually, which equals a 40 per cent reduction in global emissions.

If this could be done, then forestry is an extremely effective tool with great potential. In practice, however, there are inherently some big challenges in such a comprehensive replanting, as the demand for food and biomass production, and the productivity of the remaining agricultural land, would have to be significantly changed.

There is a historical example that reforestation can have a significant effect. Some scholars have a theory that Europeans’ arrival in America in the 16th century lead to the death of 90 per cent of the indigenous population, mainly killed through illnesses. The indigenous population had been using burn-off agricultural methods, and the wipe-out caused a natural reforestation of forest the size of California, which in turn led to a measurable decrease in atmospheric CO2 content of 6-10 ppm, possibly triggering the so-called small Ice Age in the Middle Ages (Stanford University, 2008).”

Excerpt from a Danish report about carbon drawdown

Globally, deforestation has almost doubled in just five years. Since the start of human civilisation it’s estimated that the number of trees around the world has fallen by almost half.

Trees to cool our cities

“Tree planting can stabilise and restore the weather patterns that sustain the seasons but we need to plant millions more trees, using the most up-to-date planting practices, and we only have a small window of time in which to do it.

My guess is that Australia has two to four years of tree-growing weather to plant nine million to 15 million trees needed to cool our cities, and many millions more to return our farms to productivity.

Other countries are making a start. For example, Ireland recently announced it would plant 22 million trees a year for the next 20 years.

But, with a few exceptions, such a verdant vision seems unlikely to appear in Australia’s barren political landscape any time soon. And when we do plant trees, we are often relying on out-dated or impractical planting practices. For example, new street trees planted by local government are often doomed to die.”
~ Michael Mobbs

→ The Fifth Estate – 5 September 2019:
Uprooting urban tree myths in the climate emergency
Australia faces a shrinking window of opportunity to plant enough trees to help cool our cities and protect our farms, writes sustainability expert Michael Mobbs.

→ Energy Post – 11 November 2019:
10 Carbon Capture methods compared: costs, scalability, permanence, cleanness
“This article looks at 10 methods and estimates how much CO2 each will take out of the atmosphere by 2050, and the cost per tonne.”

Carbon Neutral is dedicated to the protection and conservation of Australia’s biodiversity. We are passionate about our native Australian landscape, and our focus is on developing biodiverse reforestation plantings and carbon sinks.

Trees for the Future

Greenfleet Australia

Eden Reforestation Project

→ Trees for Life UK’s Facebook page

Apps planting trees

Ecosia – the search engine that plants trees

Danish Climate Telethon raises money for one million trees

Organised by the Danish Society for Nature Conservation and the Growing Trees Network Foundation, an event in Denmark invited musical guests to perform and was broadcast on Denmark’s public broadcaster channel TV2. The goal was to raise 20 million Danish kroner – just under US$3 million dollars – to plant one million trees. With donations from both individuals and businesses, the event concluded just short of its goal with a grand total of $2.67 million; enough to plant 914,233 trees.

What a great idea this is; for just 20 kroner (US$3), one tree will be planted – that’s like half the price of a latte in most cities.

→ DW – 17 September 2019:
Danes raise millions of euros in first-ever climate telethon
“Individuals and companies alike donated about €2.4 million to plant almost 1 million trees in the Scandinavian country. The fundraising event was described as the first of its kind to focus on the climate.”

→ Treehugger – 17 September 2019:
First-ever climate telethon raises millions to plant trees in Denmark

→ BBC News – 29 July 2019:
Ethiopia ‘breaks’ tree-planting record to tackle climate change
“Ethiopia has planted more than 350 million trees in a day, officials say, in what they believe is a world record.”

The Economist: “Climate change: the trouble with trees”

Tree-planting has been hailed as a solution to climate change. But how much can trees really do to tackle global warming? The trouble with trees tackling climate change is space, writes The Economist.
→ See The Economist’s research

The Economist: “Climate Change: can nature repair the planet? What is the real story behind trees and climate change?”

Gold Standard Offsets question to Geelong Council

Sanja van Huet shared this post on Facebook on 25 November 2019:

“My questions [to Geelong Council] this month are related to carbon offsets. In my job I have unavoidable car trips, and although I have the most fuel-efficient car that will do what my work requires, I still try not to use it for most of my travel. I use the inefficient Bellarine public transport system whenever I can.

Although it is not the ideal solution, I subscribe to Gold Standard offsets.
I calculate how much my travel contributes to carbon emissions (there is a handy calculator on the site) and then purchase offsets of my choice monthly. I also do this for plane travel.

My first question is – in the wait time for the Environmental report in February, would council consider – either on a personal or a Council wide basis – carbon offsetting their vehicle emissions. This would provide an immediate action that Council can implement on the spot.

My second question is – if the answer to Q1 is yes, then; instead of contributing to the Gold Standard carbon offsets, could the offset monies be used to seed fund a solar savers program for aged and disadvantaged members of the Geelong community.

Thank you.”

→ Traveller – 24 January 2020:
Does carbon offsetting work? Why your holiday will never be carbon neutral

“We have so much to do. And we must do it together.”
~ Pope Francis, in the film ‘A Man of His Word’

The Sustainable Hour
The Sustainable Hour

Sharing solutions that make the climate safer and our cities more liveable