Plant a Billion Trees

One dollar, one tree, one planet.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Long time no see (er - read?)! ReLeaf is starting to wake up after a long winter hibernation, to get us in the tree planting mood, here's some really awesome news about one of Ohio's coolest trees:

Pawpaw Endorsed as Native State Fruit

Here are some more Pawpaw related sites:

Ohio Pawpaw Festival

Ohio Pawpaw Grower's Association

Integration Acres

If you're a "pawpaw virgin" the best time to sample a delicious pawpaw is at the Ohio Pawpaw Festival in September!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Shop Smart, Save Forests and Plant A Billion Trees

The Earth's Best Defense, the Natural Resources Defense Council, has a nifty PDF file of a printable wallet card with info on the most "green" tissue products (hint: Kleenex is not one of them). You may have a hard time finding some of these products in Athens, but try checking out the Farmacy, Kroger's natural foods section or Whole Foods (the closest one is in Columbus) . Also check out the article The Giving Trees in NRDC's their online magazine, OnEarth. The article can be found here.

If you can't get to C-bus for some recycled tissues or toilet paper, try buying recycled computer paper to print your homework on. Use both sides of paper before recycling it!

Buying used textbooks can save you some cash and help forests. If you want to be even thriftier (in a green way) try sharing the cost of a used textbook with a classmate or checking out your books at the library. Textbooks can be requested from OU or other Ohio university libraries through OhioLINK and are eligible for renewal up to four times for three weeks each (just make sure to renew your books BEFORE they're due).

The Nature Conservancy has a new campaign: Plant A Billion Trees. Similar to the United Nations One Billion Tree Campaign headed up by founder of the Green Belt Movement and my tree-hero, Wangari Maathai; the Nature Conservancy plans to plant a billion trees in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil in the next seven years. For every dollar donated, a tree is planted. Simple enough, check out their site, make a donation and add their widget to your Facebook profile.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Trees: A Visual Guide by Tony Rodd and Jennifer Stackhouse

From Treehugger

"If a picture is worth a thousand words than Trees by Tony Rodd and Jennifer Stackhouse is the library of congress. Beautiful images embrace the reader, weaving a tapestry of trees life on earth. The eye candy images, are accompanied by well thought out and executed diagrams that explain the world of trees from the microscopic to the ecosystem.

The pictures really do steal the show, and set this book apart. But for those more text inclined, the snippets by each photo and diagram are a steady stream of factual information. The sheer magnitude of content and the glamorous pictures has me flipping through the entire book every time I sit down for a read. Not a book to read cover to cover, but one that can spark as well as satiate curiosity about the world of trees. Truly a provocative look into the life of humanities most valuable ally on earth."

Check it out at Amazon , I tried to find it through OU's Library and OhioLink, but neither of them currently have it.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Esta! and Tu b’Shevat… a perfect pairing for ReLeaf

Hey ReLeafers - you're all invited to celebrate Tu b’Shevat with us this
Wednesday at 7PM in the Baker Center Front Room. Check out the info below and
our event page:

Co-sponsored by the Office of Sustainability, ArtsMidwest and ReLeaf for OHIO.
Coming from Israel, a crossroads of different cultures, it is only natural that
the musical group Esta embodies the variety of ethnic musical influences
including Israeli, Mediterranean, Balkan, African, Asian, Celtic and Western
flavors. Enjoy this unique opportunity to experience the Israeli music scene and
learn about the Jewish holiday of Tu b’Shevat. All for free!

The holiday has become one of rededication to the ecology of the denuded land,
with the planting of trees taking center stage in the celebration. Jews outside
of Israel contribute money to plant trees there and/or plant trees in their own
communities. We’ll celebrate with music, information about the benefits of tree
plantings and tree/Tu b’Shevat related goods! Bring friends!

Meetings this quarter will rotate between Tuesdays at 6PM and Fridays at 4PM.
The first meeting will be next Friday, January 25th at Perks for coffee. The
following meeting with be Tuesday, February 5th (I’ll send a reminder e-mail out).

Hope to see you all Wednesday!

Peace, Love & Trees,

Thursday, January 17, 2008

NYC Passes Plastic Bag Recycling Bill

"Last week, New York City took a giant step forward in the fight against plastic. New York's City Council passed a bill requiring large stores and retail chains to collect and recycle plastic shopping bags. According to a New York Times report: "New York is by far the largest American city to enact so broad a measure to limit the environmental impact of the bags. Altogether, each year the country is estimated to use 86 billion bags, which end up blowing down city streets, or tangled in the stomachs of whales, sea turtles and birds, or buried in landfills where they enjoy free rent for 1,000 years."

Other cities like Melbourne and San Francisco have banned bags outright. San Francisco was the first city in North America to ban non-recyclable and non-biodegradable bags made from petroleum products. Africa has moved toward a continent-wide plastic bag ban, and just last week, China's cabinet issued a directive banning their production, prohibiting stores from handing out free plastic bags after June 1st and imposing fees on their usage. People in China use up to 3 billion plastic bags daily! Help keep the momentum going here in the United States and just say no to plastic bags!"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Mo" Udall - Pretty cool guy

"Morris King Udall was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1961. He served as chairman of what is now the Committee on Resources for over ten years. As well as serving in the House of Representatives for three decades, Udall ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976...

...Udall was one of the most creative and productive legislators of the 20th Century. He championed the rights of Native Americans and Alaska Natives and used his leadership in Congress to strengthen tribal self-governance. His love of the environment resulted in numerous pieces of legislation moving through Congress."

Memorable quote - What kind of society, given the choice between recycling a mountain of paper and denuding a mountainside of trees would make a decision to do the latter? The answer: our kind. And it is time to change that.” Morris K. Udall

Happy Holidays to all ReLeafers & Treehuggers - get ready for more tree planting fun in 2008!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Living Christmas Trees Stay Year-Round


If you're dreaming of a green Christmas, you can start with a living Christmas tree.

Haul it home, decorate it, stack presents beneath it, celebrate around it and then - rather than drag it to the curb with the discarded wrapping paper - place it into a hole in the yard and enjoy it as part of the landscape for many holidays to come.

Living Christmas trees made up a very small percentage of the 28.6 million real trees sold last year, said Rick Dungey, public relations manager for the National Christmas Tree Association in Chesterfield, Missouri Although the group doesn't keep specific data on living trees, Dungey said the trees are more popular in warm areas, where they seem to survive better.

The relatively few nursery operators who sell live trees generally market them "b&b" (with the roots balled and burlapped) or in pots, Dungey said.

"Containerized trees are grown in tubs sunk into the ground on the Christmas tree farms. Rather than get a mechanical digger and excavate a big root ball, they just haul up the container," he said. "Balled-and-burlapped varieties have a bit better survivability but they're bulky and a real load to handle."

Steve Mannhard, owner of Fish River Trees, a 45-acre choose-and-cut operation near Summerdale, Alabama, says he gets a lot of repeat business for living trees from customers who plant them in their yard or donate them to churches, schools or neighbors. Live Christmas trees are cleaner and safer than the precut varieties when watered properly, he said.

"They will eliminate a lot of the mess or the needle drop you have with cut trees. People will tolerate that but they're not crazy about it," he says. "And the greenery on a living tree won't burn. It's like putting lights on an outdoor tree."

Living trees cost about as much as the precut versions if customers are willing to drive to Mannhard's farm to pick them up. Prices for the balled and burlapped varieties are similar.

"White pines sell here for $50 to $60," said David Daniken, owner of Daniken Tree Farms in Pocahontas, Illinois "Norway spruce go for $70 to $75."

Mannhard said his customers are planting the trees together as a post-Christmas family event.

"Children are getting trees named after them. That will be a strong emotional tug for those children after they grow up to go back and look at that tree and remember when their parents, grandparents and themselves put it there," he said.

And the symbolism can hit home as soon as Easter: "When a tree is planted after the holidays and it begins to grow again in the spring, it becomes a symbol of rebirth."

Plan well ahead if you intend to bring a living Christmas tree indoors:

--Find a suitable post-holiday planting site, one capable of supporting a tree that can grow 40- to 60-feet high. Dig your hole before the ground freezes rock hard and then mulch it heavily to keep the area from refreezing.

--Choose only native trees that can survive the indoor-outdoor handling and that fit readily into your yard. "Fraser firs are a popular Christmas tree in the East," said George Kessler, an extension forester and assistant professor at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina "A lot of people will plant them in areas where they have no business being. ... Just because someone is selling them locally doesn't mean they will grow there," he said. "Get a native tree or one that's proven to grow in your area."

--Don't over-water. "One of the biggest problems people have with living Christmas trees is over-watering while they have them inside," Kessler said. "That's easy to overcome. Put a hollow tube down into the container the tree is in and use that for watering. You don't have to water a living tree as often as a cut tree. You'll drown it if you leave it in standing water."

--Give the tree some time to readjust when you take it outside after the holidays. "You must transition the tree when taking it from indoor, 72-degree temperatures back into the cold," Kessler said. "Keep it in a garage or porch out of the wind for a few days but plant as soon as you can. Don't wait until spring. Water it until the site is ready."

--Be prepared to nurture a living Christmas tree at least two years, especially in drought-stricken regions like the Southeast, Kessler said. "The first year is always critical on water. The root system is wrapped in a ball and is out of proportion with the size of the tree that you have. That continues even into the second year. Regular watering is important until the tree is established."

You can contact Dean Fosdick at deanfosdick(at)