GreenAnswers Tree Planting Campaign

We launched GreenAnswers with the belief that environmental education is a key to positive change. While spreading knowledge about environmental issues is the main goal of GreenAnswers, we also want to provide a direct and tangible improvement to the planet. In line with this goal, we’ve decided to implement a tree planting campaign on GreenAnswers. As of June 7, 2010, we will now plant a tree in Central America for every five answers submitted on GreenAnswers. Additionally, we will plant another tree for every new person who signs up for a GreenAnswers account.

To become a new member and plant your first tree, join GreenAnswers now! If you’re already a GreenAnswers member, the best way to start planting trees is to invite your friends to join or keep answering questions!

You can see the number of trees that the GreenAnswers community has planted all-time and in the last day in the “Grow” widget in the sidebar on most GreenAnswers pages. You can also keep track of how many questions you personally need to answer in order to earn your next tree in the Grow widget, as well as under the “Your Trees” section on your profile page.

Please note that our tree counters may experience up to a four minute delay before registering each new tree. This is due to programming and caching requirements.

To plant the trees, GreenAnswers has partnered with Trees, Water & People, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. TWP has been working with communities in Central America for over twelve years to help protect and manage their natural resources. In that time, TWP has planted over 3 million trees that provide fruit, timber, and firewood to the local communities. Taking a comprehensive approach to the problem of deforestation and smoke inhalation, TWP has also provided these communities with over 37,000 fuel-efficient cook stoves that burn less firewood and reduce inhalation of toxic smoke.

The challenges we face today are not easy to solve. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 2.6 billion people currently rely on fuelwood or charcoal as their primary source of energy for cooking and heating. This firewood is typically burned in unsafe, smoky, open fire stoves and is usually harvested straight from the rainforest. This collection of fuelwood and building material from the rainforest is a significant contributor to global deforestation and climate change. In recent decades, countries where TWP is working, like Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Haiti have experienced severe deforestation. This deforestation has lead to substantially reduced sequestration of atmospheric carbon and other greenhouse gases that are released daily by humans all over the planet.

Since an average tree in a Central American rainforest has the capacity to offset approximately 1 ton of CO2 over its lifetime and an average person in North America emits between 10 – 20 tons of CO2 per year, planting just 20 trees can offset all of your greenhouse gas emissions for a year!

To start planting trees today, join GreenAnswers, invite your friends, or go ahead and answer some questions!

And more photos from Trees Water & People:

A Trees, Water & People supported tree nursery located in Nicaragua.

Stuart Conway from Trees, Water & People inspects a tree sapling in Guatemala.