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.