Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Offset Your footprint; Plant a Tree

We've heard it many times. Trees are important. They're vital to our ecosystem, weather, and help combat global warming. Trees are great, yet, it seems they are cut down all the time. Sometimes they're chopped down because they're sick, sometimes they're cut down to make room for something else. But what happens when all those trees are gone? Do we plant others to take their place?

We did a video last year with American Forests. Their Global ReLeaf program has planted trees in every state in the nation, and in more than 20 countries around the world. For every $1 donated, a tree is planted in one of their projects. They have planted 33 million trees since the program began in 1990, and have set a goal to bring that total to 100 million by the year 2020.

Today I've decided to donate to American Forests, because in plain sight on their page it lists TEN REASONS (THEY) PLANT TREES. I've included them here, so you can see what motivated me.

1. Trees save energy and money. Just three trees strategically planted around your home can cut your air conditioning bill in half.

2. Trees save tax dollars. Trees in a city slow stormwater runoff and reduce the need for storm sewers. Tree shade also help cool municipal buildings, lowering electricity bills.

3. Trees cool our cities. Urban "heat islands" are directly related to massive tree-cutting for development.

4. Trees clean our water and air. From low level ozone in our cities to pesticide and fertilizer runoff from our farms, trees absorb harmful pollutants.

5. Trees help community life. Tree planting and community based forestry can add significantly to a local community's sustainable economy while restoring the environment.

6. Trees protect soil. By holding soil in place with their root systems, by deflecting pounding rain with their canopies, and by adding nutrients each fall with their leaves, trees are crucial to keeping and improving our soil.

7. Trees provide habitat for species of many kinds -- including endangered species. Our projects have gone to protect habitats of such species as the Siberian tiger, monarch butterfly, grizzly bear, bald eagle, and more.

8. Trees can pay your "carbon debt". Planting just 30 Global ReLeaf trees will absorb the amount of carbon dioxide that is generated in the production of energy for the average American lifestyle each year.

9. Trees provide clean water and natural flood control. Forests act as natural reservoirs, and they protect watersheds, providing clean water for cities, bays and rivers.

10. Trees are a beautiful part of our lives. From striking individual trees that are of historic significance or are simply large and majestic, to a grove of trees in a city park, trees enrich our lives by simply being there. Trees are not just a key to the natural ecosystem -- trees are an essential part of community life.

Will You Join Me?


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