From Feeding Bees to Planting Trees: How You’ve Helped Us Protect the Planet in 2022
In 2022, our planet went through a lot: severe floods in Kentucky and Pakistan, record heat waves in Europe, and strong storms like Eunice and Hurricane Ian. With your help, though, we were able to carry out several programs aimed at helping Earth and its plants, animals, and the ecosystems in which they live.
At year’s end, more than 100,000 individual donors like you have contributed to over 650 charitable programs. Those include feeding bees in areas ravaged by storms, protecting species at the brink, and working to grow more native plants.
GreaterGood was also hard at work trying to bolster the number of trees, which help absorb carbon, address climate change impacts, provide habitat for animals, and improve soil stability. They can also help minimize a business’s carbon footprint.
GreaterGood CEO Tim Kunin explains, “Tree planting for us was mostly about trying to reduce our carbon footprint because, as you’re aware, we bring in products from all over the world, we ship all over the world. And so in order to become carbon neutral in that process, we need to be able to take carbon out of the atmosphere, and there’s lots of ways to do that. You can put it in boreholes and fill salt caverns with carbon dioxide, which we’ve done occasionally. We’ve used multiple strategies.
“But the way that seems most in keeping with our values is one that would help wildlife and rewild areas. We’ve tried to do that with PASA, which is a series of primate sanctuaries in Africa and also with the natural resources department here in Minnesota, where areas have been impacted by climate change. On the North Shore of Lake Superior, we’re planting oaks and white pines in areas to increase tree cover and of course that also creates a carbon sink.”
In all, GreaterGood agreed to plant more than 100,000 trees with PASA, the American Chestnut Foundation, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. This was in addition to more than 1,200 trees planted domestically to address forest loss driven by fires, deforestation, invasive species, land degradation, flooding, and other catastrophic events.
There’s another 100,000 figure on the horizon, too. We’ve continued to work toward purchasing 100,000 acres of parkland in Argentina to protect those lands from the impacts of livestock. This will build on an existing 75,000 acres protected at Payunia Provincial Reserve in the province of Mendoza. For the first purchase, Greater Good Charities worked with WCS Argentina to compensate retiring livestock producers for the resignation of their grazing rights.
The park still has livestock, however, which compete with guanacos, a species from which today’s llamas are descended, for food and water. The presence of farm animals can also lead to retaliatory killings of predators, like the endangered Andean cat, when an animal is lost. The first purchase covers most of the guanaco’s summering range. The next will cover their wintering range.
Kunin says, “By removing cattle and sheep from these ranches, that will increase the variety of natural wildlife. And then that increases the viability of predation. In this case, the reason WCS identified these particular parcels was because it’s the largest migratory guanaco herd in the world.”
He adds, “So much of wildlife protection seems to be about helping an individual animal, but the way that you protect animals long-term is to protect the habitats that provide the space for wild animals to be preserved and to have enough genetic diversity, particularly among predators, so it can’t be small areas because there won’t be a large enough area for a diverse group of predators to have a genetic diversity over time… You need expansive areas to be able to do that.
“And that also connects to the goals about protecting 30% of the world’s surface.”
The goal is to get this parcel purchased by this time next year.
However, until then, in 2022, your clicks, donations, and shopping for a cause have helped projects like these along.
To find out how you’ve helped efforts in Ukraine, click here!Whizzco