Celebrating World Kindness Day

Every day I count my blessings to have this wonderful Irish at Heart community, that I have built with the support of my family, friends, and all of our lovely subscribers. However, I realise that being grateful isn’t always enough and, that those of us who are fortunate enough to be in a position to do so, should look for ways to give back to the world.

 

With World Kindness Day coming up (November 13th) I was determined to pledge myself to an act of kindness that was a little bit out of the ordinary. As I’m sure many of you are aware, the COP26 summit has been taking place these past two weeks in Glasgow, and my adopted city has experienced a hubbub of activity and conversations around the topic of climate change. This renewed energy for environmental action gave me the perfect idea for how I was going to make my personal mark on World Kindness Day. How better to give back to the world, than to invest in the future of the planet itself?

 

I did some research and discovered that the average person in the developed world will generate around 6,800 kg of carbon pollutants every single year – a number which just sounded mind-blowingly large to my mind.

We may be the Emerald Isle but Ireland, just like the majority of other world populations, could certainly stand to be a bit greener. Our climate has already heated up by 0.8°C degrees in the last hundred years, with a projected increase of a further 1-1.6°C by the mid 21st century. This might not sound like a lot, but already we are experiencing more extreme weather conditions and rising sea levels - a pretty serious concern for an island where more than half of the population lives within 10km of the coast!

 

Photo Credit - Independent.ie

 

So, I wanted to find a way to offset my own contribution to climate change, and I came across the wonderful initiative Tree-Nation, a non-profit organisation that plants trees around the world. Their work not only helps us to compensate for our carbon footprints, but also to replenish areas that have been badly hit by deforestation.

 

 

 

They have many projects taking place all over the globe, but I decided that instead of focusing closer to home - I wanted to make an impact nearer to many of my Irish at Heart subscribers. The “Sowing Water” project is focused in São Paulo, Brazil and also aims to educate and influence the local communities to engage in sustainable land practices that will allow the forest around them to replenish and thrive.

 

 

You are given a huge selection of trees and plants to choose from, each bringing their own benefits and variety to the environment and together forming a successful and vibrant ecosystem. I opted for the Heliocarpus popayanensis, a fast-growing tree which is a very helpful pioneer when establishing new woodland. It can grow up to 12 metres tall, providing much needed shading for smaller plants below that perish in direct sunlight.

I calculated my carbon footprint and planted the amount of trees it would take to make up for my own annual CO2 omissions – a small act of kindness that I hope will contribute to the wonderful work of the people over at Tree-Nation.

I thought it was important to share this with you, my Irish at Heart family, as a reminder that if every person makes a small effort – together we can make a huge difference. Single trees can be purchased from as little as €2.50 on this particular project, which is a relatively small sum to contribute, but can add up in a remarkable way for our environment.

If you’re looking to do a little bit of good this World Kindness Day, then why not hop on over to the Sowing Water project and add to the Irish at Heart contribution? Or perhaps have a look at the other areas in which Tree-Nation are making a difference and choose one that is close to your own heart.

 

 

Of course, there are so many other ways in which we can choose to make a difference to the world and, no matter how small, they all contribute to making the world a better place. From volunteering at a local charity, to making a cup of coffee for a stressed-out co-worker, or even smiling at a stranger who looks like they might be having a bit of a hard day – they all make a difference.

What small act of kindness will you achieve this World Kindness Day? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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