Nauggets has teamed up with One Tree Planted and is committed to planting a tree for every new funded account AND continue to plant trees for every $1000 of Nauggets gold purchased. Why? Because we care. We care about our planet, our kids’ futures, our wildlife and the oxygen we breathe. In addition to this, we plan on rewarding our members with up to 3.4% p.a for doing their bit for the environment. Rewarding YOU for looking after the earth we walk on.
As the Environmental, Social and Governance Coordinator for Nauggets, it was of the utmost importance to me that we were a forward-thinking company that did our bit for the planet. I believe organisations and companies not only can, but have a responsibility to, make a significant difference in the Earth’s future. When sustainability is at the forefront of a company’s purpose, together with its staff and customers, positive change can be made in this space.
Why do we plant trees?
Australia has gone from the driest ever drought of 2018-19 to experiencing its worst-ever bushfire season in 2019-20, with over 19 million hectares of forest burned. These fires kill mature trees, rob ecosystems of their vegetation diversity and reduce food sources for wildlife.
The state that took the brunt of the extraordinary fire season was New South Wales, my home state, and the home state of our Co-Founder, Phoebe Tooker. So, when brainstorming how we could contribute to the restoration of these impacted forest environments, planting trees had to be a part of it.
While the fires have impacted a very large area, these fire-affected forests are not lost which is why hard work needs to be done to ensure native forests recover and to replant all fire-affected plantations for the future.
So what is a tree?
A tree is a perennial plant with an elongated stem, or trunk, and woody tissue that survives by transforming light into chlorophyll via its leaves. On average, the basic components of a tree’s mass consist of 50% carbon and 50% water. This varies based on tree species, age, and local climate conditions.
Trees have been on planet Earth for approximately 370 million years, and over time they’ve developed some incredible ways of growing and thriving. Starting from seeds, trees germinate in the soil, seek out nutrients, sunlight, and water, and adapt to their conditions while providing benefits to the forest.
How do trees help the environment?
Trees really are miracle machines. Along with producing the oxygen we breathe, they act like sponges for carbon in the atmosphere, absorbing it by removing it from the air and locking it in their wood and roots.
Trees support the environment in so many ways:
- Filter water and slow the flow of stormwater
- Provide habitat for biodiversity great and small
- Hold the soil together, preventing erosion
- Grow food for both wildlife and humans
- Provide us with medicine
- Protect us from UV rays and heat
- Filter pollutants like nitrogen, ozone and carbon monoxide
- Support our mental and emotional health
- Regulate the planet’s water cycles and temperature
A single mature tree can intercept over 150,000 litres of water per year! And without healthy forests, our food production and livable climate would collapse. All the more reason to see trees and forests as essential to our survival.
Planting trees around the world is one of the most effective and cheapest ways to remove carbon emissions from the atmosphere. One recent study estimates that forests and other natural ecosystems could help reduce carbon by more than one-third and keep global warming below 2 °C by 2030.
How exactly do trees help to mitigate climate change?
- Trees sequester greenhouse gasses, reducing the amount in the atmosphere
- Trees prevent erosion, reducing the effects of floods
- Forests create shade, cooling local and global temperatures
- Healthy forests create and protect soil, which is also a carbon sink
- Trees create clean air and water, reducing pollution
- Trees provide a social benefit by supporting local communities
Trees don’t just enrich the air we breathe, they purify it by absorbing pollutant gases such as nitrogen oxides, ozone, ammonia and sulphur dioxide. Trees also cool the air temperature, prevent flooding, improve soil quality and sustain wildlife. Trees provide food, shade, and shelter to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. In fact, a single tree can be home to hundreds of species of insects, fungi, moss, mammals, and plants. Who doesn’t want to help out the Koalas?
Smart tree systems
Trees are also a lot smarter than you might have thought. In healthy forests, trees rely on a complicated web of relationships, alliances, and kinship networks. These networks, maintained by regular communication and collective intelligence, are similar to insect colonies and, indeed, human communities.
So, how does it work? Thanks to a symbiotic relationship with mycorrhizal fungi, which bridge the gaps between neighbouring root systems, connected trees can send distress signals, share water and nutrients with struggling friends or offspring, bolster defence mechanisms, and even keep ancient stumps alive.
Signals can be chemical, hormonal or even electrical based upon the intended message. They also communicate through the air via pheromones and other scent signals, which are detected by their leaves.
Trees for health and wellness
One often overlooked benefit of planting trees is that it’s good for our health. When we’re exposed to certain chemicals released by trees (known as phytoncides), research reveals everything from reduced blood pressure and anxiety to increased pain threshold and even an increase of anti-cancer proteins.
Studies have shown that patients with views of trees heal faster and with fewer complications. Children with ADHD show reduced symptoms with access to nature. And exposure to trees and nature has also been proven to reduce mental fatigue and help concentration. One Tree Planted has listed 18 health benefits of trees and forests which includes improving our cognition, cardiovascular health and concentration.
Now here’s the sad part, we are losing trees at an alarming rate. Global forest cover fell below 4 billion hectares in 2015 for the first time in human history.
Deforestation, or the human-driven and natural loss of trees, affects everything from wildlife and ecosystems to weather patterns and the water cycle. And as you know, forests — which cover 30% of Earth’s surface — are critically important to just about every aspect of life. Some of the biggest causes of deforestation are unsustainable agriculture (including animal agriculture, soy, palm oil and chocolate), logging, mining, urban development, wildfires, drought, and insect infestations. As a result, very few forest areas remain completely untouched by humans, but that makes it no less important to protect what we have left.
Reforestation: let’s make a change
So what do we do? Reforestation is the process of planting trees in areas that used to have them naturally, and it’s one of the best ways to restore damaged ecosystems, stabilize soils, support the water cycle, and slowly recover the environment that we all depend on. It can also bring people together, heal communities, and stimulate local economies.
While the secondary forests established today will not be able to sequester as much carbon as the primary forests that grew for centuries, they can absorb as much as 1/3 of what’s currently in our atmosphere. Stopping deforestation and restoring damaged forests, therefore, could provide up to 30% of the climate solution.
Nauggets will start our tree planting in Australia to try and assist in the rehabilitation of the forests wiped out by the horrific 2019-2020 bushfire season. From here, we aim to plant trees worldwide, planting a tree for every new account opened and activated with us. In addition to this, for every $1000 of gold purchased in your Nauggets account, we’ll plant another tree. More savings = more rewards for you = more trees for the planet.
It all starts with you
In addition to our tree planting initiatives, we wanted to do more, because the real change happens when people start changing their habits in their day-to-day lives. The more people we can influence to make choices that protect and enhance our environment, the better. Do your bit for the environment, and we’ll do our bit for you by rewarding you with up to 3.4% per annum on your gold. But what does doing your bit actually mean?
At Nauggets, we are passionate about educating you on how you can individually make a positive impact on our natural environment by changing small habits. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. By changing small habits one by one over time, eventually you will be making a big difference in lessening your carbon footprint and thus your impact on the environment.
So what are some of the things you can do to better your individual impact? Here’s a list of suggestions to get you started:
- Avoid plastic packaging and use more sustainable, reusable alternatives such as:
- Keep cup
- Canvas shopping bags
- Stainless steel straw
- Bamboo cutlery
- Take your own takeaway containers to restaurants
- Reusable water bottle
- Soap bars instead of plastic bottles of body wash, shampoo & conditioner
- Deodorant in cardboard or stainless steel packaging
- Think about your transport, try to:
- Drive less
- Fly less
- Ride your bike or walk more
- Use public transport where possible
- Purchase items such as clothing and homewares second-hand. You can find some great bargains in your local op shops.
- Wear clothing made from natural fibres (synthetic fibres such as polyester contain microplastics that end up in the ocean and we don’t want that).
- Reduce your meat intake. Try to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. Start with a meat-free Monday, and you can keep decreasing your intake from here. You’ll be healthier for it too!
- Where possible, source your food locally, at your local farmer’s market or bulk foods store.
- Start a backyard veggie garden and grow your own food.
- Take shorter showers (<4 minutes is ideal).
- Get solar panels on your house.
- Select energy-efficient products for your home such as your fridge and washing machine.
- Turn down your heating by 1 degree – it makes a difference, or don’t use air conditioning at all.
- Start a backyard compost heap or a worm farm to reduce your food waste going to landfill.
- Turn off lights and appliances at the wall when not using them.
- Switch energy providers to a provider that uses green power.
- Switch your superfund to a fund that does not invest in fossil fuels.
If you are interested in what your carbon footprint is, try one of the footprint calculators :
More detailed footprint calculator
We all have a duty to do our part to have a positive impact on the environment. By working together we can build a better, brighter future.
Amy Freshwater, Nauggets Environmental, Social & Governance Coordinator
Listen to Amy talk to Louis Lagoutte from One Tree Planted about their partnership and environmental initiatives on our latest podcast episode.