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In most cities across the world pollution is a serious problem. And with more and more people living in cities, more and more cars will be used, more factories, and more power plants. This all equals MORE pollution, but there is one tool that is often overlooked, and that is trees. Pollution is caused by burning too many fossil fuels, deforestation (from agriculture) and industrial activity. This fills the atmosphere and oceans with carbon, and too much CO2’s can deplete the ozone layer as well as create global warming. Most importantly it dangerous to human and animal lives. According Global Solutions, “While trees alone can’t solve the entirety of cities’ air and pollution problems, they are a critical piece of the puzzle. (Global Solutions, para 7.)
Trees and forests are working non-stop cleaning our air, and improving the quality. They breathe in the toxic carbon dioxides and exhale clean oxygen we need to breathe. Humans and animals need clean breathable oxygen levels it is crucial for our survival. Airborne particles of dust, soot, and smokes are releases when we burn fossil fuels or kicked up during construction and farming. Breathing in these polluted chemicals can cause a variety of health issues including asthma, cancer, and even death. Planting trees is a cost effective way to help prevent some of these medical illnesses to the public.
Trees help in the process of removing particulate matter. What happens when these particulate are kicked up into the air they are blown into the leaves of trees and stick to them. Once it rains they are then washed away and carried into the sewer system, so we don’t inhale it. (this actually causes water pollution problems, but that’s another paper) Trees also cool temperatures by providing shade and releasing water through photosynthesis, which cools summer temperatures by two to four degrees Fahrenheit. Trees can only clean air that it is close proximity, so about one hundred feet or so. This means you have to know where planting these trees would be best beneficial. Vox claims, “Officials can maximize pollution reduction by planting trees where pollution density and air pollution overlap. The Nature Conservatory report uses data from Washington D.C. to create a map showing where planting trees will have the highest investment.” (Global Warming, para. 3)
Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30% and save energy used for heating by 20–50%. Trees provide habitat, food and protection to plants and animals, increasing urban biodiversity. This is something we discussed last week in our discussion; life benefits from trees, period. Planting trees today is essential for future generations! Planting trees is about the most important and easiest thing we can do to help the environment and ourselves. Although you have outweigh the drawbacks, like what kind of area you live in, it’s still a great notion. Trees are giant air filters, and the sooner we start thinking of them that way, the sooner the air we breathe might be cooler and cleaner in cities around the world.
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