April is nearing its end, which means Arbor Day is upon us. What is Arbor Day, you ask? It’s a toast to trees! On this green holiday, everyone is encouraged to celebrate the important role trees play in our environment. Arbor Day is celebrated in the spring in countries across the globe, and in the United States, it’s observed on the last Friday in April.
Unlike some really questionable days (National Blonde Brownie Day, we’re looking at you), this one is legit — trees most certainly deserve a holiday dedicated to their greatness. They are absolutely crucial in our environment for many reasons.
Perhaps most notably is the fact that they are nature’s air purifiers. During their respiration process, trees actually absorb carbon dioxide floating around in the environment. Carbon dioxide is a powerful greenhouse gas that, when in the atmosphere, absorbs heat and causes a warming effect on the planet. Carbon dioxide finds its way into our environment primarily through the burning of fossil fuels, which is used to power factories, power plants and vehicles. Trees suck up this greenhouse gas and release oxygen, which we need to breathe.
Not only are they excellent air purifiers, trees are water purifiers, too. When it rains, drops hit the ground and flow to the nearest water source in their watershed, picking up pollutants from places like farms and highways along the way. This contaminated rainwater is known as runoff. Trees and other plants often stand in the way of water sources, leaving runoff no choice but to squeeze through them. Once again, trees are there to save the day. They suck up the runoff, acting like a sponge, and naturally filter out any pollutants before they can enter the water system.
Trees also play a huge role in our daily lives, even when we don’t realize it. Look around you — it’s almost more difficult to find products that are not made from trees than those that are. Take your morning breakfast routine, for example — the cereal box is made from a tree, the milk carton…