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By: RobDaHood, 9:34 PM GMT on December 29, 2008
This time of year we tend to look back on our lives, critique what we don't like, think of things undone, and resolve to do things different in the year ahead. If you've read the tail of comments from my last post, you've seen some comments about resolving to plant trees to help the planet. I'll blame this one on pottery, surfmom, and RTLSNK.
I've always thought trees are the best way to store carbon. They gobble the stuff out of the atmosphere and convert it to wood. The buzz-word for that is "carbon sequestration." Although all plants use carbon dioxide, the nice thing about trees it they lock it away for generations. In fact, in using wood for building materials, furniture, and other items, much of the carbon stays locked away far beyond the lifetime of the tree.
Trees provide us with many other benefits as well. Food and shelter for wildlife, shade, protection from winds, natural cooling through transpiration, and they are just plain nice to look at. Many trees can give your a break in you grocery budget, by providing free food in the form of fruit and nuts. I cook outdoors a lot of the time, and have learned to make my own charcoal, which is free, has no chemical additives, burns cleaner, and doesn't require the energy to produce that those factory made briquets do. In addition to providing a renewable source of energy, tree trimmings and leaves can be composted to provide an excellent and environmentally friendly source of fertilizer, giving back to the soil what the tree has used to grow. Composting, done properly, is not messy, or smelly, and doesn't take up much space or create an eyesore.
I'm lucky, I have a few acres with hundreds of trees. People with really nice homes visit my humble abode and comment about how beautiful it is. I bet they spend a lot more time and money on maintenance than I do. And every time there is a hurricane or storm severe enough to damage the trees, I go around the property and collect more free fuel. I also have a ready supply of nice wood for the wood lathe.
As RTLSNK pointed out, in the US your state forestry department will provide you with seedlings that are native to your area at little or no cost. So plant some trees, feel good about it, and the earth will love you for it.
Here's the sunset I promised...
Blog Name - "The Ark" - contributed by surfmom
Blog Theme Song -contributed by beell
ark image credit
Updated: 4:11 AM GMT on January 03, 2009