Research by OVO Energy finds that planting more trees is a win-win for climate, nature and the mental wellbeing of the next generation.
87% of parents say they notice positive changes in their children’s mood after spending time around trees and green spaces.
84% agreed that living closer to nature in general makes or would make their children care more about the environment.
In partnership with the Woodland Trust, OVO Energy is committing to planting a tree every year for each of their members and to doing more to support tree-planting in the UK to combat the climate crisis.
15 October, London: NEW research shows that children are happier outside, with nearly 90% of parents seeing the positive mental wellbeing of their children improve when they're exposed to local trees and green spaces. Despite this, fewer than half can name five British trees or even identify the distinctive leaves and berries of a holly bush.
The research found 77% say being outdoors makes their children more aware of their impact on the environment. Britain’s tech-mad kids are three times more likely to recognise the McDonald’s logo than an oak tree and only a quarter of youngsters climb trees anymore, ditching it for indoor activities like video games, social media and TV.
To safeguard the environment for generations to come, green energy provider OVO Energy has teamed up with the Woodland Trust in a bid to plant 900,000 trees in the UK in the next year, removing the equivalent of 54,000 tonnes of carbon from the environment. OVO Beyond members will also get an extra 5 trees per year planted on their behalf.
If the UK is to meet its long-term aim of net zero emissions by 2050, about 1.5bn new trees will be needed, according to the Committee on Climate Change, the government’s statutory advisers.
Kate Weinberg, Sustainability Director at OVO said: “Harnessing the power of trees to absorb greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to the impacts of climate change and support the mental health of the next generation is incredibly important. That’s why we’re taking action by planting a tree for every new and existing OVO member, for every year they’re a member, and raising awareness about their importance. The more we learn about nature and enjoy being in it, the more likely we are to take action to protect our planet.”
Richard Cooper, Project Manager for Woodland Trust Family Membership and the Nature Detectives programme, said:
“The importance of planting trees has never been higher on both the political and social agenda and we know the huge benefits that planting trees brings, from cleaning the air that we and our children breathe to providing homes for our precious wildlife.
“The Woodland Trust has over 1,200 woods across the country, each one rich in trees and wildlife, and free to explore. But we can’t stop there, we need more trees in the ground and this partnership with OVO will help to achieve it. Young people are helping us to drive positive change, as Woodland Trust members and as vocal campaigners. The more trees we plant now, the better their childhood – and the world in which they inherit - will be”.
Despite the current restrictions, 75% of parents said that they still take their children to outdoor green spaces to get them thinking about the environment, whether this be to a local park or helping them enjoy nature in their own garden.
Additionally, parents are also taking steps at home to try and get their children interested in their environment, from recycling (64%) to simply turning off the lights when you leave the room (50%).
OVO has big ambitions to eliminate the household emissions of all its members by 2030. It aims to achieve this by tackling the root of the issue, educating children about the importance of their environment and creating a true connection with their world, with hope that the next generation will continue to celebrate nature and champion the environment.
Notes to Editors As well as providing 100% renewable electricity to all its members from 1st October, OVO is committing to plant a tree for every new and existing OVO member - for every year they’re a member. OVO Beyond members will also get an extra 5 trees per year planted on their behalf.
About OVO Energy OVO Energy was founded in 2009 and redesigned the energy experience to be fair, effortless, green and simple for all customers. Today OVO Energy and its Retail partners serve nearly 5 million customers, all striving to deliver more affordable clean energy for everyone. OVO is on a mission through its sustainability strategy Plan Zero to tackle the most important issue of our time; the climate crisis, by bringing our customers with us on the journey towards zero carbon living.
About the research All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Atomik Research. Total sample size was 2004 adults, all parents had children living with them at home between the ages of 4-16. The research fieldwork took place on 18th September – 23rd September 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).