Friday, October 12, 2012

How to feel less guilty for being a tree killer

Ahh.... look at our lovely land... 

Our beautiful forest (and awkwardly posing pup who loves it)...

Too bad we'll be tearing a lot of it down... :/

Environmental conservation is an important issue to us, and the fact that we are building a house on this lovely, raw, wooded land makes us feel pretty awful. We recently drove by a construction site where they had just cleared out the land, and this was our conversation:

B: Look at all those trees they knocked down. That's just sickening.
J: ...Umm... well... you do realize we're about to do that too, right?
B: Yeah, I know. I hate it. 

And that pretty much sums up our feelings. We're keeping the trees in the backyard and will replant some trees in the front, but still, we feel kind of evil.  To help make up for our destruction, we're planning to give a donation to help with forest restoration. 

If you'd like to help offset your new construction, or better yet, if you just want to spread the tree-love, here are some relevant charities along with their mission statements and Charity Navigator ratings (which have a 4 star max):

  • The American Forest Foundation - AFF's mission is to ensure the sustainability of America’s family forests for present and future generations. Charity Navigator rating: 4 stars
  • Forest Trends - Forest Trends' mission is to expand the value of forests to society; to promote sustainable forest management and conservation by creating and capturing market values for ecosystem services; to support innovative projects and companies that are developing these markets; and to enhance the livelihoods of local communities living in and around those forests. Charity Navigator rating: 4 stars
  • ForestEthics - ForestEthics' mission is to protect Endangered Forests, wildlife, and human well-being. Their campaigns consider all of the issues that affect wild places and the wildlife and people that depend on them—from biodiversity to air and water quality to climate change. Charity Navigator rating: 4 stars
  • American Forests - American Forests' mission is to protect and restore forests, helping to preserve the health of our planet for the benefit of its inhabitants. If you choose to plant trees, every dollar you give plants a tree. Charity Navigator rating: 3 stars
  • National Forest Foundation - NFF engages Americans in community-based and national programs that promote the health and public enjoyment of the 193-million-acre National Forest System. Charity Navigator rating: 3 stars
  • The Wilderness Society - The Wilderness Society's mission is to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Charity Navigator rating: 3 stars
  • Plant a Billion Trees by The Nature Conservancy - The Plant a Billion Trees campaign is an unprecedented major restoration initiative launched by The Nature Conservancy in 2008 to restore Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Every dollar plants a tree. The Nature Conservancy's Charity Navigator rating is 3 stars.
  • Trees for the Future - Trees for the Future doesn’t just plant trees for their ecological benefits, but to benefit people in need. As an agroforestry charity, they combine agriculture and forestry to create integrated and sustainable land-use systems. Charity Navigator rating: 3 stars
  • Arbor Day Foundation - The Arbor Day Foundation's mission is to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. Charity Navigator rating: 2 stars

Do you support any of these charities? Or do you know of any others I should add? 

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