We all have a responsibility to the world we live in now and the world we leave for future generations. Reducing our carbon emissions is obviously important in slowing or even reversing climate change. As average people, we do not always have the power to influence large corporations or governments to change environmental policies so we need an easier way us as concerned individuals to take action. We all contribute to the problem - so we all need to contribute to a solution. So what can we do?

Trees and plants are green machines that act as natural filters of our air. Through the process of photosynthesis they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in their trunk, branches, leaves, roots, soil and foliage, while releasing oxygen back out.

We continually hear about deforestation, degradation and poor forest management which reduces carbon storage in forests, so we need to work towards sustainable management, planting, and rehabilitation of forests to increase the potential for carbon storage.

Of course, the amount of CO2 absorbed varies between trees and the environment which they are in but on average a large tree will absorb approximately 20 kg per year over a 40 year lifespan.

Read about our very own Professor Richard Cowlings ground-breaking research into carbon emissions and the planting of spekboom in the Baviaanskloof in the articles entitled Restoration of Degraded Thicket, Restoring Valuable Spekboomveld and Restoring valuable spekboomveld using the international carbon market.