Trees are incredibly important in the fight against climate change. They play a pivotal role in reducing the greenhouse effect by absorbing and storing carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Through this process, trees help to reduce the number of greenhouse gasses that build up in the atmosphere, consequently mitigating the effects of climate change exponentially. In fact, trees are often even referred to as “carbon sinks” because of the incredible amounts of CO2 they can absorb and store throughout the course of their lives.
Better yet, the power of trees can go far beyond taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Trees also have many other benefits that can help address climate change. Their intricate root systems, for example, can grow two to six feet underground, grasping the earth around them and reducing the erosion that would otherwise occur through wind, rain, and floods. Their hundreds and thousands of leaves constantly filter pollutants from the air and water, and their distinct towering bodies provide unique, complex habitats for all kinds of wildlife. Even the air around them can become cooler through evapotranspiration, in which they release water vapor into the air through their leaves.
Trees are alive, provide life, and are essential for the health and longevity of humanities life. Yet, demand for mass-produced agricultural products, transportation, and urbanization, among other factors, are increasingly threatening forests and jungles around the world. Deforestation to make room for livestock, palm oil trees, and other human activities is not only a threat to the complex ecosystems found in these environments, but it’s also a threat to the health of our planet.
By tearing forests down, the ability for these trees to take in and store carbon dioxide not only disappears, the destroyed forestry releases all the carbon dioxide it had previously kept stored within its organism back into the atmosphere. Consequently, this eliminates a part of the solution for the global warming problem while making it exponentially worse.
So what can you do to help? Deforestation may seem like a problem in a land far away and out of reach, especially if you live in a city. However, the habits you build and the choices you make each day hold more weight than you can imagine. It’s all about being an informed and responsible consumer.
The first step is to take the time to understand where the ingredients in your everyday products come from. For example, if you buy collagen supplements, is the collagen produced from fish or cows? Are these animals raised or caught? In either case, is it done so in a sustainable manner? Unfortunately, when dealing with large corporations, the answer to that last question, more often than not, is no. Buying locally, sustainably produced foods and products, buying only what you need, and making sure to reduce, reuse and recycle should always be a priority for every household.
What you do matters. Visit Smart Energy Education to learn more about the energy careers, the Earth’s natural resources, and the connection between energy, global warming, and the environment! Also, remember to follow us on Facebook for news on events, scholarships, internships as well as tips and tricks on living a more sustainable lifestyle.