tree plantingConversations with his youngest son inspired Jeff Graham to consider ways to reduce his family’s impact on climate change. “As an engineer, I wanted to know the basic data such as what our average carbon emissions are. And what we could do to reduce our carbon footprint” said Jeff Graham. After some research, the carbon absorption capacity of trees seemed like an accessible and cost-effective place to start!

His initial research also indicated that wealthy countries, like Canada, have much higher carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, per person, than people living in developing countries. According to Graham, “It struck me that Canadians have a moral duty to take responsibility for their emissions, and if affordable, help pay to reduce or offset their carbon emissions”.

Given that each Canadian produces about 20 metric tons of CO2 per year and a young growing tree absorbs around 20 kilograms of CO2 per year; Graham calculated that 6,000 trees would need to be planted to help offset the carbon footprint of a family of six. The Graham’s did not let the space limitations of their urban lot in Owen Sound stop them and, instead, they contacted Grey Sauble Conservation Authority (GSCA) with their plan and to help make the tree planting project a reality.

The Graham’s financial donation will now fund the planting of over 6,000 trees on two GSCA properties this spring – Isaac Lake in the Town of South Bruce Peninsula and Griersville in the Municipality of Meaford. Both projects will be completed by GSCA staff with some assistance from the Graham family. The native tree species planted will remove CO2, improve soil retention across the watershed and, in combination with ongoing tree planting by GSCA, help increase resilience to the impacts of flooding, drought and severe weather events. This tree planting project will also help restore and increase forest cover, create more wildlife habitat, and improve water quality.

“This is a fantastic act by the Graham family! By working together, we can all help mitigate the impacts of climate change and planting trees is great way to start” said Michael Fry, Forestry Coordinator at GSCA.

The trees were selected based on growing needs such as soil type and moisture requirements and it is intended that they will grow for at least the next 80 years. The benefits of this generous donation from the Graham family will be felt for many generations to come!

To find out more about tree planting efforts at Grey Sauble Conservation visit:
If you are interested in offsetting your carbon footprint through tree planting, contact: [email protected].
For more information about this project: Graham Family Tree Planting and Carbon Sequestering Project

source: media release, GSCA


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