It’s estimated that around 15bn trees are cut down every year, trees that could play a vital role in helping the world combat climate change. In fact, according to new data from Viessmann roughly 327bn trees are needed to just offset the world’s carbon footprint.
The data comes as part of a campaign by the global heating company to help the UK public better visualise their carbon footprint by showing how many trees are needed to offset the carbon emissions of our day-to-day activities.
The campaign looks at everything from watching Netflix to sending emails and running a dishwasher for a year and visualises their impact on the environment as the number of trees needed to cancel them out rather than just how much carbon is emitted.
This comes off the back of their recent ViMove campaign which saw the company encourage employees around the world to exercise in order to plant more trees. For every kilometre walked or ran the company planted a young tree.
So far Viessmann has planted 300,000 new trees, which led the company to ask; what can 300,000 trees achieve?
According to Viessmann’s research one adult tree can offset around 10kg of carbon emissions every year. However, the average UK citizen adds around 8000kg of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) into the atmosphere per year due to their day to day lives.
For example, watching as little as 30 minutes of Netflix every day for the year has a carbon footprint of around 584kg of Co2e. That means it could take just under 60 trees to offset one Netflix user.
As of January 2021 Netflix has an estimated 203.7 million users worldwide.
Interestingly according to the data around 70 trees are needed per person just offset the annual carbon footprint of food consumption – that’s ten more trees than what’s needed to offset a return flight from London to New York!
Thankfully for everyone who charges their phone every day the activity only generates around 3kg of Co2e across the entire year meaning one tree is actually enough to offset multiple people.
And while the pandemic has definitely had a positive impact on the environment, due to less people commuting, the shift to working from home has resulted in a lot of office workers relying more on email or video calling to communicate.
On average around 60 trees are needed to offset just one person’s annual emails.
As James Harper, Digital Marketing Manager for Viessmann, explains so many of these activities are unavoidable aspects of day-to-day life, which is why reforestation programs are so important.
James adds: “Sometimes we have no control over how much we are contributing to the amount of carbon emissions in the atmosphere, despite all the steps we take to help lower our personal carbon footprint. But we can make sure the environment has what it needs to minimise the impact our day-to-day life has on climate change.
“According to our research around 15bn trees are cut down every year and yet we estimate around 327bn are needed to offset the world’s total carbon footprint. Talking about carbon footprints can become very confusing for a lot of people, mostly because you can’t visualise what x amount of kilograms of Co2e looks like – it’s easier to look at it as well how many trees would be needed to offset this.”
And if you wanted to help offset some of your carbon footprint by planting a tree in your garden, Viessmann have even found out which species will absorb the most carbon.
According to their reforestation partner, Forest Carbon, a wide variety of trees will happily grow in the average UK garden including oak, silver birch and aspen but in general oak is the best for absorbing carbon.