Planting trees is probably one of the best things you can do to save mother earth. It is shocking and inspiring enough to know that a 635 sq ft area of vegetation is required to fulfill the oxygen requirement of one single person! And here we are still wondering if planting trees would actually make a difference.
But, indeed, saving or planting trees alone cannot save the earth. We have to come together and make changes in every way possible. And if you are thinking, what difference can I make alone? Then trust me, I used to think like that a year ago. But you must also realize that there are millions and billions of people thinking exactly the same way. So, if all of us add our tiny contributions, it can make a huge difference.
And trust me, it’s not that difficult. We all have something to do, it might look tiny, but let us all start with that tiny change.
Why save trees to save earth?
Now there can be various reasons why we should plant more trees and save the remaining ones. The internet is filled with “save trees, save the planet” and similar captions. But for real long-lasting motivations, one needs to understand first “WHY?”
We have listed down some out of numerous reasons why you should plant trees:
- Plants not only provide us with oxygen, but they also remove the excess carbon dioxide we give out each day. That is the main reason why trees mitigate climate change. So by planting more trees we can reduce air pollution to a great extent.
- Carbon dioxide is also one of the major greenhouse gases that absorbs energy and prevents it from being reflected back to space. As a result, the climate gets warmer, hence global warming.
- WWF says about 31% of the earth’s land is covered in forests. The Amazon rainforest alone covers 4% of the total land area on earth. Over the past 50 years, 17% of it has been converted due to cattle ranching.
- Deforestation is the major cause of soil erosion. When forests are converted to open fields, the soil gets exposed and is more vulnerable to being washed out by rain. Soil erosion reduces the fertility of the soil and pollutes nearby water streams by carrying sediments which can eventually lead to flooding.
- 80% of terrestrial animals live in forests. So, by cutting down forests, we are destroying the habitat of major terrestrial animals on earth.
- Trees are crucial to sustainable development. They restore the ecosystem, purify water and air, provide food, mitigate climate change, and are the home to many species.
How can we save the earth by conservation of trees?
Your little contribution can make a big difference. All you need to do is just make some subtle changes in your daily life, in your daily choices. Let us all unite and live a life in a little more eco-friendly way, and develop some habits that will make a difference.
Here are a few things you can do to save trees and save earth:
- Use less paper, because the paper industry uses wood pulp as the raw material. In fact, 24 adult large trees are required to manufacture approximately 1 ton of printing or writing paper. So the next time your bank asks if you want a hard copy of the statement, what you can do instead is opt for an email statement.
- Do not use paper towels and tissue papers in your daily activities, rather use towels and old clothes for the same.
- Avoid sending greeting cards every year, or paper invitations. Rather, you can send an email greeting instead.
- There are still many people out there who are unaware of the problems caused by cutting down trees. Be vocal about why one should avoid cutting trees, and in case you absolutely have to, make sure you are planting 2-3 trees to compensate for the loss. Although it would take more than a few years for the plants to attain maturity, it is best to avoid cutting trees in your neighborhood.
- Participate in tree plantation. Reforestation is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to mitigate climate change, global warming, and whatnot. So, if you are working closely with any organization to plant more trees, then you are doing noble work!
Buy products that are forest friendly
- Tropical rainforests are decreasing at a rate higher than ever. If it continues at the same rate, then it would take around 70 years to clear out all the remaining forests on earth.
- Avoid consuming beef. It is the worst offender for forests. Each year a huge portion of the Amazonian rainforest is being cut down to make space for cattle ranches. Beef production requires lots of other resources.
- Rayon is another thing that you would like to avoid if you want to save forests. Rayon is made from wood pulp that is often retrieved illegally from forests that are not verified. Another fabric you should avoid is mixed fabric because they are almost impossible to recycle, unlike cotton.
- Organic cotton is something you would like to start with if you want to indulge in forest-friendly products. They are easily recyclable.
Donate to NGOs working on saving forests
- We all understand how difficult and busy our lives have turned into. Very few of us are lucky enough to take out time and get directly involved in such projects. For those of us who do not have much time, we can start by donating some amount to organizations that are actively involved in saving forests and reforestation.
- There are also brands that promise to plant and maintain one tree each time you order. I think this is a pretty cute and innovative idea.
- If you are from India, here are some of the organizations that work on various projects to save trees,
Here are some organizations that work on projects to save trees and plant trees across the globe.
- Give Me Trees (GMT) trust: is a Delhi-based NGO started by Peepal baba back in 1977. To date, they have over 11,000 volunteers and successfully planted over 20 million trees in India in collaboration with various government organizations. To visit their website click here.
- Say trees: It is a Bangalore-based NGO currently working with schools to plant new saplings. To date, they have planted over 1200 trees. Moreover, they plant native plant species like peepal, mango, etc. To visit their website click here.
- Green Yatra: they believe in spreading awareness among young school kids. They organize various tree plantation projects for common people to participate in. They operate mostly in Maharashtra but are planning to expand across the country. They provide kids with saplings and let them plant them. They also look after the young saplings to make sure they grow healthy. To visit their website click here.
- Sankalp Taru: they operate by letting the young school kids plant trees and also provide them with curriculums and opportunities to learn more about the environment and sustainable development. To visit their website click here.
- TATA projects: Tata has recently come up with a unique and innovative initiative called the ‘Green thumb initiative’. They have over 100 project sites across the country and have planted 0.221 million trees so far. The idea is to plant trees using the power of digital media. They opened a microsite and based on the number of clicks they got in the promotion microsite they planted trees. For more information on the project click here.
- Casey trees: it was started by Betty Brown Cassey as a nonprofit organization. Since the 1950s the canopy area in Washington, D.C. has shrunk by 15%. The organization targets to plant 14,000 trees each year. You can become a member of this family despite your age. Click here to know more about their ongoing events.
- Plant a billion trees: the campaign was started by The nature conservancy. They target to plant a billion trees by 2025 in countries that are facing heavy degradation in forest areas including the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and China. You can donate your part to any of the above-mentioned countries. To donate or become a member, click here.
- The green belt movement: It was started by Kenyan professor Wangari Mathai in 1977. She is also the first African woman to win the Nobel peace prize. The NGO focuses on the conservation and development of the community. GBM has planted over 51 million trees in Kenya. Though Wangari Mathai died in 2011, her followers from more than 4000 community groups carry forth her noble work. To support their work, click here.
Interesting Facts about Trees
- 20 million trees can provide us with 260 million tons of oxygen and can neutralize more than 10 million tons of carbon dioxide.
- Currently, trees occupy about 30% of earth’s land area compared to 31.6% during 1990s.
- In 2016, 29.7 million hectares of forest disappeared from earth. It was the record highest till now. Since 2016, there is a slight decline in the tree cover loss.
- Among various other reasons to why do we need to protect trees, other than its contribution to ecosystem, trees also contribute economically. The forestry industry in the New York alone provides employment to over 41,000 people. Trees are an immense source of everything we use in our daily lives.
- Human activities are one of the leading cause of disappearance of trees, accounting for about 27% of deforestation
- It has been observed that people who have greater accessibility to trees feel good and heal faster compared to people who have a lesser view of trees.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Which trees are the most important to save?
Planting native and indigenous trees are the best way to restore the ecosystem of a particular area. Try to find indigenous species of trees in your neighborhood. You can also do some research about which species (indigenous) that are getting endangered or are on the verge of getting endangered, have undergone a huge reduction in total number.
How do I plant a tree safely in the garden without causing any damage to the environment around me?
You can never cause damage to the environment by planting trees. So all you need is some space and the motivation to plant a tree.
How can I help save trees?
You can donate to organizations that plant trees in your local area or around the globe. We have listed down such organizations that you can donate to. You can plant trees in your garden or wherever you find suitable space.
How do I make sure that my tree will be able to survive once it’s planted?
Now, this is something a bit more critical than just planting trees. You can find several guidelines on how to grow a healthy tree. Each tree has its specific requirements, like some love humid weather, wet soil, while some love semi-dry soil and scanty water. You need to find out what works for the plant you have planted. You can easily get free guides on growing plants.
Can we save the Earth by planting trees?
Yes, of course, we can. But certainly, this is not the only way to save the earth. There are several other ways. But planting trees is one of the most efficient, feasible, and affordable ways to save the earth, and mitigate climate change.
How can trees save the Earth from global warming?
Trees neutralize carbon dioxide which is a major greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases trap energy within the atmosphere by preventing the reflection of excess sunlight into space. As a result of which the climate keeps getting warmer as the percentage of greenhouse gases increases in the atmosphere.
How can we protect the forest trees?
The forests are valuable research to all mankind, it provides us with more than 80% of the raw materials of everything we use. They provide food, as well as home to wild animals.
You can save forests by making some subtle changes in your daily life, like avoiding beef, rayon fabric, saving paper, etc. We have listed down everything you can do to make a significant change in saving forests above.