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Carbon Dioxide and Trees Essay Sample

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Carbon Dioxide and Trees Essay Sample

Planting a tree has long been a suggestion to better the earth, possibly even preceding the outcry and warning of global warming, water crisis, etc. It was always one of those quaint ideas opted for to mark a special occasion, or to simply make one’s landscape a little prettier. Now days, with the new focus clearly pointing to the desperate need for action against the ongoing destruction of our natural resources, it is more common to hear the simple comment that part of what you can actually do to help is to plant a tree. It seems like such a simple and menial task. But the truth is; every tree makes a difference. One of the great functions each tree offers, besides its aesthetic addition, is the sequestering of CO2, carbon dioxide. To elaborate this importance, it is fair to paint the big picture. Heat is trapped in the earth’s atmosphere due to high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat trapping gases which ultimately prohibit the heat from being released into space. This is what has caused the virulent phenomenon call “Greenhouse Effect.” Trees naturally remove CO2 from the atmosphere during the state of photosynthesis and use the gas to form carbohydrates utilized in the plant’s structure/function, and in turn releases the pertinent gas, Oxygen (O2) as a byproduct.

It is considered that trees act as what some call a Carbon Sink, storing the gas in its branches, trunk, leaves etc. instead of leaving the gas to become free floating and further polluting the atmosphere. In this natural function alone, trees directly reduce the growth of the Greenhouse Effect and counteract Global Warming. Furthermore, trees offer shade in the summer and act as windbreakers during cooler seasons. This inadvertently reduces the greenhouse effects by eliminating, or at least minimizing, the need for air conditioners and heaters; respectively reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned as energy. Studies show that a single tree can soak up as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year and produce enough oxygen to sustain two human beings. Figuratively, a single human produces approximately 2.3 tons of CO2 per year. Considering a healthy tree stores about 13 pounds per year, it would take nearly an acre (an acre consumer 2.6 tons annually) of trees to entirely counter the effects of just one human. In an another sense, an acre of trees covers the CO2 emission of approximately 26,000 miles driven by one vehicle.

There are clearly not enough acres available in the world to be filled with trees to create an enormous dent; however in an ideal lifetime, if every American family planted just one tree, that effort would positively affect the world by reducing 5% of the CO2 released into the atmosphere each year. In a perfect world, mind you. On another note, trees are brilliant cleansers. They remove other pollutants through the stomates in the leaf surface. This is particularly good in urban areas, so trees should be abundant in city parks, as well they should riddle the landscaping of suburbia. This is an overall air quality enhancer, and a much needed one at that. Trees also slow storm water runoff after large downpours and help to control erosion.

They provide natural habitats for many small creatures, and reduce the temperature by providing shade. All in all, a tree is not just a beautiful creature standing amongst the many phenomenal picturesque settings of this world. It is a powerful and vital tool that directly ensures our survival. We, as an entire race, literally would not be alive if it were not for these oxygen pumping machines. The fact that they help balance the ecosystem and ultimately lend a hand, or rather branch, in reversing the mess we have created is a blessing. It is a wonder we don’t overzealously run out and plant as many trees as we can find space for, considering the assets provided by such a small amount of effort. Planting trees really does, in all fairness, save lives. As previously stated; every tree makes a difference. That means every person who plants a tree also makes that difference. It is easier than you think to do your part in the endeavor to be green.

The trees around us are extremely important and have always been necessary for improving the human condition and their very existence. It’s not too hard to believe that without trees we humans would not exist on this beautiful planet. In fact, some claim can be made that our mother’s and father’s ancestors climbed trees – another debate for another site. So, trees are essential to life as we know it and are the ground troops making up an environmental frontline. Our existing forests and the trees we plant work in tandem to make a better world. At the very beginning of our human experience, trees were considered sacred and honorable: oaks were worshiped by the European Druids, redwoods a part of American Indian ritual, baobabs a part of African tribal life, to the Chinese the ginkgo link and monkey puzzles to the Chilean Pehuenche. Romans and scholars during the Middle Ages venerated trees in their literature. The modern human community has other, more practical reasons to admire and honor trees. Here is a short list of reasons trees are necessary for improving our worldly condition. 1. Trees Produce Oxygen

Let’s face it, we could not exist as we do if there were no trees. A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year. What many people don’t realize is the forest also acts as a giant filter that cleans the air we breath. 2. Trees Clean the Soil

The term phytoremediation is a fancy word for the absorption of dangerous chemicals and other pollutants that have entered the soil. Trees can either store harmful pollutants or actually change the pollutant into less harmful forms. Trees filter sewage and farm chemicals, reduce the effects of animal wastes, clean roadside spills and clean water runoff into streams. 3. Trees Control Noise Pollution

Trees muffle urban noise almost as effectively as stone walls. Trees, planted at strategic points in a neighborhood or around your house, can abate major noises from freeways and airports. 4. Trees Slow Storm Water Runoff

Flash flooding can be dramatically reduced by a forest or by planting trees. One Colorado blue spruce, either planted or growing wild, can intercept more than 1000 gallons of water annually when fully grown. Underground water-holding aquifers are recharged with this slowing down of water runoff. 5. Trees Are Carbon Sinks

To produce its food, a tree absorbs and locks away carbon dioxide in the wood, roots and leaves. Carbon dioxide is a global warming suspect. A forest is a carbon storage area or a “sink” that can lock up as much carbon as it produces. This locking-up process “stores” carbon as wood and not as an available “greenhouse” gas. 6. Trees Clean the Air

Trees help cleanse the air by intercepting airborne particles, reducing heat, and absorbing such pollutants as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Trees remove this air pollution by lowering air temperature, through respiration, and by retaining particulates. 7. Trees Shade and Cool

Shade resulting in cooling is what a tree is best known for. Shade from trees reduces the need for air conditioning in summer. In winter, trees break the force of winter winds, lowering heating costs. Studies have shown that parts of cities without cooling shade from trees can literally be “heat islands” with temperatures as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit higher than surrounding areas. 8. Trees Act as Windbreaks

During windy and cold seasons, trees located on the windward side act as windbreaks. A windbreak can lower home heating bills up to 30% and have a significant effect on reducing snow drifts. A reduction in wind can also reduce the drying effect on soil and vegetation behind the windbreak and help keep precious topsoil in place. 9. Trees Fight Soil Erosion

Erosion control has always started with tree and grass planting projects. Tree roots bind the soil and their leaves break the force of wind and rain on soil. Trees fight soil erosion, conserve rainwater and reduce water runoff and sediment deposit after storms. 10. Trees Increase Property Values

Real estate values increase when trees beautify a property or neighborhood. Trees can increase the property value of your home by 15% or more

Why planting trees is important Tree planting is a very positive action to take for the environment and is one answer to the threat of global warming. If you are concerned about global warming and your carbon footprint, the most important step you can take is to reduce CO2 emissions. It is not possible to truly ‘offset’ carbon emissions or become carbon neutral simply by planting trees because: •Burning fossil fuels releases carbon that has been locked away for millions of years, creating a net increase of carbon in the atmosphere. This is creating a rise in the Earth’s temperature which is leading to significant climatic change. •It can be years before a newly-planted tree will absorb significant amounts of CO2 – but the burning of fossil fuels releases CO2 into the atmosphere immediately, contributing to global warming. There is also a risk that while ‘carbon offsetting’ has benefits, it could provide people with an excuse for maintaining a fossil-fuel intensive lifestyle. So the best thing is to become carbon conscious.

Do all you can to reduce your carbon emissions – and plant trees to reduce the impact of emissions that can’t be avoided. While widespread deforestation is releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere, planting trees instead absorbs CO2 – and it also encourages biodiversity and provides habitats for wildlife. Trees also play an important role in sustainable living. They provide fuel that is virtually carbon-neutral, fruit and nuts for food, timber, shelter for smallholdings and farms and they help prevent soil erosion. There is no doubt that every single tree planted is of real benefit to the planet. Calculate the approximate size of your carbon footprint here For tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint and actions to tackle climate change, visit Stop Climate Chaos If like us you love the Highlands of Scotland, visit the Trees For Life website. This award winning charity is doing fantastic work restoring the Caledonian Forest. Their site also has details of how you can plant a tree or grove to support their work.

The Importance of Tree Planting and its Protection
I have remarked on several occasions about the importance of tree planting both in India, our current home, and in Tibet as well. Today, as a symbolic gesture we are having a tree planting ceremony here in the settlement. Fortunately, the movement towards a deeper commitment to environmental protection through planting new trees and taking care of the existing ones, is rapidly increasing all over the world. At the global level, trees and forests are closely linked with weather patterns and also the maintenance of a crucial balance in nature. Hence, the ‘task of environment protection is a universal responsibility of all of us. I think that is extremely important for the Tibetans living in the settlements to not only take a keen interest in the cause of environmental protection, but also to implement this ideal in action by planting new trees. In this way, we will be making an important gesture to the world in demonstrating our global concern and at the same time making our own little but significant, contribution to the cause.

If we look around, we can now see that those houses in the monasteries and in various camps where people have planted fruit trees, now enjoy great benefit as a consequence of their action. First of all, if there is a tree in your courtyard it creates around it an atmosphere of natural beauty and serenity. It is also obvious that you can eat the fruits from the tree, sit under it and enjoy the cool shade. What was required on your part was a little patience to allow some time for the tree to grow up.

Finally, I would like to make a suggestion regarding the use of your farmland in the settlement. In this settlement you have already initiated a project of planting fruit trees on farmlands. I think it is a very good plan. By planting fruit trees on your land we can not only ensure that the farmland remains productive, but also you will have fruits to eat. In short, I would like to again emphasize that it is extremely important to plant new trees and protect the ones already growing around you.

“The symbolism – and the substantive significance – of planting a tree has universal power in every culture and every society on Earth, and it is a way for individual men, women and children to participate in creating solutions for the environmental crisis.” Al Gore, Earth in the Balance

Forests provide not only environmental protection, but also significant income and livelihood options globally for more than one billion forest-dependent people. Trees provide a wide range of products (timber, fruit, medicine, beverages, fodder) and services (carbon sequestration, shade, beautification, erosion control, soil fertility). Without trees human life would be unsustainable. Forests also play an important cultural, spiritual and recreational role in many societies. In some cases, they are integral to the very definition and survival of indigenous and traditional cultures. Forests and trees are symbolically important in most of the world’s major religions. Trees symbolize historical continuity, they link earth and heavens and, to many traditions, are home to both good and bad spirits and the souls of ancestors. Forests also play an important role in offering recreational opportunities and spiritual solace in modern societies. They are universally powerful symbols, a physical expression of life, growth and vigour to urban, rural and forest dwellers alike. Medicinal products from trees help to cure diseases and increase fertility. Trees preside over community discussions and marriages. They are planted at the birth of a child and at burial sites. Selected Quotes

“We all share one planet and are one hummanity, there is no escaping this reality.” “The challenge for Africa” Professor Wangari Maathai
At first, I thought I was fighting to save rubber trees, then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rainforest. Now I realize I am fighting for humanity. Chico Mendes, Brazilian Environmentalist

“If you are thinking a year ahead, sow a seed.
If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree.”
Chinese poet, 500 BC
“He who plants a tree loves others beside himself.”
English proverb
“The best friend on Earth of man is the tree. When we use the tree respectfully and economically, we have one of the greatest resources of the Earth.”
Frank Lloyd Wright
“They are beautiful in their peace; they are wise in their silence. They will stand after we are dust. They teach us, and we tend them.”
Galeain ip Altiem MacDunelmor
“Though a tree grows so high, the falling leaves return to the root. ” Malay proverb
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” Greek proverb
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” Martin Luther
“The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, ‘In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!'” John F. Kennedy

“Trees are poems that Earth writes upon the sky. We fell them down and turn them into paper, that we may record our emptiness.” Kahlil Gibran
“If what I say resonates with you, it is merely because we are both branches on the same tree.” W. B. Yeats
“A tree is our most intimate contact with nature.”
George Nakashima, woodworker
“A tree uses what comes its way to nurture itself. By sinking its roots deeply into the earth, by accepting the rain that flows towards it, by reaching out to the sun, the tree perfects its character and becomes great. … Absorb, absorb, absorb. That is the secret of the tree.” Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao

“Plant trees. They give us two of the most crucial elements for our survival: oxygen and books. ” A. Whitney Brown
“Each generation takes the Earth as trustees. We ought to bequeath to posterity as many forests and orchards as we have exhausted and consumed. ”
J. Sterling Morton
“To me, nature is sacred; trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals.” Mikhail Gorbachev
“God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools. ” John Muir
“The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings.” Buddhist Sutra

“People who will not sustain trees will soon live in a world which cannot sustain people. ” Bryce Nelson
“Reforesting the earth is possible, given a human touch.”
Sandra Postel and Lori Heise, Worldwatch Institute
“When you see the trees swaying to the tune of a gentle breeze… think of it as a dance in your honor.” Marjolein Bastin
“Plant trees, Lots of trees ”
“An Inconvenient Truth” Al Gore
“A tree is our most intimate contact with nature”
George Nakashima
“People who will not sustain trees will soon live in a world that will not sustain people” Bryce Nelson
“No shade tree? Blame not the sun, but yourself”
Chinese Proverb

As the population of the world increases and more land is cleared to build houses, shopping malls, schools, government buildings and commercial offices, and of course roads to connect all these, trees become fewer and fewer. Our forests are being depleted at an alarming rate, and even the Amazon jungle, once thought to be infinite, is showing many signs of stress, as not only trees, but also whole species of animal life, are disappearing. This trend is having a devastating effect, not only on wild life and humans, but also contributing in large measure to the speeding of global warming which is increasing at a much faster rate than initially predicted. People on a whole are feeling helpless when confronted with these problems, and if the topic arises in conversation, many want to immediately change the subject. What’s the use? However, there is something that the average person can do, and that is planting a tree some garden shrubs, anything with leaves that grows in the earth.

The planting of a tree, especially one that is native to the area in which you live, is a positive step that almost anyone can do. You learned in your science classes at school that chlorophyll, found only in plants, is responsible for the manufacture of oxygen from carbon dioxide – carbon that is the chief building block of life and is tied up in the trees and then released by the magic of chlorophyll. What a wonderful thing a tree is!! In addition to manufacturing oxygen, trees have many other great benefits. Trees add beauty to our landscape, give shade from the sun, many bear fruit we can eat, and provide lumber to build shelter. And if we have a house plant or two, a lonely person will have companionship. By planting trees at home in your lawn and garden you will be helping the environment. Adding garden decor to your garden helps you spruce up your garden and enjoy nature. If everyone on earth could find the time to plant one or two trees per year, think of the profound effect this would have on our environment. Barbara Grace has been an avid gardener all her life and assisted in developing the Garden Center to complement the plant nursery side of the business.

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Tags: garden decor, lawn and garden
This entry was posted on November 3, 2008 at 8:28 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. 2 Responses to “THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANTING TREES AND SHRUBS” 1. ariellabonnie Says:

November 4, 2008 at 7:31 am
Gardening is most people’s hobby today. And a garden in front of your home adds an extra decor to your most desired sweet home.It also indicates your love and responsibility towards mother nature. Really a great job! 2. naturehills Says:

November 4, 2008 at 9:03 pm
I agree with you that if everyone would plant a couple of bushes or trees a year what a difference it would make for planet earth. Here is chance to make a difference and it doesn’t cost much and planting a tree or bush is not difficult. If we keep repeating the message maybe more people will see the light.

Why Trees?
• Trees give us much-needed oxygen and sequester carbon dioxide

• Trees increase biodiversity

• Trees fix nitrates into soil making it more fertile to grow other plants,
like vegetables

• Urban tree planting improves pride of place

• Trees provide healthy and beautiful places for children to play and learn

• Fruit trees provide nutritious fruit to eat

• Trees improve an area’s water quality


Environmental Benefits

Put simply, trees promote life. Not only do trees produce oxygen and sequester carbon dioxide, they also provide homes for animals, recharge groundwater, replace soil nitrates, prevent erosion and more. The addition of an indigenous tree to any environment will have countless environmental benefits. Social benefits

1 in 5 South African children suffer from
chronic malnutrition. This can negatively affect concentration, ability to learn and school attendance. Planting fruit trees at schools can aid with  food security.

In South Africa, there is huge disparity between ‘leafy’ privileged areas and ‘barren’ under-privileged areas. Urban greening improves pride of place in communities and has also been linked to reductions in social ills, like crime and drug abuse. Economic Benefits

Money does grow on trees! Fruit and olive trees can provide produce that can be used in feeding schemes or sold by schools and communities. Indigenous trees increase property values and can provide natural air conditioning for homes and classrooms.

To ensure good tree maintenance, our beneficiary sites are monitored on an ongoing basis. The data collected helps us better understand the beneficiary’s needs, and gives us a good indication of our impact.

Because the survival of our trees is so important, Greenpop has an incentivised approach that allows beneficiaries to qualify for further trees, fruit trees and support based on their performance, interest and care of the initial trees.

Greenpop has partnered with the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and Kirstenbosch Education to offer certified courses on biodiversity and tree care for the teachers and garden staff at our beneficiary schools.

Greenpop’s Grey Water project has been very successful thus far. This sees school children watering their new trees with used water brought in from their baths or showers at home in 2-litre recycled bottles, saving water and teaching recycling. The returns on greening

* Investing in a sustainable future – profits are no longer the only bottom line for companies. Investing in the future of our planet is an integral part of the triple bottom line for businesses * Investing in a better future for South Africa – education is key in SA’s ongoing development. Investing in schools and making them more conducive to learning is an investment in the country’s future * Leaving a lasting legacy

So, whats next?

Every tree counts! Be part of the solution by gifting trees today. We’ll send you a certificate with the GPS co-ordinates of your trees. Gift trees now

Don’t underestimate the power of companies to make positive change. Book a team building plant day for your staff. Green a school. Get your hands dirty. Book now
Whether you’re an individual or a corporation, you can plant trees every month through Greenpop. Start your own forest. Pledge trees

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