Motorists pay price for clean air

31 Jul, 2002 10:00 PM
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A LANDCARE group has launched an innovative tree planting program which allows motorists to reduce the effects of car exhaust fumes on the environment.

For a $50 12-month subscription, motorists can register their vehicle with The Men of the Trees' Carbon Neutral Program.

The group will use the money to plant trees in rural areas to help counteract the damage of carbon emissions.

The RAC has given the project a boost by registering its fleet of 350 vehicles with the program.

Registration forms are available from The Men of the Trees, Box 103, Guildford, WA, 6935.

Vehicle emissions put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Scientists have warned that greenhouse gases will cause global warming and lead to climate change.

The Men of the Trees spokesman Barry Oldfield said the best way to counteract this was to plant trees.

He said the first Carbon Neutral Program planting was at Dowerin on July 20, when 2120 seedlings went into the ground.

"All Carbon Neutral Program trees will be audited so contributors know exactly how many trees have been planted," Mr Oldfield said.

"All the plantings will be for landscape or environmental projects ‹ to improve and protect the rural environment.

"It is possible that it will be used to fight salinity, as well."

Trees will be chosen for biodiversity. Seeds will be collected from the area and grown to seedlings.

Planting sites will be chosen after consultation with Land Conservation District committees and their landcare officers.

The Men of the Trees organisation began in Kenya in 1922. It is a volunteer group that grows and plants trees for the benefit of the environment.

It organises community plantings during winter, when volunteers can get together and revegetate areas to reverse or prevent land degradation.

There is a farm tree help scheme, where city members collect and grow 300-600 seedlings for a farmer ‹ then go out and plant them on a winter weekend.

And the Million Trees Projects encourages city schools to grow and plant seedlings.

The group has a nursery at Hazelmere, which grows seedlings for sale and for community plantings, and a 35ac farm at Dowerin, which is being used for agroforestry trials.

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