In the development of our Youth Advocacy Program, Common Energy’s CEO Richard Kieser asked his Youth Council, “How can we give more?” When a company is centered around reducing the harmful effects of greenhouse gases, increasing access to clean energy, and helping people save money every month, at no cost whatsoever, one might think that these efforts would be sufficient enough environmental stewardship. However, Common Energy is committed to go above and beyond in order to fight for and protect our Earth. This is why we chose to partner with the 501(c)3 global nonprofit organization, One Tree Planted.
The I-80 West that leads to the city of Denver is usually adorned with mesmerizing views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. On August 14, 2020, as I accompanied my sister on her drive home to the mile high city, I was not graced with this view. Instead, as we approached the city, we witnessed a great pink fog that lurked in the atmosphere and obscured the mountainous landscape. I later learned about the three massive wildfires that began as a result of lightning on July 31. In the course of two weeks, the lightning strike has ignited four separate wildfires in Western Colorado, and together they have blazed through over 100,000 acres of forest.
Unfortunately, due to an increasingly arid climate and decreased rainfall resulting from anthropogenic climate change, wildfires are increasing in frequency and intensity across the world. In 2020 alone, we’ve seen the effects of these fires in the expansive forests of Australia, Brazil, and the Western United States. Forests are among the most effective carbon sinks on Earth, and are a necessary resource to reduce the excessive amount of Carbon Dioxide in our atmosphere, and mitigate the continued effects of Global Climate Change.
Trees are a fundamental source of life on Earth. The massive forests found in North and South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia are the living lungs of our planet. Not only do they produce fresh oxygen, but they also act as filters for the air, removing toxins and excessive CO2 from the atmosphere. Along with filtering air, trees are essential for a healthy and functioning water system. Their roots filter ground water and also prevent harmful floods, erosion, and landslides. Trees are the essential epicenter of every terrestrial ecosystem, as they provide clean air, water, food, and shelter for hundreds of millions of diverse species around the globe. To put it shortly, trees are the unsung heroes of our Earth. It’s about time we sing their song!
When Common Energy decided to partner with One Tree Planted, we decided to join the fight, and sing the song of the trees. In June 2020, when we launched our Youth Advocacy program, we began sending $20 donations to One Tree Planted for every member who signed up. Since then, Common Energy has been able to raise enough funds to plant over 3,000 trees to be distributed throughout California and Colorado, where wildfires have terrorized the land.
A quick trip to the OTP website (www.onetreeplanted.org) will enlighten any tree hugger with hope for a brighter future. They have active tree planting projects in North America, South America, the Carribean Islands, Africa, Asia, and Australia. In their 2019 report, OTP was able to plant more trees than ever before, nurturing a staggering 4 million tree saplings in the Earth’s fertile soil. An organization that fights for trees is an organization that fights for clean air, clean water, a healthy ecosystem, a strong economy, and a livable future. We at Common Energy are proud to partner with such an inspiring organization that is committed to doing the necessary work of healing our planet, and protecting future generations.