I’m sure you’ve heard by now, but trees are the sh**. One day I might even write a novel explaining all the many ways trees are rooted in our lives. For today though, I will let you in on the 3 most important reasons we need trees for human health and climate health.
1. Carbon Guzzlers
Trees sequester carbon. As our CO2 emissions continue to rise, the climatic anomalies we’re experiencing today will become the norm. Even with the brightest minds at work, planting and managing trees remains the most effective solution for removing CO2 from our atmosphere. One study estimated up to 25% of atmospheric carbon could be reduced from reforestation projects.
2. Throwing Shade
In a more direct way, trees provide important cooling benefits from their shady canopies. Their leaves capture sunlight before it has a chance to impact our health and our homes. This is especially important in urban areas where trees are few and the risks of heat-related illnesses are high. Trees have repeatedly been found to decrease temperatures from 1-5°C!
3. Soaking It All Up
Trees have amazing water retention and infiltration abilities. This means when it comes to trees for human health, they have a 2-fold affect. 1) Decrease the risks of flooding hazards 2) Reduce run-off pollution. When urban areas (like my very own Toronto) have high velocity water running through the streets, it picks up pollutants and carries them into our water ways. These can be anything from motor chemicals to pet waste.
Speak for the Trees
Not to go all Lorax on you.. but trees need your help more than ever. Let’s act now to promote trees for human health and climate health.
- Tree-educate. Learn more from books, documentaries and other online articles. Check out Forests Ontario.
- Advocate. Choose companies and political leaders that recognize the importance of trees.
- PLANT A DAMN TREE. Volunteer with local organizations (LEAF, ReForest London, Conservation Authorities) or plant one on your own property.
For those of you also in the 6, an added bonus. If you notice a space in front of your house, the City of Toronto will literally come and plant a tree of your choosing. Some communities even give away trees for FREE! It can be that easy. So get on it when you can, because trees really are crucial for human health. 🌳😊🌎