“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” So said Franklin D Roosevelt about 100 years ago.
Yet still humans are cutting down trees at an incredible rate. The World Bank estimates that we have lost 1.3 million square kilometres of forests since 1990. That’s a bigger area than South Africa. Do your bit to help replenish this vital resource on either (or both) National Tree Day and Schools Tree Day at the end of July.
Australia's biggest community tree-planting and nature care event is co-ordinated by Planet Ark and in the event’s 22 year history more than four million people have planted 24 million trees, plants and seedlings.
Why plant more trees? Well, where do we start?
Trees help with learning: Planet Ark cited Australian research which showed that students who take part in outdoor learning programs continue to perform well academically, but they also learn problem solving, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills and resilience. Further research said 77 per cent of teachers reported improvement in standardised test results, and that exposure to natural environments reduces stress, enhances concentration and creativity and increases productivity.
This advertising feature is sponsored by the following businesses. Click on the links to find out more:
Trees help with health: A study in Sweden compared children in a nursery with a green outdoor space with those in a city centre without. With other elements equal, children with the green outdoor play setting reported less than half the number of sick days than the children at a city day care centre.
Trees help with longevity: In Japan a study found that the presence of parks and tree-lined streets near senior citizen residences were significant predictors of higher survival over the following five years, regardless of socio-economic factors.
Trees help us survive: Environmental Services Company CO2 Australia said that most people underestimate the values of trees.
It said a single tree can absorb as much as 22 kilos of carbon in a year and will add enough oxygen to the atmosphere to support between two and four people for a year; this is in addition to filtering harmful gases out of the air and pollutants out of the soil.
Trees also provide food and shelter for many animal species and other plants. CO2 Australia said trees block wind that can cause soil deposits, and are essential in holding water and soil within the ecosystem.
Have you planted a tree this year? Even if you have, plant another one:
- Schools Tree Day is Friday, July 27.
- National Tree Day is on Sunday, July 29.
- Details: treeday.planetark.org or call the National Tree Day Hotline on 1300 88 5000