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This Valentine’s Day, plant a tree or a forest

Are you searching for a truly green gift for your Valentine this year? Consider giving a tree, or help plant a forest.

For many, Valentine’s Day is a time for giving bouquets of flowers or roses by the dozen. The National Retail Federation estimates Americans will order more than $1.9 billion in flowers for the day. But for those who worry about the environmental impact of their gifts, the hidden costs add up with the intensive chemicals, energy and water required for greenhouse floral production. Plus, transportation from countries like Columbia and Ecuador adds 360,000-metric tons of additional carbon dioxide (CO2) added to the atmosphere, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation.

So, this year, consider giving a tree. Your gift will produce oxygen, improve air quality, sequester CO2, help reduce urban heat gain, prevent soil erosion, provide windbreaks, feed people, support wildlife, reduce violence and bring people together, according to Tree People, a non-profit organization that supports trees. Plus, trees are a beautiful gift that can live for decades.

Here are six ways to give a tree, or donate to a forest:

  1. Give a fruit tree

Kansas City Community Gardens in Kansas City is now accepting orders for fruit trees you can plant this spring. Select from several varieties each of apple, cherry, pear and peach trees at Kansas City Community Gardens. If you want help in selecting and planting fruit trees, you can register for a virtual KCCG Fruit Tree Workshop from 12 – 1 p.m. on Friday, February 12. Trees need to be ordered by March 9 for pick up in April at 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO.

  1. Donate to Heartland Tree Alliance Tree Fund

Heartland Tree Alliance is seeking donations to help support tree funds in 18 cities throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. Once each city’s fund reaches $1,000, Heartland Tree Alliance will coordinate a volunteer planting event with each city’s forester. Give a tree sponsorship at Heartland Tree Alliance.

  1. Find a native tree nursery

Trees that will have the best success rate in your climate and soil will be native to your area. Find a native tree nursery near you in the national PlantNative Directory of Nurseries.

  1. Help plant a forest

American Forests has been planting trees since 1875 to protect and restore forests for wildlife habitat, clean air and water. You can plant 25 trees for $25 and receive a personalized certificate for your gift. View their nationwide programs and initiatives at American Forests.

  1. Support a Time for Trees Initiative

The Arbor Day Foundation’s Time for Trees Initiative has a goal of planting 100-million trees in forests and communities and inspiring 5-million new tree planters by 2022 – the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day. See how you can join the effort at Arbor Day Foundation.

  1. Plant trees around the world

One Tree Planted works on global reforestation efforts in North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia. You can help plant trees in the location of your choice for $1 a tree and get a personalized tree certificate at One Tree Planted.

Photo: Don Harder / CC

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Gerald Shechter
Gerald Shechter
3 years ago

I have tried several times to donate to Heartland Tree Alliance Tree Fund with no success. The webpage will not accept either of my credit cards.

Sarah Crowder
Sarah Crowder
3 years ago

To donate to the Heartland Tree Alliance, please follow this link.

You can then type the city you’d like to allocate your donation to in the “description” box. Thank you!