One Tree Planted is a nonprofit organization that was founded in Vermont in 2014 with the goal of funding reforestation efforts. Deforestation is a serious concern throughout the world but particularly in the United States and notably in California. California has been a focal point for One Tree Planted since its inception because the state loses millions of trees annually. These losses are not only due to clear-cutting and other forms of intentional deforestation but also both natural and man-made wildfires.

Why It’s Important to Plant Trees in California

California is home to more than 33 million acres of forests. Unfortunately, wildfires are ravaging those areas, and the last decade has been remarkably destructive. In 2017, California experienced a record-breaking wildfire season when it lost more than 1.3 million acres of forest—an area approximately the size of Delaware. Then, several years later in 2020, that record was shattered when the state lost almost 3 million acres of forest. That means there are hundreds of millions of trees that need to be reforested due to wildfires alone. Additionally, there are other losses to account for, including typical deforestation, droughts, and beetle infestations. The State Forest Service now spends more than 50% of its budget on reforestation—up 30% in just a decade—but lacks the funding and labor to tackle this challenge on its own.

The Benefits of Reforestation in California

From the perspective of climate change, it’s necessary to restore California’s forests because trees remove a substantial amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is a mechanism known as the carbon sink function. In addition, there are more local and immediate reasons to reforest in California. These include protecting the state’s water supply and protecting against soil erosion. Wildfires not only threaten the water supply and soil but are then further exacerbated by the issues caused. Younger and healthier forests are better able to suppress wildfires, and reforestation is also an opportunity to create forests that are more resilient and also to save threatened species, such as the Sugar Pine.

How One Tree Planted Makes a Difference

The primary purpose of One Tree Planted is to fundraise and then distribute those resources to the organizations that are on the ground and actively working to reforest California. To maximize the use of its limited resources, One Tree Planted focuses on efforts that are supported by its local communities, which will involve the planting of no less than 10,000 trees. The organization must have reforestation experts on staff to monitor and maintain the trees as doing so increases the survival rate to 80%. One Tree Planted also hosts tree-planting events in communities not only to give back but to raise awareness about reforestation and the difference an individual can make.

Is One Tree Planted Exclusive to California?

No! While One Tree Planted is based in Vermont and began with an emphasis on North America, it has evolved into a global organization with a presence throughout the world. One Tree Planted has a presence in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Pacific. It also partners with other global organizations with a focus on reforestation, including the Rainfall Alliance, Jane Goodall Institute, and World Resources Institute. The way in which One Tree Planted has evolved has been very organic in nature. People in a community request aid, and the focus expands into that area.

How You Can Participate in One Tree Planted

The simplest way to get involved is to make a donation, which you can do online through the One Tree Planted website. When donating, ensure that you’re on the page appropriate to the area that you want to support. There’s a page for California but also a separate page for North America at large and the Amazon Rainforest. One Tree Planted has a core motto of “one dollar, one tree.” This means for every dollar you donate the organization promises that a tree will be planted in an area of need. You can even donate as little as a dollar because every single dollar matters. You can also donate as much as you like, and the site provides options to set up recurring donations. You can even gift trees, which is where you make a donation in the name of another.

Are One Tree Planted Donations Tax Deductible?

Yes! One Tree Planted is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, which means that donations are tax-deductible in the U.S. Once you have made a successful donation to One Tree Planted, the organization will email you a receipt. This is your official record for tax-filing purposes.

Other Ways to Get Involved

There are many different ways to get involved with One Tree Planted beyond donations. The organization depends heavily on other organizations and individuals who fundraise on its behalf. All the resources needed to host a fundraising event are available on the website. Small-scale fundraising is encouraged. If you’re running a marathon, for instance, you could ask family and friends to donate a tree for every mile run.

If you’re interested in reforestation as a career, One Tree Planted is hiring and needs many different types of professionals—not just those focused on tree science. Another great way to give back is to volunteer your time. The organization hosts events throughout the year that need help from volunteers, including for Earth Day, World Environment Day, and Plant a Tree Day. You can see all of those opportunities via the community events calendar hosted on the main website.

Need Funding?

If you need funding for a reforestation effort, the application is available online. You’ll usually receive a response within three weeks, and the total timeline can take up to eight weeks. During this process, additional documentation will be requested. Monitoring of the project process will also occur, and there will be requirements at each of the key project milestones as outlined by One Tree Planted. Be mindful of the criteria. The funded project must be an official reforestation effort with the necessary expertise involved. It must be a project that is supported by the local community, and it must involve the planting of 10,000 trees or more.

Stay Current With One Tree Planted

There are many ways to stay abreast of One Tree Planted news. You’ll find a wide range of videos and other resources on the website, including a blog. The One Tree Planted Instagram page is a great source of images of reforestation efforts. You should also consider signing up for the newsletter so that you never miss news about events and other opportunities in your area.

Your Local HVAC & Plumbing Pros in Northern California

Environmental Heating & Air Solutions is a local company that serves Roseville and the surrounding areas. We’re proud to be a member of this community and to give back to it through our environmentally friendly practices and a focus on efforts like One Tree Planted. You can also count on us for the installation, maintenance, and repair of residential heating and cooling systems. Our plumbers install all manner of water heaters, and we also offer duct cleaning and other indoor air quality services, home insulation, and home automation. Call Environmental Heating & Air Solutions today with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

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