Trees are the lungs of our planet. They provide food and shelter for our wildlife and protect us from some of the worst impacts of climate change. But with an estimated 200,000 trees bulldozed every day in Australia alone, it’s not hard to see why the threat of climate change continues to grow.
But what can we, as individuals, do to reverse this loss of nature and combat climate change? What can we do when our forests need our help?
We can all start today.
Here are 10 steps we can take in our journey toward securing a healthy future for people and nature.
1. Sign up to Earth Hour
This Earth Hour, we’re encouraging Australians to take time out for nature to appreciate the many benefits nature provides for us. Be it planting a native tree in your backyard or adding a morning stroll in nature to your daily routine, there's no action too simple to take #TimeOutForNature. Sign up to switch off on March 25 at 8:30pm to join millions of people in over 190 countries and territories taking time out for nature.
Sign up now
2. Get educated
It’s not only trees we’re trying to save, it’s the diversity of life that relies on them for food and shelter. To gain a better understanding of why it’s so important we protect them, educate yourselves on some of your favourite Australian tree dwellers.
For example, did you know: Greater gliders can maintain up to 20 tree hollows at any time? And koalas eat up to a kilogram of eucalyptus leaves every day? We need trees to survive, and so do they.
Want more facts about koalas
and greater gliders
? Find out here.
3. Plant native trees
Do you have a backyard or balcony? Why not plant some native trees? You could attract some local bees and wildlife, and your garden will look even better than it does already.
Check out this article
to find out which plants are native to your area.
4. Support local forest conservation organisations
Want to find a way of taking time out for nature that’s both fun and rewarding? Support local conservation organisations and look out for community tree planting events. These groups work tirelessly in the hopes of stemming the tide of climate change and mass extinction and rely on volunteers and donations. If you have the time and/or resources, supporting these awesome organisations is a great way to help!
Check out this great organisation
5. Learn about the importance of forests
Forests play a critical role in sustaining life on Earth. It might be known as the blue planet, but without the green, we simply wouldn’t be here. Educate yourself and others on the importance of forests. Here’s a fact to get you started:
Did you know human health is inextricably linked to forest health? When we clear forests, it forces wildlife to leave their habitat and venture into suburban areas. The possibility of wildlife-human contact increases as the animals search for new homes, so the risk of transferring infection and disease rises.
This is just one of the many reasons we need to protect trees. Learn more about the importance of forests for your own health and well-being here
6. Reduce your plastic use
Whether you use a reusable bag for your shopping, carry around a KeepCup, or even avoid buying things with too much plastic packaging, reducing your plastic use has enormous benefits for the environment. Every action you take helps reduce the terrifying 130,000 tonnes of plastic that finds its way into Australian waterways and oceans every year.
Here are some other ways
to reduce your plastic use.
7. Recycle responsibly
There’s more to recycling than putting paper in one bin and plastic in another. If you really want to be a recycling superstar, don’t just throw out your old electronics, donate them to schools, sell them on a digital marketplace or drop them off at designated e-waste sites set up by your local council. You can also recycle old medication, furniture and paint.
Check out this link to learn more: Recycle Responsibly
8. Keep it clean
We all know the saying ‘Take only photos, leave only footprints’. It’s a beautiful saying, making it an even more salient reminder to respect and honour the beautiful forests we’re fortunate enough to have access to. So, next time you’re exploring our beautiful forests, remember to leave no trace behind.
9. Return to nature
Spending time in forests can have beneficial effects on both your physical and mental well-being. It can also foster empathy for the environment. Plus, it’s beautiful, educational and fun. What more can you ask for!?
Take #TimeOutForNature and head into the forest to birdwatch, identify native plants or look for native tree dwellers. Need some inspiration? Here are 10 ways we're taking #TimeOutForNature
this Earth Hour.
10. Take a moment
With the continued destruction of our forests and the devastating loss of biodiversity it causes, it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. Taking some time out for nature can encourage mindfulness, improve our well-being and allow us time to reflect on the incredible things nature provides us. And remember, nature, too, needs a break from time to time.
If we want to secure a healthy future, reverse the loss of nature and combat climate change by 2030, we need to act now. Switch off this Earth Hour at 8:30pm on 25 March and show your symbolic support for greater action on climate change and nature loss. Whether you switch off for 60 seconds, 60 minutes or beyond the hour, the important thing is we all take those first steps together.
And don’t forget! Sign up to Earth Hour, and you can go into the draw to win a luxury escape with Tasmanian Walking Company and experience the benefits of nature first-hand.
Sign up to Earth Hour