Ethiopia's 353 million new trees are a huge step towards halting climate change: OPINION

The government of Ethiopia coordinated the planting of more than 350 million trees in one day.

Friday, 2nd August 2019, 1:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th August 2019, 6:15 pm
Ethiopians planted more than 353 million trees in 12 hours to beat climate change. Pic:Getty Images

Each citizen was asked to plant around 40 seedlings.

Can you imagine the effort and coordination that went into planting the trees?

The fact a nation decided to act in a decisive manner to try and help climate change by reforesting the country is incredible.

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India and China have both done similar in previous years, but Ethiopia has smashed the one-day planting world record.

Its target is four billion indigenous trees – so there’s a long way to go – but it’s fantastic and I hope that all those seedlings grow and help create the bio-diversity that the country is after.

Size really does matter when it comes to vacuuming

I finally got around to buying myself a new vacuum cleaner.

Which isn’t the most exciting topic for a column you might argue, but on the other hand I was pretty darn pleased with the whole idea.

Why? Well, I read an article a while back about how a lot of household products have been designed by men without thinking about all the other genders who might use it too.

To find out more about this fascinating subject just look up car seatbelts online – it’ll be an eye (or chest cavity) opener for you.

‘Aha’ I thought, ‘exactly’.

My old vacuum cleaner is dreadfully heavy, and cumbersome.

That heavy casing holds a far too massive engine which, when it revs into life, sends all the neighbourhood dogs into a frenzy and sucks most of them up at the same time if they get too close.

Well, all their hair anyway. This beast of a cleaner has enough storage for cleaning Crufts with its ridiculously sized canister.

I looked at my model after reading the article, while I was leveraging it out of the cupboard and realised – I kid you not – that it comes with the name Storm on the front.

Ye-gads. A decade ago I was bewitched by the size, the power and the wording. And it’s been a nightmare ever since.

No one empties it believing that there’s always a little more ‘give’ in the oversize canister.

No one carries it upstairs as it’s so ridiculously heavy, no one vacuums any corners or underneath anything as it’s as unwieldy as an aircraft carrier. Very tricky to change course.

Even when the tubes fell to pieces, I endured another four years of it being stuck together with duct tape.

Then I could bear it no longer and bought a new, lightweight, no need for an electric lead, small canister slip of a thing. And I love it.

It’s so tiny everyone has to empty it half-way through whatever they’re doing. That process is simple and straightforward and doesn’t require a degree in engineering.

What complete and utter joy. What a revelation. What a clean house.

Bright, easy to assemble and cheaper than a night out

Speaking of new appliances, I invested in a lawnmower after the old one died a pitiful death.

I tried three versions of open-engine surgery, including replacing various parts and cleaning it from top to toe, and watching endless YouTube clips of mainly men and their lawnmowers (not riveting and not that useful).

I finally plucked up the financial courage to buy one, only to be amazed at the cost – a fifth of a new vacuum cleaner.

In fact, it was marginally cheaper than a good night out. Who knew that in our disposable economy, lawnmowers are such a prime item?

Cheap, brightly coloured and easy to assemble. Move over shears.