|JNF working towards reducing our carbon footprint|
The Jewish National Fund (JNF), also known as Karen Kayemeth Leisrael, has launched a new campaign aimed at educating people on how they can have a positive impact on the environment by changing harmful habits, funding cutting-edge environmental projects and by planting trees in Israel.
It is called GoNeutral- an Environmental Movement for Tomorrow. JNF/KKL is helping by afforestation, agricultural research and development, combating desertifi cation and sustainable water development. JNF/KKL has now planted more than 240 million trees on 250,000 acres in Israel. Besides maintaining these new forests, they also care for more than 100,000 acres of natural woodlands.
They are also working on re-greening the north after the war with Hezbollah in 2006. JNF/KKL sponsors innovative agricultural research where leading scientists work with farmers and universities to fi nd strains of crops that require less pesticides and water, therefore requiring less energy to produce…. they even taste better and are more nutritious!
More than 60% of Israel’s land is arid or semi-arid and is being threatened by land degradation due to climatic and human factors. Among other things to combat desertifi cation, JNF/KKL is planting trees to capture water run-off and prevent soil erosion.
They are also building more than 180 water reservoirs and dams with a combined storage capacity of more than 34 billion gallons, which will supply water to over 1.2 million Israelis each year. Change does not only have to occur on an organisational level. Simple changes at home can help offset emissions such as using fluorescent light bulbs, paying your bills online, shutting down your computer each evening, and installing low flow showerheads. Use public transportation and carpool.
You can also offset emissions by minimising energy use, funding projects that lead to the prevention of future greenhouse gas emissions and also by planting trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and in turn, give off oxygen. Over an average of 70 years, one tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide.
There is a global movement towards this GoNeutral concept. Wikipedia describes carbon neutral as balancing the amount of carbon (as in the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide) released with the amount offset.
The burning of fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas releases carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere.
These gases trap heat from the sun, the heat then radiates back to the earth increasing the earth’s temperature; this is known as the greenhouse effect and results in global warming.
The effects of global warming are already obvious. Glaciers are melting; extreme temperatures and storms are taking place. Coastal communities are being threatened with an increase in sea levels.
Although, other gases are responsible for global warming, it is believed that humans are to blame for 65% of the carbon dioxide released through our daily activities such as car travel, air travel and even with what we buy. Just think about all the energy that is required to make the products we use daily.
On many of the environmental web sites, you are able to find a ‘carbon calculator’ to determine how much carbon dioxide you produce. The calculators take into consideration how much you drive, how often you travel by plane and the lengths of the flights, what your monthly electricity and fuel bills are, how much waste your family produces and if you recycle.
The average person is responsible for emitting 23 tons of carbon dioxide every year! Remember, this is a global problem. By planting trees in Israel or funding projects in Israel, the positive effects are not just limited to Israel; the positive effects are felt throughout the world.
Supplied by Jenny Selevan
If you would like more information, or would like to plant trees, please contact Jenny Selevan, HK JNF representative
You can also visit the JNF/KKL websites: www.jnf.org and www.kkl.org.il.
(Issue July/August 2008)