Stress is the only Constant
We are living in the era of a press button, we are a button away from all kind of solutions only to make way for new problems. Hence, after the change, stress seems to be another constant and due to this man has distanced himself from nature with the increase in population and the migration of the people to urban areas due to improving economic conditions. This has resulted in urbanization and being alienated from nature. We all know that tress and vegetation are important for us, but we seem to forget why – there is a lot more that a tree does for us other than photosynthesis and resources.
Why Plant Trees?
In this section, I am going to discuss the benefits of planting trees, so that we all remember why trees are so important to us.
- Trees help reduce noise pollution – unnecessary sounds have negative psychological effects on an individual. Trees help in reducing noise pollution as the tree leaves absorb the sound waves. A study suggests that a belt of trees 100′ wide and 45′ long can help reduce the noise from highways to half.
- Planting trees helps improve the water quality – they anchor soil and improve stormwater runoff, which decreases topsoil erosion and prevents other pollutants from being washed into rivers and lakes. According to a study, 32′ tall trees can help reduce the runoff by almost 327 gallons.
- A mature tree absorbs 120-240 ponds of small particles and carbon dioxide per year that is released by the industries and automobiles, a single tree produces nearly three-quarters of the oxygen required for a person and a canopy of trees in urban areas can help reduce the smog levels by 6%
- Trees can alter the heating and cooling costs. It is seen that urban areas with less vegetation can experience a temperature of up to seven degrees higher than those with tree cover – hence leading to higher energy costs and power demand. Properly planted trees can cut cooling costs up to 12% and help reduce the power demand.
- Trees are the most adjusting and noble creations on this planet as they provide shelter to both the man and the beast.
- There are shreds of evidence that stress and noise harm the health hence tress help relieve stress and improve health.
- Properly planned trees add to the economic value of the area and attract people. They increase the occupancy and rental rates along with creating a positive community.
- The planting of trees helps improve the urban soil conditions as most of the soil is covered beneath the streets, sidewalks, and buildings. However, a significant portion of soil is exposed to environmental conditions that help improve the soil conditions by checking the loss of surface particles, by increasing organic material in soils and helping in retaining water for a longer period that leads to an increase in the groundwater table.
- Trees help in preventing soil erosion and help the growth of vegetation. For example, acacias have bacteria living in the roots so those bacteria convert nitrogen into nitrates that can be used by the tree to grow and reproduce.
- The temperature difference in summers between a properly planted urban area and a built-up central area is likely to be 2-3° Celsius lower with a 5% increase in relative humidity.
Environment and Mankind
One of of the many roles of trees is to help human civilisation survive smoothly and trees are quite efficient in the work that they do. This makes them quite valuable and the protection of vegetation becomes a responsibility and duty of a human being but one has to keep in mind about the economical aspect of today’s era. With climate change and other environmental adversities around the corner it becomes necessary for us to invest a part of the economy into projects that help mitigate carbon and produce energy like One Sun One World One Grid and ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) – these projects require huge investments by the Government, so one cannot be an environmental fanatic and plant trees “right between the road” as it would make it an accident-prone one. Tree plantation drives with proper planning can be a positive initiative. Another way to keep deforestation in check is to identify forests and areas where the rate of planting and growing trees is higher than the rate of cutting them so that we use products from those forests only. Some areas can be marked for afforestation – NGOs and various communities along with the help of government authorities can plant trees and help reduce the carbon footprint.
Remember, these are tough times and playing a blame game is not the solution. Collective constructive efforts and ideas that are pro-environment and pro-economy are the way to go. So people, together we can and we will Save the Environment!
SOURCES: A Handbook on Landscape, CPWD 2013 (Chapter 3, Page 11)