When we are given a gift, we should always show appreciation by taking care of it. God’s greatest gift to humanity was creation—and before life, He created the earth. It was then given and entrusted to us.
“Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”—Genesis 2:15
Humans are the intended caretakers of God’s creation. It is our duty to not only preserve the world but also to cultivate it. With the power of our dominion over all the earth comes the responsibility to ensure its well-being. Not just for ourselves, our neighbors, our children, and the future generations, but for God. There is nothing more pleasing to the giver of gifts than appreciation, and so we show our gratitude to God for giving us the earth by taking care of it. Our power is humble compared to the might of God, but what little we do can still have a tremendous impact.
The world we know today is not the world God knew when He created it. As pollution levels rise and forests shrink, the blemishes begin to overtake the beauty. Many areas of the world are approaching crisis levels as their natural landscapes, once abundant with life, now wither away into desert wastelands. Farming becomes impractical in the barren soil, and floods create mudslides that destroy what remains. If all the forests in the world were to wither away, the world would become a great desert, creating unforeseen chaos. But there is still plenty of hope to avoid such disasters. In fact, there is plenty of hope that we will reverse it.
My Olive Tree Creates Solutions for the Environment
The focus of many environmentalist movements is the crisis of global warming and the impending danger of pollution, particularly greenhouse gases and carbon emissions. While it’s impossible to ignore the negative impact of pollution (it’s dirty, if nothing else), the ideology is often to influence others to reduce. But when it comes to helping the environment, or any change we want to see in the world, we have to think of what we can do first.
We have all heard the call to reduce our own carbon footprint, but that’s only a step in the right direction. Many people don’t bother because it’s so daunting to imagine what little impact reducing our own carbon footprint has, compared to our neighbors who completely ignore the call. No matter what we do to conserve energy and reduce our impact, we can do little to nothing to control the actions of others.
Forgiveness and understanding is another step in the right direction. Of course, the poorest countries have no alternative than to hurt the environment by cutting down forests in order to plow new fields because they must do what they can to feed their families. We can forgive them, but the problem persists… We can forgive the people who have devoted their lives to other important things, but the problem persists… We can even forgive the corporations who have done little to reduce their factory emissions because they’ve employed many people and boosted the economy, but the problem persists…
The problem persists, but all can be forgiven regardless of their contribution to the problem. Because they are not taking anything away from us; they will only destroy our planet if we let them. We can’t reduce their negative impact, but we can offset it with a positive one.
My Olive Tree has been helping the environment for over a decade by cultivating olive trees and vineyards in the Negev Desert in Israel. We’ve partnered with local farmers, with the Israeli Defense Forces, and with generous sponsors from around the world to continue the legacy of restoring the desert, which dates back to the origins of the country and even biblical times:
“The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice…”—Isaiah 35:1-2
Every olive tree that My Olive Tree plants brings us closer to achieving our goal of one million. These olive trees serve both as a symbolic gesture of peace, as well as the foundation for the blooming restoration to come. Every tree helps retain water and nutrients in the soil so that other plants and animals can live there. The more olive trees we plant, the more species will come together to create a thriving ecosystem, or the more arable the soil will be for farmers who can use and re-use this restored land rather than taking from the already wounded forest ecosystems.
All plants need carbon dioxide to breathe, just as humans and other animals need oxygen. That means trees act as filters that reduce the amount of carbon in the air when they breathe in and replenish it with oxygen when they breathe out. Wherever trees are planted, the air is filtered of pollutants. The larger and more numerous the trees are, the greater the impact is in reducing air pollution.
We can reduce two carbon footprints by conserving energy in our own lives, and we can reduce hundreds by planting trees. And, of course, we can invite our neighbors to join us. One day of planting trees is easier to ask of someone than a lifetime of reducing emissions. We believe in creating positive action and working towards solutions, rather than dwelling on the problems, inadequacies, and consequences. If we all do our part to plant one tree, our partnership with My Olive Tree will make the desert bloom.
The Impact of Influence
Our olive trees may have a larger impact in Israel compared to their impact on reducing global emissions, but we also have a powerful impact in showing the world what is possible. Israel has been a pioneer in desert restoration and has created technology that is revolutionizing agriculture around the world. For more than a century, the pioneers who came to found the renowned kibbutzim have mastered the art of restoring the barren desert to arable farmland, which launched Israel’s fledgling economy. Israeli engineer, Simcha Blass, invented the modern drip-irrigation technology, which has taken root in farms around the world. Today, Israel is by far the world leader in water recycling.
My Olive Tree is continuing this legacy and inviting you to be a part of it. Will you help lead the world to restore the desert?
Sponsor an olive tree today and help restore the world as God intended it to be. Let us show gratitude by appreciating His gift and restore the desert.