Trees and Earth Day: Why Should We Care?

Note: the general tone of this post may not reflect the political stance of Dallas Janitorial Services.  It is largely my own personal (conservative-leaning) opinion.

Photo By: Jeff Pendleton/Air Force art.          Image Source

Earth Day was this past Saturday, and National Arbor Day is coming up this Friday (although for Texas, it’s typically celebrated on the first Friday in November).  With it came a long list of “save the environment” cries, which included a “plant a tree” campaign aimed at everyone.  For many of us, it seems like a waste of time and effort.  Who really needs to plant a tree?

Here’s a secret: planting a tree is in your best interest.

No, I’m trying to be dramatic.  I’m not climbing in a cherry picker and going up along with a line on a gigantic graph.  I’m not talking about some nebulous future, either. Having trees in your area actually provides immediate benefits to you, right here and right now.

 

The most obvious benefit is shade.  Texas is hot for much of the year, and shade helps us keep cool.  However, a properly placed tree can also shade a building, reducing energy costs by absorbing some sun so your A/C doesn’t work as hard.  The cost savings can add up quick, and could possibly even cover the cost of getting your office cleaned.

Trees also help eliminate pollution in your immediate area.  Again, this isn’t about fixing a hole in the ozone layer or reducing emissions, but the immediate effect in your life.  Nobody wants to breathe in a cloud of smog.  If you’re near a tree, then you have cleaner, fresher air.  We can all agree that fresh air is better than a cloud of smoke and dust.

There’s a few other benefits as well, but they’ll depend on your property, starting with its value.  Trees can improve a property’s value, although it’s not always true.  Trees also provide natural resources- with a large enough lot, there can be space for a small orchard or a source of lumber.  There’s even been several studies suggesting trees have mental health and productivity benefits.

So, yes, we should all be planting trees.  There’s more reasons than just the environment.  Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty- you’ll be better off for it.

-Ryan Derenbecker