I literally run up to trees and hug them (I’m a tree-hugger and studied too much about global warming).
Then I beg forgiveness for killing them.
So…let me tell you a story. When I was a young girl, I used to find moss in the wet, shaded spot of my lawn. I would fuzz my hands over it, and then oh-so-carefully pull it up, roll it into my version of sod, and transplant it to my little hideout. I loved, loved the softness of the moss under my fingers, the smooth fuzziness of the little tufts, and how much it also made me feel like a fairy that was protecting the earth. Unfortunately my personal hideout was quite a dry, sunny area in our back yard. Which meant – yep. Death to the moss.
Little did I know I was actually contributing to global warming.
Oh, not very much. And it was, truly, the most innocent and thoughtless thing to do. But every morning when I would go out and check out my secret little hiding spot, my moss would be decidedly brown and withered around the edges. And a few days later, it would be 100% dead and I’d have to start the whole process over again. Which means – all of that carbon that those little plants were sucking up? It all stopped there – and, in fact, they released the carbon they had been storing.
Thus started a lifelong affair of accidental plant death.
Yep. I love plants. I got one of my degrees in environmental sciences. I literally roll around on the ground whenever I get out into nature. I cannot be more passionate about how much we need to protect our planet and all of its plants in order to save our future (keep reading for more one that). And I also…accidentally kill all of the plants under my care.
I have recently decided that I must be more carbon neutral – which included growing more green things around me (plants breath in carbon, so they help offset my emissions). And this decision has prompted me to face facts, understand that I will be going on vacations and neglecting my green buddies, and find a solution.
Enter our Breathing Forests DIY world-change project.
That’s right – here at Aina we don’t just talk about issues, we give you meaningful, hands-on action you can take to change the world, today. We’re giving you this fantastic project to help stop global warming and reduce your carbon footprint – all with an accredited nonprofit. Before we get there, let’s talk a few fast facts on Global Warming so you can wow your friends at the next dinner party (and understand why this project is so important).
YOUR ISSUE: Global Warming
Global warming is one of the biggest, hottest (ha!), and most controversial topics of our generation. It’s been researched to death, but yes. It’s very complicated. So to help you have some facts on hand, here’s an easy infographic:
Global warming was once debated in scientific circles – no longer. Indeed, 98% of all researchers in ALL scientific fields believe that human-caused global warming is a fact. In the past few decades, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has done some amazing modeling and forecasting and have been able to forecast with extreme accuracy warming as correlated to human fossil fuel emissions. My favorite book on this is Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution by Peter Kalmus. He lays out all of the facts (with all of the research), as well as gives practical action to help. If you’ve ever doubted global warming, read this book – it is our duty as citizens to be informed about actions that impact our futures.
Global Warming Facts
A few of the facts that might be the most important in your life – 2/3 of the great barrier reef has been destroyed by bleaching (which happens as the ocean temperatures rise). So that trip to Australia that you’ve always put off for when you had more money? Kiss goodbye to the fun snorkeling there. Likewise, Arctic sea ice has shrunk by 4% since 1979 – and soon the North Pole will be completely ice-free. Good for shipping, bad for everyone else. Say goodbye to your Arctic vacay to see the polar bears, because they won’t be around much longer.
Current estimates are that the temperature will rise between 2 and 6 degrees celsius (that’s 3.6 to 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100 – how much depends on how quickly we curb our emissions. These increased temperatures will lead to decreases of 3%-10% in global GDP – meaning the difference between healthy economies and global depressions. Yes. It is seriously that important.
YOUR ORGANIZATION: The Rainforest Connection
But now we dance with joy!! Because the fantastic news is that you can do something about it, right now, from home. Yep, you – because we are SO not fans of doom and gloom here at Aina, we are women of action and we’re out to save this world. Enter this project – and the fantastic organization of The Rainforest Connection.
Started in 2014, this innovative group of scrappy professionals realized that deforestation of the rainforest was one of the biggest drivers of global warming – and found that they could do something about it. Rainforest Connection takes old phones, wipes them clean, reprograms them, and fits them with solar panels. Then they send it to rainforests that are being illegally logged (a HUGE problem in rainforest areas) and – get this – IT LISTENS FOR THE SOUND OF CHAINSAWS. Is that not the coolest idea ever?? If it hears them, it alerts local agencies so they can bust on in with the authority and take down those poachers. Upcycling and stopping global warming at the same time – win. win.
To date of this writing, The Rainforest Connection has monitored 26,000 hectares of rainforest and sequestered 6.2 million tons of carbon dioxide. They are so very awesome – and you can help them too. Keep reading for a simple, kid-friendly carbon sequestration at-home project, and learn more about The Rainforest Connection here.
- Screw-top Bottle (you can use an old wine bottle if you want to upcycle!)
- Drill with a small drill bit
- A Plant and Some Water
- Note: Some of these links may include affiliate links :)[/one_half_last]
Every plant on earth sequesters carbon – that is, it breathes it in and holds onto it. So each little plant you nurture and grow helps you to become more carbon neutral and battle global warming at home. So, what’s the easiest way to do that? We have a two-step shimmy to get your to reducing your carbon footprint.
Step 1: Automatic Plant Waterer
Yep, that’s right – grow plants, have them suck up carbon emissions, and don’t go crazy at the same time. While I desperately love my green plants at home (inside and out!), I also desperately love to travel. Enter the automatic plant waterer:
Step 2: Listen to the Rainforest
Our partner accredited nonprofit organization, The Rainforest Connection, not only helps save the rainforest, but they also help you actually connect to the rainforest itself. How do they do that? By providing an AMAZING app where you can listen, in real time, to the rainforest you’re helping. How. Rad. Get it on iTunes or Google Play and start being a part of the solution, today.
This is the perfect project to do with smaller people to teach them crafty skills and ALSO start that conversation about why taking care of our planet is so important. Maybe, even, we could do Step 1 and Step 2 together – listen to that rainforest while making your automatic waterer! Win. Win.
MEET YOUR MAKER: Courtenay from The Creek Line House
This week’s featured maker is Courtenay from The Creek Line House! in 2011 Courtenay and her family bought an old farmhouse and are bit-by-bit restoring it to beautiful. She has some awesome tutorials and tips (magical, natural, weed-killing potion, anyone?) and we love her green heart. You can find all of her amazing posts at The Creek Line House!
Love this global warming project and want more action to take just like it? We have two perfect projects for you:
- Powerful Pedals is a fantastic project for teenagers and workout fanatics!
- Climate Change Champ is perfect for those of you that want to get really involved with Rainforest Connection
And we have SO MANY MORE!! Be sure to check out all of our Crafting for Charity eBooks – it’s a one-stop-shop for the perfect project for you.
GET CONNECTED TO AINA
Carmen Westbrook is the CEO and co-founder of Aina Giving, a female-led company that transforms women into world changers. Join the movement of DIY World Change and get our accredited projects, leadership coaching, and nonprofit consulting – email us and tell us how you want to change the world. We’ll help you get there.