We all have the tendency to take the grandeur of nature for granted. But did you know that trees protect our most precious and necessary resources like air and water? As a matter of fact, growing healthy trees protects us in ways you might have never imagined.
1. Trees clean our air and provide additional oxygen.
We’ve all heard of The Green House Effect, where heat from the earth gets trapped in the atmosphere from high levels of carbon dioxide. However, did you know that one mature tree can absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, and release enough oxygen to support two people?
2. Trees protect the water we drink.
Trees are natural pollution filters for our water. When it rains, their canopies break the fall of rainwater and lessen surface runoff which takes pollutants to streams. Trees use these potential water pollutants, like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, as nutrients.
3. Trees conserve energy.
By properly positioning one tree in the landscape, the average homeowner could save 58% on daytime air-conditioning. Applied nationwide, the shade could reduce our country’s consumption of oil by 500,000 barrels per day. (American Forests, “The Case for Greener Cities”) Trees lower local air temperatures, shade buildings in the summer and block winter winds, all of which result in lower energy costs.
4. Trees increase traffic safety.
Tall trees lining a street give the illusion of a narrower street, and if they are spaced closely together, the perception of speed. This causes drivers to slow down and improves traffic safety.
5. Trees improve a region’s economic stability.
The first impression a traveler gets of a town is often based on the quantity and condition of the town’s trees. Trees attract tourists, and tree-lined streets cause people to linger longer, which is a boon to merchants. Apartment complexes filled with trees rent faster, as do wooded business complexes.
6. Trees increase real estate value.
Trees can increase the value of real estate property 5-15% when compared to properties without trees.
7. Trees increase social benefits.
Trees reduce noise pollution in urban areas, and have the potential to reduce violent crimes. University of Illinois research concluded that the presence of trees can reduce crime like domestic violence and child abuse, and therefore decrease social service budgets. Influenced in part by this research, Chicago city government spent $10 million to plant 20,000 trees.
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