One of New Zealand’s largest used car retailers has launched a new initiative to replant more than half an acre of native forest this month.
The trees will be planted in a Northland reserve by the Native Forest Restoration Trust, a charitable organisation dedicated to protecting New Zealand’s native forests and wetlands.
Daniel Buckley 2 Cheap Cars CEO says they expect to plant around 1,000 trees as a result of this initiative - and want to utilise the opportunity to encourage motorists to drive in a more sustainable way.
He says according to some estimates, unleaded petrol-powered cars emit around 115 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre. An average trip of 25 kilometres a day translates to 890 kilograms of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere or 242 kilograms of carbon per year. One tonne of carbon is equivalent to 3.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Buckley says there are a number of actions every motorist can take to ensure they reduce their impact on the environment - especially if heading out of town these school holidays.
“Keep the vehicle's tyres inflated to the correct pressure, ensure your vehicle is serviced regularly, and check the air filters which can clog and reduce mileage. The additional weight of items left in the boot or a roof rack can reduce fuel efficiency noticeably.
“Drivers should avoid peak traffic times where they can, and also try to plan ahead to take the shortest route; if they own more than one vehicle, take the one which uses the least fuel,” he says.
Sandy Crichton from the Native Forest Restoration Trust says they have planted 80,000 native trees over the past three years.
He says the Trust manages over 7,000 hectares of protected forest with each piece of land purchased assessed on criteria such as ecological significance, size and connectivity, environmental values and restoration potential including its capacity to naturally regenerate.
“Sometimes nature just needs a bit of a helping hand and that's where planting comes in,
“The trees we plant are all eco-sourced - grown from seeds collected locally and those used during this initiative will be planted near the Waipoua Forest - the home of New Zealand’s largest known living Kauri tree Tāne Mahuta,” he says.
Buckley says World Sustainability Day and International Day of Climate Action fall within the month of October and it's a timely reminder for the industry as a whole to move towards a more sustainable future.
“Our aim is to introduce much larger volumes of electric vehicles into New Zealand as they become available within the secondary market, we also want to leverage our scale to make a positive contribution to the environment.
Buckley says the trees will be planted next year during the next planting season (Winter 2020) in the Professor W.R McGregor Reserve at Katui on the southern border of Waipoua Forest in Northland.
He says the company will plant one native tree for every vehicle purchased during the month of October.