For Earth Day, on April 22, 2017, I spent the morning with my brother Mike, his wife Morgan, and other volunteers planting trees at Cawthra Park in Mississauga. It was a wonderful event organized by One Million Trees Mississauga.
One Million Trees Mississauga was launched in 2013 with a mission to plant one million trees by 2032. So far through this program, 241,398 trees have been planted in Mississauga. I am not sure how many trees the entire volunteer group planted but between my brother, Morgan and myself, I estimate we planted about 22 trees….and it felt good.
The event runs a few times each year. I definitely will be participating again and encourage everyone in Mississauga to do so as well. You can participate by joining a volunteer event or you can plant trees on your own property and have those counted toward the one million trees initiative.
Scroll to the end of this article for a link to the One Million Trees Mississauga website.
Wherever in the world you are, planting trees will help our environment.
Why is planting trees so important?
Carbon dioxide is one of the main greenhouse gasses that significantly affects climate change. It accounts for 76% of greenhouse gasses of which 65% is from the burning of fossil fuels.
Source: EPA, 4/24/2017
Excess greenhouse gasses cause more heat to be trapped in the atmosphere resulting in global climate change. This is a serious problem we cannot afford to ignore.
The effects climate change:
- Extreme weather – more droughts and heat waves, stronger hurricanes and more of them, more floods, more blizzards
- Rise in sea levels – will affect millions of people living along or nearby coastlines and other low-lying areas
- Ocean acidification causing loss of aquatic life
- Extinction of animal, plant and aquatic species
- Deterioration in human health –
“Impacts of climate change cause widespread harm to human health, with children often suffering the most. Food shortages, polluted air, contaminated or scarce supplies of water, an expanding area of vectors causing infectious diseases, and more intensely allergenic plants are among the harmful impacts” (1)
Back to the question of why planting trees are so important….
- One mature tree absorbs carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 pounds per year.
- In one year, an acre of forest can absorb twice the CO2 produced by the average car’s annual mileage.
- Deforestation accounts for up to 15 percent of global emissions of heat-trapping gasses.
- Two mature trees provide enough oxygen for one person to breathe over the course of a year.
- Forests are the largest forms of carbon storage, or sinks, in the U.S.
- In one day, one large tree can absorb up to 100 gallons of water and release it into the air, cooling the surrounding area.
- Forests improve public health by keeping pollutants out of our lungs by trapping and removing dust, ash, pollen and smoke.
It is easy to ignore the warning signs of climate change. You may not directly see its impact. But, there is significant evidence proving climate change has devastating effects.
Carbon dioxide is one of the main greenhouse gas contributors affecting climate change and trees help to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere.
Your help in planting trees is very important. You live within the earth’s atmosphere and what you do has an impact.
Get involved. Do your part in reducing carbon dioxide emissions; plant trees.
Resources for Planting Trees
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