Some people scoff at the idea of having every day be Earth Day. Perhaps it’s because they don’t necessarily agree with the holiday, or perhaps it’s because it may take away from the uniqueness of the holiday. Whatever it may be, I’m here to tell you planting a tree every day may be a ticket to saving the plant and its people.
So how can such a simple act do so much?
Healthy Air, Cooling Shade
Trees breathe in a filter pollutants from the air each year, making our neighborhoods fresher and reducing the likelihood of asthma and air pollution-related health risks. In Washington, D.C. for example, with 1 in 14 residents, including 10,000 children, suffering from asthma, increasing air quality is of utmost importance. The trees of Washington already filter 540 tons of “harmful, health-threatening pollutants from the air each yea,” and by planting a tree ever day, the residents can help increase them number exponentially.
The next best thing to breathing deep is feeling cool. Trees provide shady areas in the city, where temperature soar due to the urban heat island effect. Painting rooftops white is one method to combat this, but increasing greenscape rather than black pavement is also a great way. Increasing the amount of shade reduces the overall temperature, leading to a reduction energy used for things like air conditioning.
Healthier Soil, Healthier Water
Planting trees also provides benefit to the earth and water of our communities. First off, they help reduce erosion by protecting the soil the live in. This, in turn, helps nourish the surround plant life and your garden if you plant one of those too!
Secondly, tree planting helps better the water quality of your community as well. Instead of running off into our oceans or streams, rain water is caught by trees. This is beneficial both to the ocean environment (which can become intoxicated by chemicals and pollutants) and our communities (which need a constant recharging of ground water). Tree’s provide both the net and filter to capture and clean this water.
Replenishing a Resource and Feeling Great
Above all, planting a tree every day helps replenish a renewable resource. Timber, though now used for more building purposes than fuel, is a resource in dire need of assistance. Donating trees, or money to plant trees, to organizations that focus on regrowing America’s (and the world’s) forests is one of the best way to support our environment and global climate solutions.
Finally, planting a tree – just like tending to a garden – is calming and helps you feel great. Not only can planting a tree help fight depression, but it gives you ownership and stock in a form of life. Better yet, this life benefits everyone in your home, and even those across the street!