In a world where people are frequently cutting down trees, the negative effects of deforestation are on the rise and these are seen through various drastic climate changes like melting ice caps, extreme heat waves among others. This article will discuss the benefits of planting, conserving and protecting existing trees.
- Trees reduce climate change
Harmful carbon dioxide contributes to climate change. Photosynthesis involves absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and storing it in its wood. Trees and plants store carbon dioxide throughout their lives which helps slow the gas buildup in our atmosphere that has been rapidly warming the environment. Older trees store a lot more carbon than young trees so in addition to planting new trees, it’s important that we conserve and protect the old trees.
- Trees boost our mental health while raising our physical health
A study by a TNC (The Nature Conservancy) scientist shows that time in nature, like a walk among the trees in your neighborhood or a city park, correlates with a drop in anxiety and depression. Access to nearby green space also contributes to better physical health by encouraging us to move around and exercise. Because people move around more when they have access to trees and parks, nature can help lower rates of obesity.
- Purifying air
Trees absorb pollutant gases such as nitrogen oxides, ozone, ammonia, and sulfur dioxide. Trees also absorb odors and can act as a filter as little particulates get trapped in leaves. More trees in cities especially in neighborhoods close to highways and factories can reduce ailments like asthma and heart disease which cause 5% of deaths worldwide.
- Natural Air Conditioning
Trees around your home can significantly improve your air conditioning. This reduces carbon dioxide and emissions from power plants. Neighborhoods with lots of pavements absorb more heat and make them hotter later into the night, which is detrimental to our health. A tree’s shade acts like a natural air conditioner.
- Water Filtration
Trees do this by removing pollutants and residues from rainfall and then slowly releasing the water back into waterways. This naturally cleaner water is easier and cheaper to treat before it ends up in your tap.
- Provide shelter for wildlife
Trees create habitats at the ground level, at the top of their canopies and everywhere in between which can nourish many birds, insects and wildlife. A tree can be planted on a very small surface but have a fantastic environmental effect.
- Reinforcing soil
Trees reduce soil erosion, increase fertility and help soil retain moisture. Fallen tree leaves lower soil temperature and prevent soil from losing too much moisture. Decaying leaves that fall onto the ground turn into nutrients for tree growth and promote microorganism development.
So if you have time, plant a tree or a hundred or a thousand. If not for you, then for your kids and kids kids.