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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Trump says he wants to plant a trillion trees, but mostly is focused on cutting them down

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The administration’s new executive order on tree planting seems toothless. Its logging expansions are very real. In late September, the Trump administration finalized a plan to allow logging in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest—the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. A little more than two weeks later, on October 13, he issued an executive order calling for a new council to “implement a strategy” for the Trillion Trees Initiative, a global effort to grow and conserve a trillion trees within the next decade. 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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How Biden’s new Civilian Climate Corps would work

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Biden wants to pay people to help fight climate change by putting them to work on conservation projects. In 1933, when millions of Americans were out of work because of the Great Depression, the newly created Civilian Conservation Corps—part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal—hired a “tree army” of young men who eventually planted 3.5 billion trees (among other projects, such as building trails in national parks) across the country. Biden’s new Civilian Climate Corps has similar goals: Give people jobs and simultaneously tackle climate work such as reforestation and protecting biodiversity. Read Full Story

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What is a job guarantee—and how could it help us recover from the coronavirus?

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What if anytime someone wanted work, there was a societally beneficial job—like providing eldercare or planting trees—available to them? In the middle of the Great Depression, at a point when around 20% of Americans were unemployed, the Works Progress Administration put millions of people back to work building roads, schools, bridges, and other infrastructure. The Civilian Conservation Corps, another agency started as part of the New Deal, hired a “tree army” that planted 3 billion trees. Now, as so many Americans have suddenly lost their jobs that the unemployment rate could surge to the same level, it raises a question: Should the government begin creating jobs like this again, to make sure anyone who wants to work has work to do? Read Full Story

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The EU is going to plant 3 billion trees by 2030

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It’s part of a broad plan to increase biodiversity by protecting 30% of the continent’s land and water. Over the next decade, the European Union plans to plant 3 billion trees. It’s one piece of a larger commitment to protect nature on the continent at a time when a million species, globally, are now at risk of extinction , and biodiversity loss also threatens future pandemics . In a new strategy document, the European Commission says it now aims to protect 30% of the region’s land and oceans, based on science that suggests that amount is necessary to preserve biodiversity. Read Full Story

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How Salesforce has helped plant 10 million new trees (with 90 million to go)

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The company is working on its commitment to plant 100 million trees, with some valuable lessons about how forest restoration can be most effectively deployed. In Madagascar, where 90% of the country’s forests have been lost to deforestation, the tech company Salesforce is working with a nonprofit to pay workers to plant and protect 10 million trees. In Australia, it’s paying to restore 150,000 native trees on degraded farmland. In Latin America, it’s funding more than 600,000 new trees in six countries in the Andes. In Tanzania, it’s helping fund the natural regeneration of 800,000 trees. In areas destroyed by wildfire in California, it’s helping support work to replace thousands of trees with species that will be less likely to burn in the next fire . Read Full Story

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Why Ikea just bought an 11,000-acre forest in Georgia

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The company now owns more than 100,000 of acres of U.S. forest that it’s working to sustainably manage as part of its climate goals. In southeast Georgia, a forest covering nearly 11,000 acres was at risk of being split up and developed. But a conservation organization acquired the land to protect it—and Ikea’s parent company, Ingka Group, just bought it under a contract that will continue to protect the local ecosystem. Read Full Story

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These drones can plant 40,000 trees in a month. By 2028, they’ll have planted 1 billion

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We need to massively reforest the planet, in a very short period of time. Flash Forest’s drones can plant trees a lot faster than humans. This week, on land north of Toronto that previously burned in a wildfire, drones are hovering over fields and firing seed pods into the ground, planting native pine and spruce trees to help restore habitat for birds. Flash Forest , the Canadian startup behind the project, plans to use its technology to plant 40,000 trees in the area this month. By the end of the year, as it expands to other regions, it will plant hundreds of thousands of trees. By 2028, the startup aims to have planted a full 1 billion trees. Read Full Story

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Food wrappers just passed cigarette butts as the most common beach trash

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Of the nearly 32.5 million pieces of trash collected by Ocean Conservancy cleanups, there were 4.7 million food wrappers. Cigarette butts are arguably the most infamous type of litter. By some estimates, 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are incorrectly disposed of each year. Since the Ocean Conservancy carried out its first coastal cleanup effort in 1986, cigarette butts have topped their list as the most common item collected from beaches and waterways every year—until now. For the first time in the environmental nonprofit’s history, food wrappers were the most collected item from the annual cleanup, a sign of how huge our single-use packaging problem has become. Read Full Story

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