The world lost enough trees to cover Pennsylvania last year—but some countries are reversing the trend

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Losing 29 million acres of tree covering is devastating for the planet, but the success in some places points to lessons on how to combine national and corporate policy to help curb the problem. Last year, the world lost trees covering more than 29 million acres, an area roughly the size of the entire state of Pennsylvania. Around a third of the trees were in mature tropical rainforests, where the equivalent of a soccer field’s worth of primary forest was lost every six seconds. But there are also early signs that some efforts to stop business practices that drive deforestation might be working. Read Full Story

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Map: Here’s where we could plant 68 billion trees in the U.S.

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There’s a lot of former forestland in the country. What if we planted trees on it again? The U.S. was once covered in around 1 billion acres of forest. While much of that land has been developed, a recent study led by the Nature Conservancy found that there are still as many as 127 million acres of former forestland in the lower 48 states—an area about twice the size of Oregon—that could feasibly be reforested. In that space, we could plant 68 billion trees, which could capture more than 300 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year, roughly as much as the pollution from 67 million cars. Read Full Story

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These are the companies leading the trillion trees effort in the U.S.

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As part of the effort to plant a trillion trees around the world, a group of companies is pledging to help the U.S. do its part. Over the next decade, Salesforce plans to conserve and restore 100 million trees. Mastercard plans to reach the same number in five years. Timberland is also planting trees: 50 million of them. Clif Bar is adding 750,000. Microsoft, which plans to invest in reforestation as one piece of a strategy to become carbon negative, is developing technology for conservation organizations. The companies are among 26 businesses, organizations, and cities that make up the new U.S. chapter of 1t.org , the movement to plant and conserve a trillion trees globally. Read Full Story

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Remembering some of the designers, architects, and creative thinkers who died in 2020

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It’s been a devastating year. These are just a few of the brilliant minds we lost. The coronavirus pandemic has taken nearly 2 million lives around the world. Like every other industry, the design world has suffered some incalculable losses. Here, we remember just a few of the designers and creatives who have passed away this year due to COVID-19 complications. Read Full Story

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More trees! More decorations! Wounded by 2020, Americans are going big on Christmas cheer

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It’s not just you. Consumers are spending more on holiday decorations this year as the COVID-19 pandemic forces millions to stay home. René and Joe Hauser’s home is decorated with not one, not two, but three Christmas trees this year—a seven-footer in the foyer covered with their children’s ornaments and ones they’ve received as gifts, a six-footer in the living room decorated with blue lights and blue and silver ornaments, and a four-foot-tall Harry Potter-themed tree in the dining room. Elsewhere are Santa Claus pictures, Christmas dishes, two Advent calendars, two Nativity sets, and holiday potholders, towels, and shower curtains. Outside their Olean, N.Y., house to delight neighbors and motorists who stop to take pictures are Santa, reindeer, a North Pole sign, a nutcracker, lighted trees, a Joy sign, and candy canes. Read Full Story

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4 reasons why hiring disabled workers is good for business

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The pandemic has hit the disabilities community particularly hard. This founder of a startup that makes software more accessible warns that’s a major loss for your innovation. Everyone has been struck by the pandemic, but the individuals who typically fail to be taken into account in society and business have felt some of the harshest blowback of all. Diverse employees have been facing greater challenges , work-related stress, and fear for their professional futures more than non-diverse workers. A million U.S. workers with disabilities lost their jobs between March and August last year, and by the end of 2020, the unemployment rate for the community reached 12.3% —nearly double the 6.2% national average. We need to be springing into action now to make sure the most vulnerable groups in society aren’t excluded from tomorrow’s workforce. Read Full Story

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These three timber buildings could represent the future of green architecture

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Timber buildings are popping up around the world. Are they the solution to construction’s carbon problem? Construction materials alone, including carbon and steel, contribute 11% of global carbon emissions (by comparison, air travel contributes about 2.5%). That’s why architects and development companies around the world are opting for a novel but not-so-new solution: wood. A study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in Germany, found that with proper forest management, a global boom in wood buildings could sequester up to 700 million tons of carbon a year (wood naturally stores carbon, preventing it from being released into the atmosphere). The idea is catching on: Google’s Sidewalk Labs has proposed a 12-acre timber neighborhood in Toronto, while in February, France mandated that all public buildings after 2022 be constructed of at least 50% wood or other organic materials. The University of Arkansas completed the largest timber building in the …

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The Amazon rainforest could disappear within our lifetime

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When ecosystems reach a tipping point, they can deteriorate rapidly and suddenly. The Amazon rainforest—the world’s largest rainforest, covering more than three million square miles—has been under threat from deforestation and exploitation for decades. But scientists now think that the damage done to the forest could be fundamental. A new study looks at how quickly the largest ecosystems in the world could be lost after they reach critical tipping points. The larger the ecosystem, they found, the faster it can change. And the Amazon could reach that tipping point and disappear within 50 years. Read Full Story

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Key insights: Agile marketing adoption, when data doesn’t sing with CX, opportunities lost, ecommerce rises again

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30-second summary: Finance, health, and high-tech are the most keen on planning agile marketing transformation 38% respondents mentioned that internal silos were a top challenge for delivering great CX Customer experience influenced customers more than it would have 2 years back 50% consumers would switch brands or spend less due to a CX that lacked personalization There’s a huge, yes huge gap in the engagement and send out rates clearly indicating that businesses lost out on opportunities to capture their consumers’ attention Given the ecommerce slump in March, April has seen a 43% thanks to users wanting to make purchases and paid advertising. A lot can happen in a week, and a lot has happened indeed. Our weekly key insights this week brings you an eagle-eye view of the marketing space, across silos in customer experience (CX), agile marketing, and lots more. Data and silos in CX According to content …

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