We are inextricably connected to the Earth and to each other, so that what we do either enhances life, bringing it into greater wholeness, or diminishes it, detracting from the wellbeing of all. It is the goal of ‘Driving Cars – Planting Trees’ to awaken consciousness to this unity through a specific action that can be taken on a daily basis to bring this purpose into manifestation. This is the goal of ‘Driving Cars – Planting Trees,’ namely, to know that what we put into the atmosphere as a result of our driving that is harmful to the Earth, must be balanced by what we take out of the atmosphere through the planting of trees. This simple gesture of caring can connect us on a daily basis with the Earth and with the rest of life.
Driving Cars – Planting Trees is a project begun in the summer of 2021 through the desire felt within a core group of people to become more conscious on a daily basis of the impact of their decisions and actions on the Earth and her environment.
The purpose of Driving Cars – Planting Trees is, first, to balance carbon emissions due to automobile usage with carbon-sequestering achieved by planting trees; second, to increase food resources in famine-prone or drought-stricken areas of the world through the planting of trees which increase the viability and productivity of the soil; and third, to promote planetary awakening to our oneness with the Earth and with each other, and to our responsibility for upholding and enhancing life, rather than diminishing it. This third goal is the overarching goal that contains the other two.
Awakening must take place so that social justice, economic equality, and food justice are not just concepts but living realities. It is the primary calling and need of our time to become aware of our accountability for the life of the Earth. We can participate in this awakening by the practices we institute that respect this life, or we can remain asleep. But we can no longer think that our choice makes no difference. It is the goal of universal awakening to unity, accountability, and nurturance of all, that infuses the deepest heart and purpose of Driving Cars – Planting Trees.
Unity: Unity is ultimately based on the network of life or web of life which emanates from the One Source of which we are each a part. This One manifests in all the countless ways that life manifests on the Earth. Unity allows us to know that what we do to the Earth and to each other, we do to ourselves.
Accountability: Out of the recognition of Unity comes the awareness of Accountability, the recognition that every action that we take affects the Whole of which we are a part. Accountability refers, within the context of this project, to the responsibility we take for balancing the effect of our automobile carbon emissions with measures that remove carbon from the atmosphere, namely, the planting of trees. It also refers to the understanding that we not only affect the environment through our ‘dong’ or ‘not-doing,’ but the rest of life as well.
Nurturance: Out of Unity and Accountability comes Nurturance – the desire to nourish life so it may thrive. Our growing sense of unity creates an inner wish to not separate ourselves from those in need, but rather to help restore the means for them to sustain themselves. This can take place through the greater availability of food resources, and through the restoration of the land so that it can promote life as it is meant to.
Unity, Accountability, and Nurturance are part of the broad awakening that must take place upon the Earth so that the wellbeing of all can be insured.
Your Donation Commitment: Carbon In, Carbon Out
The Department of Transportation (DOT) in 2020 calculated that the average number of miles driven per month in the United States was 1400, a record high. Each of these miles puts carbon into the atmosphere which, as a greenhouse gas, contributes to the overall warming of the planet.
What can one person do about this?
You can determine to plant trees that remove carbon from the atmosphere and revitalize soil for growing food. You can do this for every mile you drive. When trees are very young, they sequester carbon to only a small degree. However, tree planting is a task for the future. A 10-, 25-, or 50-year-old tree can progressively take out of the atmosphere everything one puts into it through driving.
Our donation options are based on the estimated average number of miles driven per month given by the DOT (1400 miles). Our calculation of mileage per tree planted is not an exact measure of carbon in, carbon out, but rather an effort made in that direction with a significant positive effect.
For each 70 miles driven, you can plant one tree at the planting cost of $1.50 per seedling (estimate from Sadhana Forest, Auroville, India). Please enter the number of miles you drive each month on our Seedling Calculator to determine your suggested donation and the seedlings you will be supporting.
Of course, you can also give less or more than the Seedling Calculator suggests. Driving Cars – Planting Trees accepts all contributions of any amount and asks that you consider what you can afford on an ongoing monthly basis. This will allow you to remain in an active relationship with your driving mileage over time.
For whatever you can give to this planetary effort, we thank you.
Light Omega is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization. All donations collected by Light Omega go in their entirety to the distributing organizations that are directly involved with the goals of this project.
Where they work: India, Haiti, Kenya
What they do: Sadhana Forest started its ecological revival and sustainable living work on December 19th, 2003. The vision of its founders, Yorit and Aviram Rozin, is to transform 70 acres of severely eroded, arid land on the outskirts of Auroville. In a spirit of human unity, their aim is to introduce a growing number of people to sustainable living, food security through ecological transformation, wasteland reclamation, and veganism. Our energy and resources are focused on the creation of a vibrant, indigenous Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest (TDEF).
Note: Sadhana Forest is the primary distributing organization for donations to ‘Driving Cars – Planting Trees.’
Find out more: sadhanaforest.org
Where they work: Nepal, Indonesia, Haiti, Mozambique, Madagascar, Kenya, Central America, Brazil
What they do: Eden Reforestation Projects offers a holistic approach to reforestation and ecological restoration, partnering with villages that are committed to restoring their forests. Their approach includes the hiring and training of local people to plant new trees, the planting of native tree species, and working with communities to protect their new forests because they have a vested interest in them. Studies undertaken by Eden Reforestation Projects show a survival rate for planted trees of over 80%, even higher when natural generation is factored in.
Find out more: edenprojects.org
Where they work: Kenya, Mali, Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania
What they do: The Forest Garden Program is a simple, replicable, and scalable approach with proven success. It starts with trees. Through our 4-year training program, called the Forest Garden Approach, farmers plant thousands of trees that protect and bring nutrients back to the soil. This helps farmers grow a variety of fruits and vegetables. Forest Garden farmers gain increases in income and access to food, even in the first year, all while improving the environment.
Find out more: trees.org
Where they work: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Niger
What they do: Tree Aid works with people in the drylands of Africa to tackle poverty and the effects of the climate crisis by growing trees, improving people’s incomes, and restoring and protecting land. Led by local people, their projects make sure trees thrive so they can provide food and incomes today and protect the environment for tomorrow.
Find out more: treeaid.org