With every journey throughout life, we leave a legacy. Let us imagine that a footprint represents our legacies in the overall story of humanity. With regard to the environment, each of our footprints leaves a legacy made of carbon—the right amount of which is healthy for the world. Plants depend upon carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to breathe, just as we and all animals depend on oxygen. In a perfectly healthy and balanced world, carbon footprints leave an impact that complements the oxygen levels in the atmosphere, creating a harmonious balance for all living things to breathe easily and enjoy relatively stable temperatures.
What is a carbon footprint?
All living things leave carbon footprints that impact the environment. When we breathe out, we release carbon dioxide. When living things die and decay, carbon is released into the atmosphere. Plants use the carbon dioxide, along with sunlight and water, to make their food in a process called photosynthesis. The byproduct that they release back into the atmosphere is oxygen. According to Scientific American, plants are the only known natural producers of oxygen, and it is believed that an abundance of plants is responsible for the amount of oxygen in the ocean and atmosphere.
Over time, however, the balance has shifted. Humans have, in many cases, unknowingly eliminated necessary oxygen from our atmosphere as they have cut down many forests and cleared away numerous plants throughout the world. Burning trees and fossil fuels such as oil also caused a rapid and drastic increase in carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere. Unfortunately, the plants that remain can’t keep up with the need to replenish from this surge in carbon dioxide
Think about how long it takes the compost pile in your garden to fully decompose—about as long as it takes a tree to grow a foot or two. If trees could grow as quickly as we cut them down, or burn through a barrel of oil, the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our atmosphere would be more balanced!
Where does petroleum oil come from?
You guessed it: oil was once a living thing—millions of living things in fact. When the plants and animals that live in the ocean die, they sink to the bottom (along with scraps of food, waste, etc) and begin to decompose.
Over time, the decaying matter liquefies into sludge and its chemical composition changes with factors such as heat and pressure beneath the ground—making the petroleum oil that we know and use today as fuel. So when we fill up the car with a tank of gas, we are pumping it full of decomposed prehistoric critters!
Even if we did not use fossil fuels, we would still leave a carbon footprint, but our impact would not be as immense. In fact, we can still work toward re-establishing balance while using modern amenities such as planes, cars, electricity, etc.
Three Simple Ways to Offset Your Carbon Footprint:
We can make small changes to help tip the scales by reducing our emissions. Here is a list of the ways we can offset our carbon footprint:
- Shut off lights. We can be mindful of how much electricity we use at home.
- Less driving. We can walk, bike, or carpool whenever possible.
- Decrease heating and air condition use. Open windows or set your thermostat a bit higher during the summer months. Turn the heat down and bundle up in the winter.
There are plenty of good practices and small sacrifices that can help reduce your impact on the environment.
One Powerful Way to Offset Your Carbon Footprint
At My Olive Tree, our favorite way is to give. We invest in the environment by planting trees, which will offset everyone’s carbon footprint by filtering carbon dioxide from the air and replenishing oxygen. There may be a forest of trees in your neck of the woods, but there's plenty of need for more trees right now in the Holy Land of Israel.
Planting a tree in Israel not only offsets carbon footprints, but it also sows seeds of hope to a nation—politically, economically and spiritually.
The Negev Desert Needs Your Help
Imagine a hot, dusty wasteland where water is scarce, along with the signs of life. When it does rain, the water washes away as quickly as it came, so even the plants that do live there struggle to get enough water and nutrients to survive.
That’s where we want you to help us plant olive trees.
Of course, if we only planted one at a time, our efforts would be futile. An olive tree cannot survive in the desert on its own. It needs water (which we provide), special care (which is also covered by your sponsorship), and more than anything it requires an environment in which it can thrive.
And we will create that environment if we plant enough olive trees.
Not only do trees filter carbon dioxide from the air, but they also improve the quality of the soil. Without trees, the soil is loose and prone to wash away during rainfall. But when trees plant their roots deep into the ground, it becomes tight and compact, and the nutrients stay in one place.
The more trees, the more nutrients that are retained in the soil. All of the plants use this nutrient soil to sustain their growth. Animals eat the fruits from the plants and then fertilize the ground. This cycle continues and replenishes this precious land, exactly how God designed it.
Eventually, a forest grows where there was once nothing, and the desert is then restored to a thriving ecosystem.
My Olive Tree aims to restore the desert similarly. By planting and cultivating olive trees, we are not building a forest, rather a magnificent, bountiful garden that will do more than reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It will transform the Negev Desert, making the wasteland an arable agricultural phenomenon!
And we need your help…
Your Legacy to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Humanity
You choose to sponsor an olive tree with us when your path and your legacy in life is one of creating restoration. You choose to sponsor an olive tree with us because your donation means more than just putting an olive tree in the ground.
Because of our close relationship with the IDF and local farmers, we can ensure that your olive tree has enough water to reach maturity and self-sufficiency. We do this because our mission is to leave a footprint with a positive impact and to create this great legacy in partnership with people who are headed in the same direction.
Our goal is to plant over one million olive trees, and we are well on our way with hundreds of thousands planted thus far… but our work is far from finished. Your donation is lending a hand to help My Olive Tree, the Israeli Defense Forces, local farmers, and all our other friends and allies to carry the burden of lifting the Negev Desert from its desolate state and redeeming it. When we transform the land so that trees and crops may live there, we add immediate value to the environment. This value is:
- More oxygen to the atmosphere for better air quality
- Reduction of toxins and carbon dioxide in the air
- Being a picture to the world as to how reversing desertification is possible
All of this is, thanks to your partnership with My Olive Tree!
We look forward to adding your name to the list of those who have helped restore the Negev Desert and balance to the atmosphere! Click here to sponsor your olive tree today!