The Power of Trees

By: Erin Smith


Earth Needs Change

The planet is warming. The forests are disappearing. The animals are struggling. The oceans are intoxicated. Our home is dying.


The following information is provided by NASA:


Fact: Earth’s average surface temperature has risen about 2.05˚ Fahrenheit since the late 19th Century. Most of the warming driven by increases carbon emissions as mankind has industrially progressed. Most of the warming has occurred in the past 40 years.


Fact: The oceans have absorbed much of this heat. The top 100 meters of ocean shows warming of more than 0.6 ˚ Fahrenheit since 1969.

The picture below illustrates a direct impact of the heating oceans.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explains the impact the warming waters have on coral reef. The corals become stressed from the temperature change which makes them expel symbiotic algae living in their tissue. This causes the white “bleach” color. Without the algae, the coral loses its main food source and becomes more susceptible to disease.


Fact: Global sea level rose about 8 inches in the last century.

The sea rise is dangerous for communities that live on or below sea level. Their homes, businesses, and towns could be covered in water, displacing millions of people. Some of those people may not have the financial resources to relocate.


Fact: The number of record high temperature events in the U.S. has been increasing. There has been increasing numbers of intense rainfall.


According to USA Today, 2020 has seen 23 named storms. This breaks the record for most named storms in a season since 1969. Extreme weather is a destructive and unpredictable side effect of global warming.


Fact: Trees can help save the planet. We need to plant them.


Where are Trees Going?

Trees are a natural part of the Earth. Humans have altered the natural growth of trees through urban growth, agriculture, and population increases.


Urban Growth

The world is constantly evolving. As technological and structural advancements are made, buildings seem to pop up rapidly. Cities are expanding upwards and outwards. While cities grow, forests are dwindling. A study indicates that approximately 36 million trees are cut down in urban areas each year and 167,000 acres of surfaces like concrete and asphalt are added every year.


Agriculture

Farming and logging are a common practice in the United States. These are leading causes of deforestation in our forests. According to a report, upwards of 50,000 acres of forests are cleared by farmers and loggers per day worldwide. Land is cut or burned for cattle grazing, feed crop production, and timber to build houses and create specialty wood products.



You can see from the image above, that burning and cultivating the lands release a lot of carbon dioxide. When farmers burn the land and trees, carbon dioxide that the greenery had absorbed is now being released back into the atmosphere.


Population Increases

According to the United Nations estimates, the world population is currently 7.8 billion people. So much of the Earth’s surface is being taken over by construction to create towns for people to live in. In my hometown of Rosemount, MN, I have seen trees be chopped down and land cleared for housing developments multiple times. My town does not look like what it used to because it is constantly expanding. Rosemount’s population in 2000 was 14,787 and as of 2018, the population is 24,607.

The Benefits of Trees

In the simplest of terms, we need trees to survive. Humans live through inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. Our bodies reject carbon dioxide gasses. Ironically, human development and expansion on Earth has heightened carbon emissions.

The image below summarizes different benefits trees have on the world.


Trees are an important part of the world’s ecosystem. An article explains the many different positive impacts trees provide our world. I have discussed just a few below.


Trees Combat Climate Change

Climate change is driven by the heavy emissions of carbon dioxide that are building up in the atmosphere. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, removing and storing the carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of carbon dioxide produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles (the distance around the Earth is 24,901 miles).


Trees Clean the Air

Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.


Trees Provide Oxygen

In one year, an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people. The tree goes through the process of photosynthesis, in which it absorbs carbon dioxide and water and uses the sun’s energy to convert this into chemical compounds to feed the tree. Oxygen is a by-product of this chemical process, and the very gas we rely on to live.



This relatively simple process provides us with a gas that gives us life. Human bodies are made up of 65% oxygen.

The Carbon Offset Company focuses primarily on mangrove projects. These trees are crucial to the coastal areas they grow in and can sequester up to 4x more carbon than other trees. On average, a single mangrove will remove 679 pounds of carbon in its 25-year lifespan.


Trees Cool the Streets and the City

As mentioned above, many surfaces are turning into cement and asphalt. This type of ground does not absorb the sun like grass and trees. Instead, it reflects the sun’s heat, causing urban areas to feel much hotter because the heat is trapped by the pavement and buildings.

Average temperature in Los Angeles have risen 6˚F in the last 50 years as tree coverage has declined and the number of heat-absorbing roads and buildings has increased. Trees cool the city by up to 10˚F by shading our homes and streets, breaking up urban “heat islands” and releasing water.


Trees Conserve Energy

Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50%. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants.


There are many more ways that trees provide to the well-being of our world. Planting trees is one of the most holistic and accessible ways to change the course of global warming.


Partnering with The Carbon Offset Company

Trees are clearly an important part of the Earth’s ecosystem, and they are something that humans rely on for survival. You may be asking yourself; how exactly can I plant enough trees to make a difference? The Carbon Offset Company does all that work for you and at an affordable price. Offsetting your carbon will cost less than your Netflix or Spotify subscriptions!


Individual

Being carbon negative can cost less than your Netflix or HBO subscription, and even your Spotify account. For just $8.00/month, you will eliminate your carbon emissions. Doing this with The Carbon Offset Company is simple:

· Visit https://www.thecarbonoffsetcompany.org/personal

· Click on “Subscribe”

· Plant trees, provide job opportunity, and save habitats

· Emit NO carbon for the year!


You can make a huge impact on an entire ecosystem and community with the trees you fund, and it’s just a simple push of a button!


Business

Industries were discussed above as a major contributor to carbon emissions. Do not let your business be a part of these statistics. Partnering with The Carbon Offset Company is one of the easiest ways you can make a sustainable difference for your business and here is how:


· Visit https://www.thecarbonoffsetcompany.org/business

· Fill in all your information for a consultation

· Work with us to develop a plan to eliminate your carbon emission

· Drive more sales to your business from a growing base of eco-conscious consumers

· Plant trees!


We are working to partner with amazing companies that want to make a positive impact on the Earth. Through the partnerships we have already built, we’ve been able to plant 7,015 trees and provide over 70 days of employment to those in need. Your company can help the environment, provide job opportunities for those in need, and make a difference on the Earth, all while increasing sales and public awareness.

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