The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
This treehugging photo is from the first post I published on this site, in 2008. Cass still pretty much looks exactly like this, and while she’s not really compelled to give them spontaneous displays of affection anymore, we’re still treehuggers at heart.
That’s why we love the #GIFtATree holiday campaign from NBCUniversal and the Arbor Day Foundation. During the month of December, if you create and share a holiday GIF from greenisuniversal.com, or send a tweet using #GIFtATree, a tree will be planted in a state park or national forest— up to 25,000 trees!
The GIFs are very cute and are animated; creating them would be a fun activity for kids, especially over winter break. Every time you share one a tree is gifted, not just once.
I made one during the Rockefeller tree lighting special in NYC, and Cass made one a little bit later, and I was quite a bit delighted to find she’d made the exact same one I had.
not animated bc I couldn’t quickly figure out how to put that here and dinner’s almost ready
Every tweet you send out that includes #GIFtATree counts as a tree gifted, too. What an easy way to make a difference: after all, just one large tree can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for up to four people. Over the course of a year, just one mature tree will absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, releasing oxygen in exchange.
There are many practical reasons to protect existing trees and plant new ones:
- Trees help clean our air and water
- Trees improve our mental and physical health
- Trees help to fight climate change
- The cooling effect of trees saves energy
- Trees provide habitat essential for wildlife
Trees are so important to our ongoing physical existence, and we’ve come to think of them in ways that correlate to our emotional existence. Trees are dependable; they stay in one place. Like trees, we aim to lay down firm roots in the earth, but lift our arms and faces to the sky. We strive to grow strong like tree trunks yet flexible like branches in a storm. We try to breathe in the bad and breathe out the good. And when we are tired, broken down, we remain resilient, confident that the next season will come and we will once again be bursting with energy and new growth, like trees in spring.
Most importantly, trees are promises. Trees are potential.
Inside a tiny acorn lies majesty that can weather a thousand storms.
Go on, make yourself a pretty little card and feel good about your role planting a tree. Or three. Or three dozen!
(And while you’re thinking about all this tree related goodness, pin this list of ways to repurpose or recycle your Christmas tree for later.)