Planting 20,000,000 Trees Will Actually Have This Impact – Trees. Growers of fruits, spices and nuts. Generators of shade. Home to birds, squirrels, koalas. Front line soldiers in the fight against climate change? You bet! Today we’re doing something a little different and talking about teamtrees.org’s mission of planting twenty million new trees by 2020, where every donation of one dollar equals one tree.
You might be asking yourself “what would planting twenty million new trees do for the planet?” Let’s take a look at just how huge an impact each donation to teamtrees will make! A wide variety of organisms from lichen to bees to possums call trees home, and just one single mature oak tree can be home to as many as 500 different species!
The earth is rapidly losing species–we’re in the middle of a mass extinction, and without trees for them to call home, many more animals will be at risk for extinction. Many animals require trees as a place to live, to feed, and to provide protection, so planting just one tree is like building a house, feeder, and nursery all at once! Donating twenty dollars to plant twenty trees is like building an entire animal city! Multiply that by a million and we’re talking about a super metropolis of bio diverse animal life.
Study after study shows that spending time in a grove of trees or forest can provide emotional rejuvenation. It can improve your mood, creating a sense of peace while reducing stress, depression and anger. The Japanese even have a word for this: Shirin-yoku, or ‘forest bathing’. The effect of trees is not only emotional, but physical; studies have shown that being among trees reduces blood pressure as well as lessens stress-related hormones such ascortisol and adrenaline.
So basically, trees make you happy. Plenty of scientific research has shown that happier people commit less crimes, especially violent ones. We think a grove of even just a few trees would be pretty nice. Twenty million new trees would mean potentially thousands of new groves, which means millions of people able to take regular forest baths, increasing happiness and reducing crime.
You’d be a regular crime fighter. All thanks to the trees you helped plant. Trees reduce air temperature through blocking sunlight and creating shade. Trees also help to cool by reflecting heat upwards from their leaves. Further cooling occurs when moisture evaporates from the surface of leaves, just like the way your body cools down by sweating.
Trees can cool down an area by a lot. And we’re not talking about just a couple of degrees, urban neighborhoods with mature trees can be up to 11 degrees cooler in summer heat than neighborhoods without trees. Just think about the difference between a miserably hot 90 degree day and a warm, comfortable 79 degrees.
Trees can also cool down buildings, limiting the need for air conditioning which has the added benefit of helping to conserve energy. Studies have shown that shade from strategically planted trees can reduce the air conditioning costs of buildings by 20% to 30%. Just think, if an average home has a cooling power bill of around $100 per month in the summer, and if ten trees were planted around that same house then 30% could be saved, then that means 20,000,000 trees planted around homes could save $60,000,000 in energy costs!
So if you can’t donate to this particular cause, please consider planting a few new trees around your house. Not only will they be a beautiful addition, but they might even save your future self some money on your power bill. Trees are ideal for use as sound barriers because they reduce sound in two ways: First,they absorb sound since thick branches and leaves are great at absorbing high frequency noise.
Secondly, trees deflect sound. When a sound hits rigid material it bounces back. When a sound hits flexible material such as branches, the material vibrates and the sound is transformed into other forms of energy. A thick row of trees can block as much as fifteen decibels of sound, that’s almost like wearing a pair of ear plugs but you have something beautiful to look at instead of uncomfortable foam in your ears.
The root systems of trees hold soil in place during heavy rainstorms preventing erosion,flooding and mudslides, keeping people and buildings safe. Trees improve water quality too; as their root systems help to filter impurities and retain water in the soil. This allows for water tables to be recharged, with less water ultimately ending up in sewers, and diminishing the amount of storm water carrying pollutants to the ocean.
A single 100 foot tall tree can take as much as 11,000 gallons of water out of the soil during its growing season, releasing the water as healthy oxygen and clean water vapor. That means twenty million trees could filter a staggering 220 billion gallons! That’s enough to fill more than 300,000 Olympic swimming pools! Humans inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide; trees do exactly the opposite by absorbing and storing carbon dioxide during photosynthesis which produces and releases oxygen as a by-product.
Excess carbon dioxide is building up in our atmosphere, strengthening the greenhouse effect,and contributing to global warming. The more trees the earth has, the more carbon dioxide is absorbed and mitigated. The amount of oxygen produced by a tree depends on several factors, including the species of tree, its health, and the ambient temperature.
However some typical calculations are that a single mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 pounds per year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support two humans. One acre of trees annually consumes the same amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to driving an average car for 26,000 miles.
If we assume that an acre has roughly 300 trees, then twenty million new trees could consume the carbon dioxide equivalent of a car driving over 1.7 Billion miles annually! Last but not least, in addition to carbon dioxide, trees absorb other potentially harmful pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide.
The canopies of trees act as a physical filter, trapping particulates of dust, pollen, smoke and smog. A single mature tree removes up to 2.20 pounds every year, which means twenty million could remove up to 44 million pounds. And that’s not all, studies have also shown that the dust level in the air can be as much as 75% lower on the sheltered side of the tree as compared to the windward side.
No one, and we mean no one, likes dust in the air. So do yourself and your neighbors a favor and plant some trees, or donate a few dollars to teamtrees.org and clean the air for yourself and generations to come. In July of 2019 a Swiss study stated that if we plant enough trees we can stop, or atleast put a serious dent in climate change, which is why we’re committed to helping teamtrees.org mission to plant 20 million new trees by 2020.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and be part of the movement to plant twenty million new trees by going to teamtrees.