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This article first appeared in our Consumer Revolution issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 06 March 2020. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox
Want to win money while helping to save the planet?
MyTrees is a fun and simple way to get involved with the fight against climate change; it presents a new opportunity to do your bit – and there’s a big incentive to do a bit more.
Supporters of the monthly tree-planting and protecting subscription are entered into weekly and monthly cash draws – with prizes of up to £50,000 – as a thank you for donating.
The trees are planted through charity partner Conservation International, which has over 30 years’ experience protecting nature.
Everyone who subscribes directly funds the charity’s reforestation projects in Brazil (Amazon Rainforest), Peru (Alto Mayo Rainforest), Columbia (Cispata Mangroves) and Kenya (Chyulu Hills).
50m trees by 2024
‘Stopping climate change isn’t an all or nothing proposition — every single action helps’, said Jennifer Morris, president of Conservation International. ‘We need everyone to be all in.’
MyTrees makes planting and protecting trees simple and rewarding, providing a straightforward step people can take today to help solve the climate crisis.’
Everyone who signs up to MyTrees gets a personal dashboard where they can watch how many trees they’ve saved over time and see the impact they’ve had on the world.
MyTrees has set a goal to plant and protect 50 million trees by 2024. ‘The world needs more trees’, said Cody Hoffman, CEO at Funder Inc., which runs MyTrees. ‘We wanted to create a tangible goal to aim towards and that we would all be able to get involved with, so everyone can play a part in helping us to hit it.’
Choosing where to plant
Many of the world’s forests and trees are being destroyed at an alarming rate, yet scientists believe that planting trees is the biggest and cheapest way to tackle the climate crisis. They absorb and store the CO2 emissions that are driving global heating.
MyTrees funds projects that are already being undertaken by Conservation International. The charity selects planting locations using a science-based approach that prioritises the most important forests and the benefits they provide. The trees are protected sustainably for the long term and their ongoing protection and health is monitored.
The projects are never about planting for planting’s sake; the focus is on reforesting in a way that restores and protects the existing ecosystem. Money from MyTrees goes towards protecting trees as well as planting them.
The projects span a mixture of different types of ecosystem and therefore different types of tree – some of the projects are in a rainforest environment but MyTrees also funds a marine project.
Thousands of people have joined the fight to save trees since MyTrees launched at the end of November 2019.
For the minimum subscription of £5 per month, one tree will be planted and four protected. For £10 per month subscribers plant two trees and protect nine, and are rewarded with five entries per week and five monthly chances in the £50k megadraw.
The prize money varies according to how many people play, but there are guaranteed cash prizes. Entrants must be at least 18 years old to win, and must verify their age, location and identity before claiming a prize.
Money could be the incentive to instigate change on the scale (and in the time) necessary; for MyTrees the financial reward is a way to get more people involved. ‘If we’re able to spread our mission further that means more trees saved’, Cody tell us, ‘and a step forward in the battle against climate change.’