It’s love a tree day today and we figured it’s the perfect day to mention various tips and benefits of protecting the trees all around us.
There are many things you can do to conserve trees (including planting trees, reducing any excessive use of tree products, and being a voice for trees when they’re unnecessarily cut down), most (if not all) of these activities can be done with your children, thereby teaching them just how important trees are to our survival.
Here are a few ways you can help conserve and protect trees:
Boring right? And usually used in long speeches about reducing pollution. How does recycling help save trees? Well, it depends on what you recycle. Paper, for instance, when recycled means fewer trees have to be cut down. Paper is a direct product of trees and therefore the fewer sheets of paper we use, the fewer the number of trees that need to be cut down.
This also stretches to other activities that rely on paper:
a) If you print a lot, ensure that you always print on both sides of a sheet.
b) If you throw out scrap paper even if it’s blank on one side, save it and use the blank side another time (perhaps even as rough paper for taking notes or sketches).
c) If you still receive paper bills, switch to e-bills that come as emails. Similarly, if your favourite supermarket uses paper bags, carry your own reusable bag.
d) If you read a lot, try to exchange novels with friends instead of purchasing every book or visit the library and borrow a book. Alternatively, you could also use eBooks.
e) Reduce your use of paper towels, use cloth napkins that can be washed and reused instead.
All of these combined adds up to a lot of paper saved and consequently, a lot of trees saved.
2) Plant more trees and plants (get your kids to help too)
This one doesn’t really need an explanation to clarify how it’s good for plants and the environment. A few lessons early on can stick with children through their lives. Kids who learn the importance of trees early on will always be appreciative and protective of trees and do their best to protect nature however they can. The rate at which deforestation is rising means that unless a lot of people become aware of the state of the planet, we’ll soon have created our own global catastrophe. Here are a few facts on how quickly trees are disappearing:
Every 4 months, 3540900 hectares of forests are cut down or burned.
As of April 2018, only 29% of the world’s original forests remain. This is because we are cutting down forests much quicker than we can replant them.
In relative terms, every minute forest areas about the size of 20 football fields are cleared. The lack of forests leads to an increase in global warming making the planet warmer, upsetting global climate and melting the world’s main water reserves.
This is why we include seeds and instructions on how to plant them in the Tinker Box. It’s the small part we play in trying to make the planet greener.
3) Add tree guards
If there are many young trees (having thin trunks that could easily snap) around your residence, consider adding tree guards to them. Tree guards are basically small fences that you can place around a young plant so that nobody accidentally damages it. Tree guards also protect young trees from being eaten by passing herbivores. You can easily build a tree guard yourself with a few sticks and some wire or you could purchase them from plant nurseries.
4) Donate to an organisation that’s trying to protect and conserve forests or join them.
You can do a lot of research and pick an organisation that you believe will put your money to good use or you could join up with such an organisation and be a part of a team that’s trying to do their best to undo the damage already done.
5) Educate others on the importance of growing and conserving trees and forests.
You don’t have to be that guy that always points out all the things that aren’t environment-friendly in any activity that their friends and family do. You could just mention the impact deforestation has on nature in general and suggest a few activities that people could do in their free time if they’d like to or you could suggest group activities (people are more likely to participate if many of their friends are doing it) such as planting saplings in cleared forest areas.
What do your efforts accomplish?
1) The environmental benefits (obviously)
There are an estimated 3 trillion or so trees on the planet, that sounds like a lot of trees and sums up to over 400 trees per person. However, the number of trees that are cut down each year is between 5 and 15 billion. 10 billion is a huge margin, but calculating the exact number of trees that are cut down is a near impossible task. We know that about 1.5 acres of rainforests are cleared every second.
These trees are carbon sinks (they trap carbon and release oxygen), this is why the method by which a tree is felled is important. A tree that’s reused as furniture or as part of a house will continue to hold in the trapped carbon dioxide for many years, perhaps even centuries. A tree that’s allowed to decompose after being cut down will release the carbon dioxide it trapped back into the atmosphere in a few decades. A tree that’s burned will release the trapped carbon dioxide almost instantly.
2) The jobs that processing trees and tree products create
We obtain thousands of products from trees such as fruits, nuts, medicine, paper, wood, oil, construction materials, etc. Each of these products is part of its own industry creating thousands of jobs for people. If we replant trees in a sustainable manner, then all of these jobs and the economic impact it has can stay on track.
3) Many tree species (around 8000) are endangered, we could revive them
This accounts for about 10% of all the tree species in existence. If these trees do go extinct then any product they produce goes extinct with them. Planting more of these trees and preventing the cutting of any more of these trees could be your role.
4) Reduced temperature
Trees cool the air around them through evaporation and transpiration (the processes through which they release moisture back into the atmosphere) and provide shade. This makes them nature’s own air conditioner. Having many trees around your house can reduce the temperature in your house, saving you money on electricity bills.
5) Reduced risk of soil erosion
This is something that’s taught in school. The roots of trees dig deep into the soil and ‘grab’ soil tightly thereby preventing soil from flowing away easily due to strong winds or flowing water.
6) Improved eco-system
Planting many trees around your house may cause squirrels and various birds to move into them. Giving you a beautiful neighbourhood and interesting views from your window, perhaps even beautiful tunes from a happy bird.
7) The availability of trees and their products for future generations
Sustainable use of forests and trees will ensure that your children and grandchildren will be able to live with the great products that we’ve been blessed with. Without sustainable deforestation, the future generation will likely not be able to use products from trees. That means no paper, barely any fruit, lack of shade, increased temperature, and more.
We hope you found this article useful and are able to implement as many of these suggestions as you can. Let’s help make the Earth as green as we can.
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