We partner with an incredible business called '9 Trees', who plant trees, creating nature-rich, biodiverse woodlands throughout the UK. 9 Trees strive to bring back biodiversity, tackle climate change and create meaningful jobs in the countryside space.
We interviewed the founder, Mike. Here's what he had to say:
Q: What made you start 9 trees?
A: Having studied and worked in the conservation sector for many years, in Habitat management, educator with RSPB, microbiologist for the Environment Agency as well as Marine Biology in the Coral triangle, this tied with business experience from working with Wales Tourism, running my family Business, working in the arts sector and humanitarian expeditions in remote Nepal. However I felt I was still not in the role I wanted to be in... I felt a deep existential crisis within me. Whilst on flights to Nepal and Timor-Leste in the name of conservation and educational initiatives, I could see the desperate need to create woodlands and safeguard biodiversity of the British Isles. I worked out my footprint was 15 tonnes that year! On average one tree sequesters one tonne of CO2 in its life. At that rate I would have to plant 15 x 90 trees = 1350 trees, to make up for the carbon I’d emit during my lifetime!
Q: What do you think is the easiest sustainable swap or action someone can make?
A: I have been trying not to make it a massive upheaval in my life, deciding to take it day by day and week by week. Therefore, I am trying 50% of the time to make the right decision. From exchanging processed food and mega farmed meat for well looked after and sustainably farmed foods, using regenerative agriculture and local as much as possible. I eat veggie burgers or eat vegetarian when I go out to help promote restaurants serving more options. It's easier to start with simple things like Meat free Mondays or the other end of the spectrum only meat on Sundays. I have also been using Washing up strips and refilling more things!
Q: What is a swap that people find difficult to make?
A: Petrol to Electric vehicles! Especially in rural areas!
Q: What's your favourite part of running your business (focusing on sustainability)?
A: When everyone is paid and we stand at the top of a woodland with volunteers and subscribers and we can cheer that “we all did this!”. And it was worth it, watching new animals, birds and insects emerge because we have already had an impact, in just the first three years of transforming a site.
Q: What have 9 trees been up to recently?
A: We won an AWARD! The Natural Environment Award given to us by Future Leap Bristol. We have also been to a few events, festivals and shows and people seem to love chatting with us! I hope soon we will be on radio again after our last few BBC interviews went well!
Thanks to Mike for sharing his sustainable insights! Click here to plant a tree with 9 Trees!