Corporate Social Responsibility writer for Justmeans, Antonio Pasolini is a journalist based in Brazil who writes about alternative energy, green living and sustainability. He also edits Energyrefuge.com, a top web destination for news and comment on renewable energy and Elpis.org, a recycled paper bag/magazine distributed from health food stores in London, formerly his hometown for over a decade....
Trees For a More Sustainable, Happier World
Trees play a crucial role in urban landscaping. Besides the esthetic value of these majestic plants, they work as carbon sinks and retain rainwater. There has been research on the emotional impact trees have on people as well; places with more parks and trees produce calmer, more satisfied people. Even crime rates go down in such areas.
Here are some facts and figures about trees:
- Just three strategically placed trees can decrease utility bills by up to 50%.
- Childhood asthma rates are lower in neighborhoods with healthy tree cover.
- Planting trees at residential homes can increase property values by 10% or more.
- An acre of trees each year absorbs the amount of carbon produced by driving a car 26,000 miles.
This year saw many devastating storms destroying towns and leveling trees across the United States. But at least a portion of felled trees will be replaced with new ones. All over the country people are getting together to replant trees and return the benefits they produce to the communities that harbor them.
In more than 150 cities, local non-profit organizations and partners are participating in this year's National NeighborWoods Month, organized by Alliance for Community Trees and sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, TD Bank, and Boise ASPEN's Project UP. Thousands of people are getting their hands dirty to green up their cities throughout October.
Last year NeighborWoods Month attracted the participation of over 26,000 volunteers, who helped to plant 41,000 trees and make their neighbourhoods a lot better in the process. This October, tree planting projects, tree maintenance and stewardship programs, training activities, and educational seminars are among the hundreds of events planned as part of the initiative.
"NeighborWoods Month is a reflection of a growing movement for green cities. Dozens of major cities have declared city-wide tree canopy goals, involving residents and the private sector to plant and care for trees," said Carrie Gallagher, executive director of Alliance for Community Trees. "People everywhere are looking for simple, affordable ways to go green and improve their communities. Just by shading a home, energy use can be cut by a third. The same shade tree will clean the air and enhance your home's curb appeal. These are benefits everyone appreciates."
Visit the NeighborWoods Month website to register an event, find events near you, apply for a mini-grant, enter a photo contest and take a look at the pictures taken by people all over the country.
Image credit: NeighborWoods Month