By Alan Coleman on 11 Apr 2018
You might remember that last year we announced we were in the process of buying land and setting up a not-for-profit called Wolfgang Forestry. This would be our effort to offset our carbon footprint while also empowering others to do the same. I'm delighted to see us take the next step in our Wolfgang Forestry journey as our entire team spent a day planting over 150 trees. Here's the story...
Wolfgang Bites: Watch The Natural Way To Reverse Climate Change
Wolfgang Bites: Read About The Natural Way To Reverse Climate Change
Alan: Digital marketers are notorious for checked shirts and beards, so we've all been coming to the office dressed like lumberjacks for ten years now, so it's about time we picked up some shovels and dug some holes and stuck some trees in the ground as well.
Rob: 18 months ago we decided we wanted to start contributing to our own carbon footprint and use some of the money we've given to charities to go back into the environment in Ireland, and globally, ideally, get rid of our own carbon footprint and replant some native forests back into Ireland.
Alan: This is our first time actually getting to do it. There are a couple of levels to our mission. Level one is simple to become, not just carbon neutral, but carbon negative, so every year we want to plant trees that will soak up more than just our carbon emissions from the previous year.
Level two is we want to empower other people to do the same, so it could be our clients, it could be community groups, it could be other businesses that want also become carbon negative. We'd love to figure out a process that we help them calculate their carbon footprint, and then plant enough trees as a team-building exercise to offset. I think that would be beautiful.
Another thing I read is that if you sing to your plants and give them positive attention, they're actually more likely to grow, so for that reason we've got this traditional Irish band here with us today pumping out the tunes and people are singing a little song and dancing an old jig, and giving the trees lots of positive energy as they put them in the ground.
Beth: We have music in the background, and yeah, we're all just working together to build our little mini forest here.
Alan: I learned a few things about trees and I got really interested in forestry as a result.
- The first thing I learned was Ireland's actually the least forested country in Europe. We all have this perception of Ireland being a very green country but we're actually the least forested, yet, we have the best propensity for growing trees. Trees that take 160 years to grow in Scandinavia, we can grow in 40 years here. The entrepreneur in me was excited by the fact that there's this huge opportunity of space for planting trees and this natural unfair advantage to do it, so I said, we need to go and plant some trees.
- The next thing I learned was when I started investigating why is it that we're the least forested country in Europe. It was under British rule our native woodland was chopped down for lots of reasons. Some of them were literally to build the British Navy, which went and conquered the world, so Britain conquered the world on Irish Oak. I guess the Irish patriot in me was enlivened, and I thought, got to go and plant some trees.
- The third part of it was global warming, this whole massive problem we're all faced with. I learned there's so many don't dos about global warming, but there's one think we should do and it's very simple; planting trees. Forests are your lungs. Trees are the trachea. Branches are the bronchi. If you think about a branch, it actually look like a bronchi and a lung, so the most important thing any of us can do to reverse global warming is to plant trees, so that's what we're here to do today.
While humankind is inhaling oxygen, exhaling carbon dioxide, trees do the opposite. The problem at the moment is humanity is going this way, forestry is going that way, so really simply, if we can rebalance those things, we can reverse climate changes. That's a really good reason for us to be doing this.
Once we have a critical mass of forests and it's large enough, we want to reintroduce wolves to Ireland. Wolfgang Digital bringing the wolves back to Ireland, so that would be pretty cool too.
All that tree planting though, you build up a thirst. One we were delighted to quench afterwards...