In Brazil, Marrying Couples and Divorcees Could be Forced To Plant Trees

By Paula Alvarado
Sao Paolo, Brazil (June 24, 2008)- A project by Brazilian Deputy Carlos Humberto Mannato could establish that all people who want to get married or divorced, buy a new car, or build a house would have to plant a certain amount of trees to offset their activity.

The deputy thinks this will help reduce the effects of global warming in the long term without affecting people’s pockets. With this law, “The person who buys a 100 thousand reals apartment would pay about 50 reals for the environment. That’s a ridiculous amount that might be symbolic to people but that could mean a lot for the environment,” Mannato said to O Globo newspaper. “We have to start somewhere, and that could be this federal law.”
The bill establishes that couples to be married would have to plant 10 tree seedlings in order to carry on with the wedding, while those who want to get divorced would have to plant 25 new trees. For the car buyers, the ‘fee’ for a new car would be 20 trees, the ‘cost’ of a middle-size car would be 40, and 60 for heavy vehicles. Construction companies would have to plant 10 trees for every new home and 20 for every new commercial unit they build.
Why divorce? “When people separate, families are divided and that results in an increase of the number of residences, which leads to a higher space occupation and consume of energy and water,” explained Mannato to O Globo.
The project also considers the possibility of donating one real for every tree due to a municipal urbanization organization if people don’t want to do it themselves.
According to estimations published by the newspaper, if the law is approved, the construction and automobile sectors would plant at least 65 million trees a year. That would mean more than 38 thousand hectares covered. The project has been approved by two of the five first commissions it has to go through.
Related Resources:
Globo: Marrying Couples and Divorcees Could be Forced To Plant Trees
Tree Hugger