4.6 million years ago, the original atmosphere was an enchantress’ draft of toxic substances such as ammonia, hydrogen and methane, without any oxygen. Around 3.8 billion years ago, a blossoming plant appeared that could convert carbon dioxide, water and sunlight into glucose and oxygen through what is called photosynthesis. As a result, levels of oxygen gradually rose, and life was formed.
On the World Forestry Day (21st March 2018) just imagine, if trees are suddenly wiped out. What would happen to all the oxygen collected over billions of years? Trees are the foundation of the whole food chain and oxygen in the atmosphere. The loss of a native species can quickly escalate to affect an entire ecosystem.
In order to increase the public awareness among communities about the values and significance of the forests to balance the life cycle on the earth, the International forestry day is celebrated every year on 21st of March. The theme for 2018 is ‘Forests and Sustainable Cities’ with focus on making cities greener, healthier, and happier places to live.
So how can we make our city green, healthy and happy? Planting more trees is the smarter way. Now let’s go over the top 8 reasons on why we need trees in our urban environments –
• Planned placement of trees in cities can cool the air by up to 8 degrees Celsius, decreasing air conditioning requirements by 30%.
• A research study by Natural England in UK estimated that for every £1 spent on tree planting yielded a savings of £7 or a potential £2.1 billion if taken nationally.
• Trees are brilliant air filters and remove harmful pollutants and fine particulates in the air.
• Urban Trees reduce noise pollution, as they shield our homes from busy roads.
• Trees stores water in their branches and soil and prevents flooding.
• Well-managed trees in and around cities provide homes for many plants and animals, helping to maintain and increase biodiversity. So Urban green spaces benefit healthy lifestyles, improve mental health, prevent disease, and provide a place for people to socialize.
• Urban trees mitigate climate change by storing carbon which are released by vehicles and industries. A single mature tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 150 Kg/year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 4 humans.
• Urban trees play a critical role in moderation of local climate and can save up to 10% of energy consumption.
Not satisfied with the above reasons? Then try answering the questions in the below link – How much do you know about forests and cities?
The link comprises of live examples on how urban trees are helping cities across the world.
Photo Source: Anton Malishev