PlanetFix opinion piece featured in The Advertiser – Iris Fraser

Searching for a solution to climate change may be more simple than some of us think.

Congratulations to Iris Fraser, second runner up in the PlanetFix competition. We asked high school students for their climate change solution. Here is her opinion piece.

Go outside and take a look around. What do you notice?

Do you see the product of nature producing the air you breathe, taking in the carbon dioxide you breathe out and standing tall and proud right in front of your very eyes?

They are called trees, if you didn’t know, and are the solution we have all been looking for. Trees lower temperatures, reduce energy usage, release oxygen into the atmosphere, and reduce and remove pollutants such as carbon dioxide. They offer shade, prevent soil erosion and are homes for birds and wildlife.

The world has about 32 per cent tree cover, so more tree planting is needed to sustain life and combat climate change. By recruiting more passionate volunteers to plant and nurture saplings, and getting help and advice from some of Australia’s leading environmental scientists, we can turn every free space into a thriving tree place.

Trees for Life, a non-profit organisation based in Brooklyn Park, is showing the way. Established in 1981, it now has about 7000 active supporters growing and planting native trees suitable for local conditions.

These actions show the path for governments to embrace a policy to plant more trees, not only in the countryside, but in every green space. This includes land strips, traffic islands and on top of high-rise buildings.

A study led by Dr Sebastian Pfautsch in Sydney monitored two suburban streets. One was lined with 10 per cent trees and the other 30 per cent. The street with less trees experienced 13 days with temperatures above 40 degrees but the area with more tree cover had reduced ground temperatures. Streets with more trees can be up to 10C cooler.

Dr Pfautsch found at least two trees should be planted in each front yard. Planting this many trees would cut climate change dramatically.

We should all appeal to, and meet with, local, state and federal politicians and use online petitions on websites such as and avaaz to engage with the community. Let’s raise awareness in this fight to tackle climate change.

We can make all free places into thriving tree places by convincing governments to get on board.

See the full page writeup in The Advertiser.

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