Out of the Ashes

One Million Acres Burned

My city was engulfed in smoke. Going outside was considered hazardous. I could hardly make out the high-rise apartment building three blocks away from my balcony. 2020 has been a year of uncertainty, but the Oregon wildfires seriously rattled me.

1 million acres burned, over 3,000 buildings destroyed, 500,000 people displaced as a result of almost 500 fires. I entered into the most depressed state of my entire life.

As a resident of South West Portland, I am lucky to have hiking trains within walking distance from my downtown apartment. A boast not many cities can backup. Running and hiking on these trails has gotten me through the isolation during the covid-19 lockdowns. Now, as the city filled up with smoke from the wildfires to the east of the city, I was unable to exercise outdoors. With over 200,000 dead due to the coronavirus, I realize this is selfish. The smoke would clear, and my outlet would return, however, the week of not being able to go outside has forever changed me.

Oregon isn’t Oregon without trees. We even have one on our license plates. Not being able to go into the woods for a week opened my eyes to how fragile our existence is on this planet. How much more can our planet endure? What happens when you have the greatest fire in state history year after year? My home state, Colorado, just had their biggest fire in history, only to have another one breaks the record two months later.

I decided that I needed to incorporate a way to directly help the forests into the brand. To proactively and reactively help with the wildfire devastation, I decided to plant one tree for every 10 orders and all sales over $100. This is an attempt to offset the carbon released from shipping packages, capture carbon through new trees, and replace as many of the millions of trees lost in this year’s fires as I can.

How Much Can One Tree Do?

Thinking about how much pollution we are producing in the US every year is overwhelming. Then you realize many counties are even less environmentally conscious than we are. Can trees really save us? Is it even worth it to plant them? Is it making a dent? These are realistic questions to ask yourself, especially because in the time it took to read to this point about 300 acres of Amazon Rainforests has been burnt.

All hope can seem lost if you don’t understand how amazing a fully-grown tree is. Trees aren’t just absorbing carbon and creating shade. They provide food for the ecosystem, absorb water, improve air quality, filter sediment from streams, prevent flooding, filter airborne pollutants, and they are proven to make us happier! Source – tenmilliontrees.org

One tree may not make a huge difference, but one acre of forest can absorb the average amount of CO2 created by two ICE cars over a year. Oregon just lost one million acres of forest this year alone. That means that instead of the emissions of 2 million cars being absorbed, the CO2 will be released into the atmosphere making the Earth even hotter.

One Tree Planted

I chose to donate through One Tree Planted. Their current focus is helping restore the forests on the West Coast, for $20, 20 trees are planted where they think needs them the most. They only plant native species. They also give the option to donate smaller amounts and you are given the option to choose where you would like your tree to be planted.

Planting a tree can seem pointless compared to the challenge we face globally but it isn’t fair to future generations to not think about our environmental impact. As one small CBD company in Portland, Oregon, maybe I alone won’t be able to replace the trees burned down this summer, but maybe pledging to plant as many trees as possible could spark the brain that will save the planet.

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