In partnership with an environmental charity, One Tree Planted, Amazon developed a new climate campaign. All the customers have to say – “Alexa, grow a tree.” Of course, Alexa will not be the one doing the actual planting. On April 11, Amazon announced that users can now plant a tree after donating $1 through Alexa. Additionally, through Amazon Pay, customers can keep track of the number of trees they planted. Besides that, the company will also donate $1 million to the non-profit One Tree Planted.
Moreover, new trees will get planted in Appalachia, northern California, Washington, Oregon, and India through the new initiative. Additionally, these four projects in the US and India are part of a reforestation initiative to tackle climate change. Hence, the funds will go towards the reforestation of lands razed for mining, logging, and agriculture in Pennsylvania. In addition, “hard-working foresters will dedicate time to promote improved vegetation planning and resource management” to control wildfires in California. Plus, new trees planted in the Pacific Northwest near fresh-water bodies will help clean them for salmon spawning. And in India, the fruit trees planted by the campaign will “fight hunger, improve local economies, and combat climate change.”
Will the “Alexa, grow a tree” campaign help the climate?
Planting trees is well and good. But here’s the thing, according to some research, tree planting initiatives do not substantially reduce climate change. Therefore, large companies like Amazon need to look for more meaningful ways to slow down climate change. Plus, these companies need to look at the primary cause of climate change – carbon emissions leading to pollution.
Furthermore, planting a tree improperly without considering what ideal habitat it needs to grow can negatively impact the local ecosystem. Or else, it might lead to more damage to the natural habitats and people who depend on them for survival. For example, a study indicated that tree-planting projects in India failed to produce a more extensive forest canopy. Unfortunately, the projects altered the original makeup of the forest. Plus, for a successful tree-planting project in reducing climate change substantially, trees need to replace swaths of farmlands.
So, to conclude, although Amazon’s new climate campaign involving Alexa isn’t a bad idea, it will reap results slowly. Moreover, it doesn’t necessarily focus on reducing carbon emissions, which is an urgent concern. Additionally, Amazon’s carbon footprint has grown in the past years. Consequently, as per the company’s latest substantiality report, its carbon footprint was almost 20% percent more in 2020 than in 2019. Hence, instead of “Alexa, grow a tree,” using public transport or EVs will be more effective in saving the planet.