Real Leaders

Why Planting More Trees is a Good Idea

PODCAST PEOPLE: A Summary from the Real Leaders Podcast

Every time I was talking to businesses, they were saying, ‘Oh, we wish we could help, Matt. We wish we could do more.’ I’d always tell companies, ‘You can. Plant trees.’ People don’t realize how important trees are to the environment.”

Matt Hill is the founder and Chief Environmental Evangelist of One Tree Planted, a nonprofit organization that helps global reforestation efforts by making it easier for individuals and businesses to give back to the environment: one dollar plants one tree.

The following is a summary of Episode 106 of the Real Leaders Podcast, a conversation with Matt Hill, founder of One Tree Planted. Watch, read, or listen to the full conversation below.

Why Trees are Important

Trees provide oxygen, but they are directly linked to the state of the environment in many more ways:

  • improve air/water/soil quality
  • provide health/biodiversity
  • sequester carbon

Planting trees has compounding positive results, which consequently interconnect environmental issues:

We’re planting a million-and-a-half trees through this corridor in the Pacific Northwest… to cool the water along these streams. And the reason for cooling the water is so that the salmon can come back for spawning, since they’re not coming back for spawning as much as they used to, because the water temperatures are too warm. And by planting these trees it’s cooling it, it’s also cleaning the water. As a result, the salmon will repopulate [to benefit] the resident orca whale’s dependent on these Chinook salmon for their food supply chain.”

Businesses Getting Involved

Recent events have shown how quickly the benefits of a cleaner environment become apparent. As a result, many businesses are capitalizing on this evidence:

“I find a lot of businesses now taking this time to focus on these projects for next year. They’re realizing now. Because before I think people would be skeptical, ‘Well, how do I know this is really gonna work and what’s gonna be a long term results?’ But now in two months, we can all see firsthand, cleaner waterways, cleaner air, just ourselves. So I think companies now are doubling down looking at [environmental] opportunities.”

Listen to Episode 106 on Spotify, Anchor, Crowdcast, and Apple Podcasts

Stories and Transparency Gain Support

While tree-planting is good for the planet, One Tree Planted ensures contributors know exactly how far their planting contributions go:

“We don’t try and position ourselves as “donate to us.” We tell more of the stories, and then I think people or businesses end up wanting to give based on the inspirational story on how this helped these farmers, or helped particular animals that are on the endangered species list.”


Read the full conversation here:


Learn more about the latest planting projects:

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