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12-07-20 Offsetting Schools’ Paper Usage, One Tree At a Time
Guests: Lizzy Elsner and Sethu Odayappan, Co-founders, Tree-Plenish

Tree planting is a natural solution to mitigating climate change. Cities, constructed vast areas of hard impermeable surfaces, have given rise to the urban heat island effect, creating significantly warmer temperatures than in surrounding suburban, rural and forested areas. Impoverished urban areas are the most severely affected by the urban heat island effect. This episode begins with a walk through a city school neighborhood, observing the beginnings of urban revitalization and exploring the many benefits derived from the planting of trees.

Lizzy ElsnerThen our guests, Lizzy Elsner and Sethu Odayappan, Co-founders of Tree-Plenish, will talk about their environmental organization. Tree-Plenish works with schools to offset paper usage by planting trees their communities. Schools consume a lot of paper. Student leaders determine how much paper their school uses on an annual basis, and they calculate the number of trees required to produce that much paper. Then students plan an event, with the goal of planting a target number trees to replenish the amount of paper used.


Sethu OdayappanElsner and Odayappan will share the story about how they started Tree-Plenish as high school seniors in their home town of Mansfield, MA, how they expanded their team and how they are now leveraging the power and passion of students across the country to create far-reaching and meaningful environmental change. Elsner is a sophomore at the University of Vermont, studying Early Childhood Special Education with a Speech Therapy Certificate. Odayappan is a sophomore at Harvard College, studying Economics and Statistics. The Tree-Plenish story is a wonderful example of students balancing their academic studies with groundbreaking environmental activism and social change-making.


Tree-Plenish website –
Story Walking Photoblog:
EcoDetectives on the Urban Trail –
Monthly Release – December

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