Earth day was first held in 1970 as a day to raise public awareness about human impacts on our environment. We have come a long way in 46 years due to advances in environmental science and law, but we still have a long way to go.
In honor of Earth Day, we encourage you to take a SMPIL step today; hug a tree! (not the hugging type? A high-five will do!) Here’s why:
Trees Are a Savvy Business Investment: Research has demonstrated that “greening” your property leads to increased property values and increased traffic to shopping centers. Further, markets for conservation are popping up across the country, which provides a monetary incentive to install green infrastructure.
Trees Produce Oxygen: Trees produce the oxygen we need to survive through their process of photosynthesis.
Trees Trap Particulate Matter: Trees trap particulate matter, such as dust and soot, which promotes human health and safety.
Trees Buffer Flood Events: Through subsurface flows associated with evapotranspiration, trees actively lower the water table and decrease the risk of flood.
Trees Sequester Carbon: High levels of carbon in the atmosphere leads to radiative forcing and global climate change. Trees sequester carbon, which, in turn, reduces carbon input into the atmosphere.
Trees Reduce Erosion: Complex root systems anchor soil, reducing the potential for erosion.
Trees Promote Clean Water: Trees absorb pollutants, such as excessive nitrogen loads, to keep our waterways clean and healthy.
Trees Have an Electromagnetic Shielding Function: Trees buffer people from electromagnetic fields associated with power lines.
Trees Reduce Cooling Costs: Simply put, the shade of a tree reduces the temperature inside your house, thereby reducing the cost of cooling it.
Trees Exhibit Phytoremedial Properties: Trees actively absorb and metabolize contaminants that are harmful to human health and safety.
Trees Provide Wildlife habitat: Trees provide habitat for wildlife! Researchers estimate that forests are home to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.