Names: Kaitlin Grierson (15), Lauren Grierson (15)
Plant A Tree. Plant A Future.
By Kaitlin and Lauren Grierson
Our story has branches just like a tree. It is rooted in the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada. Our names are Kaitlin and Lauren Grierson and we are Canadian tree hugging twins.
We grew up in Vancouver, hiking, skiing, paddling and biking in the forests. Even our elementary school had a forest on the school grounds. When we moved to Toronto in 2014 we desperately missed the trees of British Columbia. Luckily, we continued to return to British Columbia each summer to visit our friends, the orcas and humpback whales, barred owls, sea lions, bald eagles, black tailed deer, harbour seals, black bears and pacific dolphins. The seeds of TreesCO2 began to sprout!
We co-founded TreesCO2 in 2016 to inspire the world to plant trees through action and education. Before long we had surpassed our goal of planting 1,000 trees and our story, just like tree seedlings began to grow. To date TreesCO2 has planted 1,655 trees (including some shrubs). TreesCO2 has taken a grass roots approach in our community, working with local tree planting partners including, Forests Ontario, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Central Lake Ontario Conservation, City of Toronto, Town of Ajax, Conservation Ontario, Highway of Heroes, Credit Valley Conservation, City of Newmarket, the Province of Ontario and TD Friends of the Environment. Rooted in these partnerships, begins the three main “branches” of our tree story.
As proposed to the UN Nature Based Solutions Workstream, The Global Forest Project (“GFP”) is a Canadian led initiative, arising from the Young Champions for Nature Summit (Montreal, 2019), to create a global partnership with the United Nations to plant billions of trees. The GFP is a transformational initiative to demonstrate global co-operation in climate action. All Paris Agreement signatories are invited to participate in the GFP by contributing according to their countries’ strengths, including forest hosting, financing or human talent such as labour, project management and research. Canada and other high forest potential countries are invited to contribute land to host the GFP.
TreesCO2’s Student Ambassador Program (“SAP”) teaches the leaders of tomorrow about the importance of climate action. The SAP is a leadership program inviting students to join TreesCO2 in action, education and awareness through tree planting field trips in partnership with local tree planting authorities. It is for this work that TreesCO2 is recognized as a Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (“QCT”) Pioneer and is a 2019 QCT grant recipient.
TreesCO2 Ice Cream is tree theme flavoured organic ice cream, including Maple, Birch Bark (Vanilla Cinnamon) and Green Leaf (Peppermint). Mentored by WE Charity and graduates of the WE Social Entrepreneurship Program – Incubation Hub, each pint contributes to climate action as profits are donated to tree planting. TreesCO2 Ice Cream makes climate action fun for consumers.
Like a tree strongly rooted in our community, we have grown beyond the seedling stage to the provincial, federal, commonwealth and global levels. Together we can forest the world because when you plant a tree, you plant a future.