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Science

He planted a giant sequoia to offset his lifetime carbon footprint and will help you do it, too

A giant sequoia could offset the lifetime carbon footprint of more than one person.

climate change, giant sequoia tree, one life one tree

Climate activist Henry Emson of One Life One Tree.

Climate activist Henry Emson told Euronews that when he became a father seven years ago, he was worried about his family’s effect on the environment. After doing some serious research he found the best way to eliminate their carbon footprint was by planting giant sequoia trees.

General Sherman, the world’s largest tree, has sequestered an estimated 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide in its trunk over the last 2200 years and could live another 800 more. The average human could generate close to 1,000 tons of CO2 over their lifetime, so planting one giant sequoia could effectively reduce the carbon footprint of more than one person.

The giant sequoia is ideal for capturing carbon because unlike other trees that slow their growth rate as they mature, they continue to grow consistently for centuries, sequestering more carbon over time.

After realizing the power giant sequoias have to fight climate change, Emson dedicated his life to planting thousands in the U.K. by creating the One Life One Tree project. Its ultimate goal is to plant 100,000 giant sequoias in the U.K. by 2030 and, according to The Mirror, as of March 2022, it has already planted 700.


“Our goal is to create The Great Reserve, a back-up of these majestic giants in the UK where they can survive the stresses of global climate change,” he said, according to The Mirror.

Trees are currently being planted near Abergavenny in Wales and the project is considering expanding to Devon, the Lake District and Scotland.

While the common assumption is that these giant trees can only be grown in Northern California, they actually do well in the U.K. at a time when the sequoia population is threatened back home.

According to One Tree One Life, 95% of the old-growth sequoia population has been logged over the past two centuries and what remains is under threat from climate change. “A 10 year+ drought and temperature increase have greatly reduced the immune systems and health of the trees. A secondary impact of the drought is making them increasingly susceptible to insect attack and fire,” the site says.

Considering the danger that climate change is causing giant sequoias in California, Emson’s work is helping promote the survival of people and these majestic trees at the same time. “They’re effectively like climate refugees—we help them with assisted migration,” he told Euronews.

Interested in planting a giant sequoia in the U.K. to cancel out your carbon footprint? For £395 ($478 US) One Life One Tree will plant a tree for you in its reserve. You’ll also receive an aerial photo of your tree and an e-certificate with its GPS coordinates. If you travel to the U.K. they’ll even let you meet your tree and give it a hug.

Just imagine if everyone planted one giant sequoia? The climate would cool and our planet would be even more beautiful.

To learn more about how to plant your giant sequoia go to One Life One Tree.

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