As the entire world is almost under lockdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it gives us time to rethink about things we take for granted. Just within a few days after lockdown, nature started showing ways of retreating. There were wild animals found on the streets of Italy, dolphins coming up to the surface of water, and much more. It is time to look into the importance of trees, nature, and wildlife as a whole to understand why we need things that are basic and of primary importance.
Trees are significantly important to our environment and also to human welfare. They provide us with the air we breathe, clean water we drink. It yields food and shade to mankind, animals and other plants. Numerous species of flora and fauna find their habitat by the presence of trees. It also supplies us with wood which helps in heat and fuel for cooking. Trees contribute to building-making materials and even make it an important place for several cultural, spiritual, and recreational purposes. The role of trees is to help in maintaining a global environment and the health of the species living there. Along with the abundant benefits trees provide us with, they need conservation and regrowth.
Importance of trees
Find out in the different aspects in which we can consider the importance of trees:
The contribution of trees to the environment is mammoth. They provide oxygen, conserves soil, preserves water, amelioration of climate and supports wildlife. Through the process of photosynthesis, trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen which we inhale.
In consonance with the U.S Department of Agriculture, “To produce four tons of oxygen, one acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide. The annual need for eighteen people can be fulfilled by this production.” Trees, turf, and shrubs also help in air purification. They cause filtration to the air by the removal of dust and absorb several pollutants like sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide. After the trees remove the unhealthy particles from the atmosphere, rainwater purges it to the ground.
Trees also moderate the climate by controlling the effects of the rain, wind, and sun. During summer, the leaves of the trees absorb and filter the radiant energy of the sun and keep it cool. By providing a screen to harsh winds, trees sustain its warmth. Besides the influence of trees on the direction of the wind and its speed, they even shield us from sleet, hail and also the downfall of rain. Trees also minimize the temperature of the air and similarly reduces the intensity of heat. This helps in maintaining low levels of carbon dioxide in the greenhouse effect.
Trees reside above and below the ground, making it essential for both the ecosystems. Strong and far-reaching roots holds the soil firmly, thus curbing soil erosion. By means of absorption and storage of rainwater, trees reduce overflow or sediment deposition after the storms. By doing this, it recharges groundwater and prevents the cartage of chemicals into streams, preventing floods. Leaf litter makes an excellent compost which is extremely beneficial for the soil.
Herbivores like elephants, giraffes, and koalas consume leaves for their nourishment. Birds, bats and many other insects suck nectar and the flowers are eaten by the monkeys. The fruits that we feed on are also eaten by animals. With the help of this, dispersing seeds over distant places is possible. Trees are a home shelter to numerous living creatures. Many birds, squirrels, and other animals take shelter in leave covered trees to save themselves from predators.
Social and Community Value
Trees are of great importance to all communities. For an aesthetically pleasing and peaceful environment, we can find the importance of trees in:
- roads lined with trees
To enhance of our quality of life, trees bring natural elements and wildlife habitats into our urban life. We often take shade under the trees to cool ourselves while we are doing any outdoor activity with our family or friends.
Ancient trees in neighborhoods are located as historical landmarks that bring forth a town’s pride. The production of heat island effect caused by pavements and commercial buildings also reduce by planting trees in the cities as it deflects the sunlight.
Commercial and Practical Values
Our existence has been supported and sustained by trees throughout our life. They have a broad array of commercial and practical uses too. Wood is the primary fuel, still used by half of the world’s population for cooking and heating purposes. Timber is used to construct buildings, manufacturing tools, sporting equipment, furniture, and many other household items. Paper is made of wood pulp and there are many more such importance of trees.
We all know trees provide us oranges, apples, and various other fruits and nuts. Along with the North American syrup made out of maples, which is very tasty! But are you aware that the bark of trees is used to make cork? Which is a fine source of medicines and chemicals? Bark extracts are used to make both essential medicines like quinine and aspirin. Rubber is produced by the inner bark which contains latex, which is an important ingredient.
Spiritual and Personal Value
The prime cause for us to like trees is because they are both magnificent and beautiful. Trees are of different species having a never-ending diversity of different forms, shapes, vibrant colors and textures. As season changes, the appearance of the trees also keeps changing during the course of the year. Trees have a monument-like quality because of its regal stature, strength and long lifespan. Almost all of us react to the existence of trees with a relaxed, comfortable and pleasant feeling. For even life-changing events many people plant trees as a living memorial.
Trees register the history of your families as their growth and development occur simultaneously to you, your kids, and thereafter. We eventually develop an emotional attachment to the trees we are planting or the ones we see daily.
The inseparable bond has been evidenced by numerous organizations or groups across the globe, as they put in tremendous efforts to save and protect the historic and large trees from the dangers of modernization. Do you have any childhood memories of a tree in your neighborhood or backyard? The emotional bondage a special tree creates is absolutely boundless.
Importance of trees: How can kids save trees?
One-third of the earth’s surface is covered by forests which include 700+ million acres present only in the U.S. alone. They provide habitation to an enormous species of animals and plants, which provides the world with medicine, food, fuel and even more.
Forests provide us with oxygen which is of utmost importance and also ensures the temperature of the earth to be fit for human habitation. But what can we do in return? Some simple ways kids can help to save trees are given below:
Smart usage of paper
By minimizing the use of paper, one can save trees from being cut down.
How could kids help us?
- Create a space to store reusable paper. Give your kids the responsibility to store paper which is blank on one side, so that you can use it before recycling.
- Scrap paper usage (preferably recycled). You can use scrap paper for sketching coloring, drawing, etc.
- Using both sides of the paper. This works incredibly well in case of doing homework.
- Usage of cloth napkins. Rather than using paper napkins, start using cloth napkins.
- Opt for a reusable lunchbox. Instead of using paper bags for lunch, start using metal utensils, reusable containers and also reusable water-bottles.
Play and create with trash
Some inquisitive kids love playing with empty toilet paper, shoe boxes, cardboard boxes, and paper towel rolls. These empty boxes can turn out into superhero headquarters or even forts, Paper towel rolls turn into bioscopes or periscopes and toilet paper rolls become binoculars or bird feeders.
Donation, Borrowing and Sharing Books
People read a lot of nowadays, which are made into umpteen number of books. Hence, using a lot of paper. A library is an excellent alternative to save buying new books. Also, friends who are willingly exchanging books instead of buying new ones. In lieu of, hoarding onto books that your children have outgrown of, you can simply donate them to a library, reading program or a bookstore.
Planting of trees
Planting of trees has become a very popular activity on Earth Day. During the season of fall, you should plant shrubs and trees. Encourage your kids to pick the correct tree for their space.
The most appropriate way to pay tribute to the forests and trees is to spend prolonged hours of time with them. Pay a visit to the local national or state parks, out of which most of them are protected forest lands. Admission to all 401 national parks is made free during the National Park week.
Confine yourself to the trails
While visiting forests, keep in mind to confine yourself to the marked trails. This will enable you to minimize the impact that falls on the wilderness areas, as a result preserving them for the generations to come.
Get your Smokey on
Do you remember who Smokey the bear was? He still exists, preventing us from wildfires. Perhaps this is also one of the biggest threats to the forests. Repeating Smokey’s message is worth remembering:
- You are the only one who can prevent wildfires,
- Always be cautious with fire,
- Always avoid playing with lighters or matches,
- Pay close attention to a campfire, and
- Always make sure your campfire burns out completely before you leave it.
Tips to conserve trees
One of the most important and significant things you can do to save your environment is by planting trees. To produce a sufficient amount of oxygen for one person in a day, we require around 625 square feet of surface area for vegetation. People who are living in cosmopolitan cities can also play a very vital role in the environment by making their surroundings greener. Let us go through some of the cost-effective and simple ways to plant a tree and bring in some green into our world
Save Nature by Planting Trees
- Considering the size of your houses, if you can, try to accommodate a garden to plant enough trees, that will cool the atmosphere of your homes.
- Choosing the correct plants according to the size of your garden or even climatic conditions is very important. You can also seek help from your horticultural society or local nursery.
- If you have constraints to plant big trees, you could also keep creepers or smaller plants instead. Irrespective of its size, every green plant reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
- Always keep in mind that lawns absorb a lesser amount of carbon dioxide than plants. Considering this, always keep an extra space for plants than a lawn, while you are planning a garden.
- If you stay in a city where there is a considerable water crisis, then always choose plants that are drought-resistant like flowering shrubs, cacti, and more.
- Even if you reside in an apartment, you can still grow a balcony or terrace garden by placing potted plants.
- An apartment has boxed windows that could be used to grow small flowering plants. You could even recycle discarded materials to make those pots.
- Indoor plants are another way by which you could reduce indoor air pollution as well.
- Replace the use of chemical fertilizers by composting leaf waste.
- In place of gifting flower bouquets to your friends, you can gift them with potted plants encouraging them to grow plants.
- By planting trees in parks, schools, factories, and roadside you can start off a planting program in your area.
- Always report to the concerned authorities if you see trees being cut down. A maximum of the environmental problems arises due to public lassitude.
- Saving trees should eventually become a personal commitment.
Save nature by conserving trees and paper
- While buying furniture look for a substitution to wood. By doing this, you will save precious forests.
- By curbing the use of paper, you will be saving trees.
- Minimize wastage of paper by writing on both sides of the sheet.
- Store old letters, envelopes and junk paper. Use them when you need to write.
- Replace paper towels or tissues by old towels, pillowcases or sheets for household cleaning purposes.
- While hosting a party, avoid using paper decorations, paper plates or even tissues.
- Avoid collecting free and unnecessary pamphlets or leaflets.
- Paper tissues should be replaced by cotton handkerchiefs.
- Countless trees are cut down to make greeting cards. We could simply stop sending them to save the trees.
- Gift-wrapping paper and cartons can be reused.
- A recycled paper should be used as much as possible.
- Schools should start eco-clubs to allot various projects for the locality.
If you truly realize the importance of trees, you will take tiny measures to conserve the environment. It slowly becomes a part of your system and lets you help the world in tiny ways.