Trees provide our planet with the air that we breathe, cool temperatures and habitats for animals. And yet, we often forget to appreciate the importance of forests for the planet. We clear millions of acres of natural forests every year, leading to the deforestation of some Earth’s most valuable resources; the benefits of trees to the environment are immeasurable.
A story from sustainability site Treehugger underscores the point. Contributor Russell McLendon writes, “We tend to take forests for granted, underestimating how indispensable they still are for everyone on the planet. That would quickly change if they all disappeared, but since humanity might not survive that scenario, the lesson wouldn’t be very useful by then.”
Trees provide food, shade, keep the air clean and can even have positive effects on our mental health, reflecting the oneness and interconnection of all life forms. And yes, they even give us jobs. Here’s more from Treehugger:
“More than 1.6 billion people rely on forests to some extent for their livelihoods, according to the U.N., and 10 million are directly employed in forest management or conservation. Forests contribute about 1% of the global gross domestic product through timber production and non-timber products, the latter of which alone support up to 80% of the population in many developing countries.” In all, McLendon lists 20 reasons why trees matter (see them all here.)
What are your favorite things about trees? What other benefits of trees to the environment can you think of?