How Trees Reduce Air Pollution
Posted on February 18 2020
Global warming is constantly on our minds, we want to help fight climate change by reducing our carbon footprint and protect our environment. So in addition to reducing, reusing and recycling, we can actively make a difference by planting trees. Read on to discover how planting trees can make an enormous, positive contribution to the health of our environment!
Trees are able to clean the air and absorb harmful airborne particles and gaseous pollutants. Toxins such as nitrogen oxides, ammonia and sulphur dioxide through their leaves, bark and roots. This improves the air quality in the microclimate around the trees and contributes to a healthier and cleaner environment overall. Trees also soak up the harmful carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same volume of carbon monoxide as produced from a 26,000 mile car journey! Aside from cleaning the air for us, trees supply us with fresh oxygen to breathe.
Due to excess gases being produced from large-scale industrial processes, heat from the sun’s rays gets trapped in the Earth's atmosphere – this is known as ‘the greenhouse effect’ and it is contributing to the overall rise of Earth's temperature. It doesn’t sound like much, but an average global warming of even 1.5 degrees could cause accelerated icecap melting, severe drought and sea-level rise and the loss of many keystone species such as bees, whales and elephants. Trees planted in an urban environment can not only counteract the warming effects concrete and buildings have on the environment (known as the urban heat island effect), they have also been shown to clean the air of pollutants and particulates created by traffic that are harmful to us. Through the process of photosynthesis, trees are able to absorb carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and reduce the ‘greenhouse effect’, creating a less polluted, more sustainable world for our future generations.
Woodlands have proven to be an invaluable asset when it comes to improving air quality and reducing harmful pollutant levels in the atmosphere. This is why we should try our best to ensure that our most valuable woodlands, like the rainforests, aren’t being lost to deforestation. Many areas of rainforest are being sold off to the highest bidder, their beautiful trees (and the important habitat they create for wildlife) being destroyed to make way for areas to graze cattle (reared for beef) or grow unsustainable palm (to create palm oil). When going about your daily life, try to support brands who choose not to work in association with deforestation. Instead, look for foods that use sustainably sourced palm oil and use the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) logo. Buying products like bananas and coffee that have the Rainforest Alliance certification ensures that minimal impact is being done to produce these foods. Reducing our meat intake and supporting local butchers when we do fancy a Sunday roast is always a great way to reduce the impact our lifestyles have on deforestation. Together we share a responsibility to be good stewards of our planet, and it’s the small things that can make some of the biggest differences!
The message we want you to take away from this is clear – appreciate our trees! Plant trees, grow trees, gift them, and protect them. Let’s try to get as many out into the world as possible!
If you are interested in gifting a tree, take a look at our collection here.