What would you do if you were handed the opportunity to travel and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time? That is exactly what happened to me when I stumbled upon the WOWnature project in Alta Badia. As individuals, we emit a huge amount of C02 per year, around 5000kg each, in fact. Trees, on the other hand, only absorb around 22kg per year. So, it figures that we need a lot of them to make a difference to the global issue of climate change. I teamed up with the WOWnature team to help them to breathe new life into a part of the forest that was completely destroyed by storm Vaia. And, by planting trees, I not only got to see an incredible piece of wilderness, but I did my bit for the planet too.
Calculate your own ecological footprint here.
The Ethos of WOWnature
WOWnature, linked to the University of Padova, is a science project with the environment firmly at its heart. The creative researchers behind the project were tired of the imbalance between nature and humans. Countless times they had seen green areas and forests left barren, abandoned or inaccessible, and they had had enough.
From small beginnings come great ideas, much like a tree taking root. The nature-loving researchers created WOWnature as a place where owners of green areas and nature-lovers can live new experiences while making a difference to the environment. Whether it’s growing a tree or supporting a mature forest, there are many ways for you to be involved, to do your bit for nature and to reduce your environmental footprint.
The Effect of Storm Vaia on the Alta Badia Region
Alta Badia is based in the Dolomites region of South Tyrol in Italy. While we may think of the area for its Italian cordiality, pristine nature and soothing alpine ambience, it is increasingly becoming a victim of ferocious tropical storms. One such storm, storm Vaia, found its way into the Alta Badia mountains in October 2018 and caused significant damage. Within just a few hours, the storm destroyed millions and millions of trees. When it was over, the vast volumes of water that flooded the area, combined with the 200 km/h winds, had left a wound in the heart of the region.
How WOWnature is Making a Difference
Storm Vaia caused unprecedented damage and substantial social and environmental loss in a matter of hours. However, further losses could follow if the land begins to slide on the steep soils that have been left unsupported in the damaged forest’s wake. While some trees will grow naturally, WOWnature is committed to expediting the process. Its reforestation project aims to make the area more resistant to future storms and, of course, to have a positive impact on global warming.
How YOU Can Make a Difference
If you love to travel, the team at WOWnature completely understand, they love nature after all. But, they want you and your fellow travellers to be more aware of the impact that you have on the environment. So, they invite you to come and explore the Dolomites, but also invite you to adopt a tree. The process is simple; you choose a tree, with prices varying from 14 to 40 euros. When the moment is right, you’ll get an invitation to come and plant it. And, while you are welcomed to come and get involved, you can also visit at a later date.
You’ll get a certificate and the GPS coordinates of your tree so you can easily find your tree whenever you visit. And, your money pays for more than the tree itself, it goes towards supporting forest maintenance and restoration projects in the following years. So, you can visit with a clear conscience, admiring the beauty of the region, but also leaving it healthier for generations to come.
You can find all information about the project on the website of Wownature here.