There are countless projects underway everyday in New Zealand in an effort to make the world quite literally a better place. Different groups exist and have formed to help bring environmental issues to the forefront of people’s minds and thoughts. Though there are challenges and issues that we are facing in terms of environmental conservation and preservation, it is not always a daunting or terribly sad task to address these challenges. Contests, movies, and other methods help keep us accountable but also help us digest information and respond to Mother Earth’s call to action in our own ways.

One group turned tree planting into a competition this year and held a contest whereby different local companies and organizations formed teams and worked to plant more trees than the other competitors. Companies in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland all participated and there were over 3900 trees planted by 11 different teams. The teams were only given two hours to complete this challenge.

This challenge was just one small example of the ways in which the country and all those in it are working to help make a difference in the environment. The competition was held in the spirit of World Environment Day on June 1.

Tree planting has countless benefits and impacts on the environment. Trees help filter and remove contaminants, preventing them from entering bodies of water. Trees also provide shelter for local species and animals. Trees also provide us shade, shelter and refuge. Trees play a role in almost every aspect of New Zealand’s various ecosystems so it goes without saying that when it comes to trees, the more the merrier.

This was not the only initiative that was executed in honour of World Environment Day, but it was impactful. A series of seemingly small initiatives make a huge difference.