It was recently reported that director James Cameron is planting 1 million trees through the EarthDay Network. A laudable goal, but a significant effort towards reforestation? James Cameron will make $350 million just from his share of Avatar‘s profits. This means his earnings are higher than any other director’s, and also higher than the GDP of fourteen other nations. (Do the math and see if you have planted or gifted the planting of a relative number of trees for your income.)
Enter Gashaw Tahir, an American citizen, who returned to his birth country of Ethiopia to find the green hills that surrounded his home eroded and ruined due to deforestation. So he did something extraordinary: planted one million trees.
I suspect Mr. Tahir had fewer resources than Mr. Cameron, but he accomplished his goal of 1 million trees planted in Africa through his Greenland Development Foundation. What a quietly inspiring story Mr. Tahir has! (One doesn’t need press conferences and PR to get the work done.)
And you don’t have to go far to find wealthy donors that have given a significant chunk of their fortunes to charity- like Ted Turner. Mr. Turner gave $1 billion to the UN (1/3 of his then $3 billion net worth). He has also embarked upon habitat restoration with his Vermejo Park Ranch, a 590,823-acre ranch in New Mexico. It is stocked with elk, mule deer, pronghorn, bison, black bear, mountain lions, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, Merriam’s Turkey,and Bison, part of Mr. Turner’s 2,000,000 acres of ranch properties.
Ok- so we’re not all multi-millionaires or billionaires- but you can do your part. Find your own opportunities to plant trees in your yard, in your community, or in the world at large. An example- with the Arbor Day Foundation $1 will plant a tree in a US national forest. (And gift/memorial certificates are available. Pick a significant or auspicious number of trees to plant for your gift!)