158,000 trees planted – 250,000 more in the next 12 months
Did you know that last year we planted 158,000 trees on behalf of our Greener Energy plan customers? That’s 3 for every Greener customer. To build on our success, this year we’re upping the number of trees to 5 per Greener Energy customer, to help us reach our target of another 250,000 trees around the UK. Read on for an update on what’s happened so far – and what we’re planning for the coming months.
This is all part of our exciting I Dig Trees initiative. The big idea? To improve local green spaces in towns and cities all over the UK, reducing carbon emissions and getting people out in the fresh air.
Making friends and volunteering
We’ve teamed up with The Conservation Volunteers, a wonderful charity that helps hundreds of thousands of people each year to discover, improve and enjoy their local green spaces. Not only does this do wonders for the environment but also helps create happier and healthier communities.
Over the last year, we’ve really enjoyed getting hands-on with our local environment and meeting new friends as we’ve planted a UK-wide forest of deciduous saplings. You can take a look behind the scenes of a wild, wet and windy tree-planting day in this blog.
Trees are the green lungs of our towns and cities. They absorb excess carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases; they also filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark. Over the course of their lifetime* our 2015/16 trees will absorb an estimated 79,000 tonnes of carbon – roughly the amount generated by 15 space shuttle flights, or by driving an average car in the UK for around 110.5 million miles.¹
As well as absorbing poisonous gases, trees emit oxygen – in just one year, 5 hectares of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 35 people.
They also lower temperatures, prevent soil erosion, and provide a vital habitat for birds and insects. That’s why we need to keep planting and protecting them. Today’s fragile saplings will grow to be mighty guardians of our ecosystem in the future.
What have we so far achieved thanks to our Greener Energy customers?
- I Dig Trees is one of the largest national tree planting initiatives in the UK.
- We’ve distributed and planted 158,000 trees nationwide.
- 509 different community groups have taken part.
- We’ve planted trees on over 560 sites, covering the equivalent of 1,360,000 square metres.
- We’ve created a potential annual CO2 saving of 79,000 tonnes.
- We’ve involved around 5,600 volunteers, who’ve given an estimated 39,000 hours of their time.
Why did we set up I Dig Trees?
We’re committed to encouraging our customers to ‘go greener’. That’s why we offer our 100% renewable Greener Energy Plan, and all our plans include at least 33% renewable energy.
Ofgem, the energy regulator, asks that we also work towards positive environmental change in other ways. We see this as a chance to do something to help local residents and organisations improve green spaces in their area. And that’s how I Dig Trees was born.
Our plans for 2016/17
We’re growing even bigger and better, and aiming to:
- Plant 5 saplings for every one of our Greener Energy customers – that’s 2 more each than last year.
- Reach our target of planting another 250,000 trees by 31st March 2017.
- Rejuvenate around 1,250 different sites in England, Scotland and Wales.
- Get stuck in and collectively give back 62,000 volunteering hours.
Fancy getting involved?
There are a couple of ways to join in with I Dig Trees. The easiest is to switch to OVO’s Greener Energy plan – you can get a quote and start your switch in minutes. And if we’ve inspired you to get your hands dirty, why not join The Conservation Volunteers for a tree planting day of your own?
¹Source: How bad are bananas? Mike Berners-Lee, Profile Books Ltd, 2010.
* Assuming a 50% survival rate of all trees planted.