When it comes to trees, for the environment more is always better. That’s why planting new trees is one of the easiest ways to make an impact on the recovery of the planet and the fight against climate change.
According to the Center for International Forestry Research, forests make up 31% of the world’s land and are essential to the livelihoods of 1.6 billion people and 80% of the planet’s biodiversity. They are also our best defense against climate change, as they absorb as much as 1/3 of Earth’s carbon emissions.
Unfortunately, in the last 25 years forestland has diminished by 300 million hectares. Deforestation not only removes air-cleansing trees from the Earth’s surface, the actual process of clearing forests makes up 10-15% of greenhouse gas emissions itself. It is a double shot of negative impact.
Locally, planting new trees can improve your community and help the environment. Trees are good for property values and can help keep areas cool and shady. This can lower your energy needs in your home, and make spending time outside more pleasant and safer by blocking out UV rays from the sun.
The Arbor Day Foundation recognizes a town that takes special care to nurture nature as a Tree City, USA. There are currently more than 3400 communities named as Tree City, USA, including our home base of Baltimore which has held the distinction for more than 30 years. These communities meet four core standards for recognition: they have a tree board, a community tree ordinance, an Arbor Day celebration, and they spend at least $2 per capita on forestry. You can initiate your community’s efforts to become a Tree City, USA by working with the local government to organize town-wide plantings and creating the necessary agencies. You’ll bring your neighbors together, improve your town’s quality of life, and join the worldwide battle against climate change, all right in your own backyard.
For more information on replanting efforts, visit ArborDay.org.