Air pollution is a global crisis and THE major contributor to climate change. Having harmful gases and particles of a high volume in our atmosphere causes temperatures to rise, intensifying climate change while also negatively affecting the health of humans, plants, and animals. However, at Time4trees we are promoting a natural remedy: the plantation of forests. Trees act as the earth’s purification system by absorbing chemicals from the air and releasing oxygen. Therefore, in order to tackle climate change, we need to reforest and halt deforestation together.
1. What causes air pollution?
“Most air pollution comes from energy use and production,” says John Walke, director of the Clean Air Project. Industrial human activities can release toxic chemicals and particles into the air. Concentrations are worse in crowded urban areas and countries with huge manufacturing industries. For this reason, at Time4trees we are planting out forests exclusively on locations where carbon capture is most directly relevant in proximity to urban areas and motorway corridors where air quality is poorest – matching up with the Forestry Commission’s ‘Priority Places,’ all of which we encourage our subscribers to visit.
2. Why is air pollution dangerous?
According to the World Health organisation, 9 out of 10 people breathe polluted air. Approximately seven million deaths every year are attributed to bad air quality, which increases the risk of strokes, lung cancer, and heart disease. Breathing dirty air has also been linked to immune system damage, as the body becomes inflamed to try and fight off the particles it is being exposed to. But it is not just human health that is threatened by air pollution. The environmental damage in the form of global warming is detrimental and has a large effect on global ecosystems. Air pollution also causes acid rain, which in turn damages trees and turns soil and waterways acidic. Higher levels of black carbon and ground-level ozone can harm crop yields, worsening famine, and poverty.
3. But how do trees clean the air?
It is shown that the world’s forests absorb one-third of global emissions every year. This happens when particles, odors, and pollutant gases settle on the leaves of a tree. The trees then absorb these toxic chemicals through their stomata, effectively filtering these chemicals from the air. Trees also mitigate the greenhouse gas effect by trapping heat, reduce ground-level ozone levels, and release life-giving oxygen. If we continue with our current rate of deforestation, it will have severe consequences on the quality of our air. Therefore, we need to focus on reforestation, also known as tree planting, to rake a step to improve our air quality and reduce climate change.
How can you help?
Despite our recent company launch, Time4trees is committed to planting trees and spreading awareness about the vital role forests play in the protection of our planet. As we grow, and our forests grow, we need people to increase their knowledge and role in preserving the environment. By acknowledging the role of forestry as carbon sinks, and one of our biggest defenses against climate change, we as a population will take a step in the right direction. The more trees that we plant together, the more we help to save the planet.