The plants and trees can well protect us from the natural disasters of tomorrow, but only when we learn to protect them as well.

Why and how plants and trees are the hope to a safe and better planet, and can help save our lives?

Green Trees in Sunlight

Plants and Trees are the natural lungs of our Mother Earth. They have been supporting our lives since our very first footstep on this planet till today. Despite of that, do we have any love and respect for trees from our hearts? They are the ones who have the power to stabilize and channelize the forces the nature. But unfortunately, it seems they are no longer going to be a part of our lives as we have been clearing them in large numbers every day. Is that really the penalty for supporting our lives for thousands of years on this planet?! Our one mistake can put an end to all the lives on planet earth.

Trees cut down in Amazon Rainforest

Deforestation continues to happen because we are not stopping being the consumer for wooden products or any product that is associated with deforestation for its manufacturing. If we stop consuming such products that involves deforestation, we would be able to stop clearing of forests to a much greater extent. It's as simple as that. Simply telling the companies not to cut trees will bring no result unless we stop demanding and using their products anymore. It would be a direct answer that we don't need any product that causes deforestation directly or indirectly in large or even in small scale. Trees bring us life, and we cannot sacrifice a life for any product. A tree is a mother which stands to support our life. It produces oxygen and food for us, while forms a home for many other forms of life to flourish under its shade.

Some facts to be known: —

♦ More than 20 percent of the world oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest. While during the past 40 years, close to 20 percent of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down—more than in all the previous 450 years since European colonization began.

Deforestation in Amazon Rainforest

♦ The Amazon rainforest contains the largest collection of living plant and animal species in the world. The diversity of plant species in the Amazon rainforest is the highest on Earth. It is estimated that a single hectare (2.47 acres) of Amazon rainforest contains about 900 tons of living plants, including more than 750 types of trees and 1500 other plants. To date, some 438,000 species of plants of economic and social interest have been registered in the region, and many more have yet to be catalogued or even discovered.

♦ The Amazon Rainforest covers over a billion acres, encompassing areas in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and the Eastern Andean region of Ecuador and Peru. If Amazonia were a country, it would be the ninth largest in the world. Brazil is gifted with a full third of the world's remaining rainforests; unfortunately, it is also one of the world's great rainforest destroyers, burning or felling more than 2.7 million acres each year. More than 20 percent of rainforest in the Amazon has been razed and is gone forever.

♦ One-fifth of the world's fresh water is in the Amazon Basin. More than 2,000 species of fish have been identified in the Amazon Basin—more species than in the entire Atlantic Ocean.

A Wildfire

♦ More than 150 acres of rainforest is lost every minute of every day, and 78 million acres lost every year! A 2005 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that the Earth's total forest area continued to decrease at about 13 million hectares per year, equal to the area of Greece.

♦ Today around 13 percent of Earth's land is covered with tropical forests (about 2 billion hectares or 7.7 million square miles), of which much consists of tropical rainforest. The largest unbroken stretch of rainforest is found in the Amazon river basin of South America.

♦ Rainforests are often called the lungs of the planet for their role in absorbing carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and producing oxygen, upon which all humans and animals depend for survival. Rainforests also stabilize climate, house incredible amounts of plants and wildlife, and produce nourishing rainfall all around the planet.

♦ There are many causes of deforestation. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reports that half of the trees illegally removed from forests are used as fuel. Some other common reasons are: To make more land available for housing and urbanization.

Trees removing air pollution

♦ More the trees, less is the global warming, and vice-versa. Trees also reduce pollution, stop spreading of diseases, cool the environment, bring rainfall, hold the soil firmly in place, and are the sources of various medicines.

Obviously, they can help us out in solving all our major problems we're facing now regarding the climate. But what we do is: cut them, burn them, break them, peel them, destroy them, and so on. Really, hats off to our wisdom! This way we are digging our own graves.

The plants and trees can well protect us from the natural disasters of tomorrow, but only when we learn to protect them as well. Hence, our foremost step is to protect all the plants and trees that are already there on this planet, and plant more trees at the same time to increase their number. Now, not everybody can go to plant a tree but can at least help those who can do it for us. Simultaneously, we must try to stop the sources of pollution and try to use as much green energy (energy from the renewable sources, etc.) as possible. It would be beneficial enough to reduce global warming to a minimum that is required for life to sustain on earth.

Here's what you can do about deforestation: —

Planting a Tree

♦ We all must plant at least one tree on our birthday every year as a gift to Mother Nature for our successful life on earth. Now our work doesn’t end just by planting a tree. We also need to care for it till it grows mature and becomes self-dependent.

♦ We must write completely on every page of our notebooks. No pages or part of the pages must be left blank. Paper must not be wasted.

Rather than purchasing new books every time, we must try to get the used books from our elders or friends for our use. This will cause a decrease in the demand for new books and hence prevent further felling of trees for the manufacturing of paper that is used to create new books. And, as far as possible, all the companies manufacturing paper products—such as books, newspapers, etc. must use recycled papers instead of new ones to manufacture their products. We should opt for eBooks (electronic books) whenever possible, instead of purchasing paperback editions.

♦ We must recycle paper instead of burning or throwing them out as garbage. We should send used paper to paper recycling companies for recycling where old and used papers are converted into completely new ones to be used once again by processing them through a series of chemical processes.

Children planting trees

♦ We must try to wish our friends and relatives verbally (or digitally) on occasions such as Birthday, Marriage, New Year, Marriage Anniversary, etc. and also invite them on our occasions personally instead of using greeting cards, birthday cards, marriage cards, anniversary cards, and other sorts of invitation cards printed on paper.

♦ We must try to use less of wooden furniture and decrease the demand for such products consequently. Instead, we can use furniture made of other environment-friendly synthetic materials.

♦ Look for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification on wood and wood products. And eat vegetarian meals as often as possible.

Shifting cultivation must be strictly prohibited. In this system, a part of forest land is cleared and is used for cultivation till it is fertile. The land is left barren when it becomes infertile and farmers move on to other forest lands. In this way, both lands and vegetation get destroyed on a large scale.

Planted trees grown up tall

Trees must be planted on crop lands in between different sections of crops. This will help in preventing soil erosion and would thus retain the fertility of the soil for the growth of healthier crops.

♦ Hospitals, public libraries, houses, and hotels must be surrounded by vegetation to prevent noise pollution. The presence of vegetation obstructs the flow of sound waves, and hence people in houses, public libraries, hotels, and patients in hospitals, can work, study, sleep, and recover peacefully.

♦ We must not unnecessarily break the twigs and branches of a tree. They are very precious because each set of leaves is responsible for balancing the level of carbon dioxide released by living organisms including us. We should not unnecessarily disturb this balance.

Discourage companies who create products through felling trees or by clearing forest lands.

Trees in the Morning as a hope

♦ When we cut down a tree, according to a study, we must plant at least ten plant saplings to compensate for the loss. This is a rule that has also been framed for both the common man as well as industrialists, by the government, regarding environmental concern.

♦ All barren and empty lands must be covered with green trees and vegetation as far as possible. This will help reduce the amount of sun rays reflected back into the atmosphere, and also reduce carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This could double our efforts in the attack on global warming.

Protect the trees and forest areas whenever you realize that somebody is about to clear the forest areas or cut down even a single tree. We must always defend the trees that help to sustain our life on earth.

A tree—is not just a huge piece of wood, covered with green leaves and colourful flowers sprouting from its thick branches and thinner twigs. It offers shade, under which flourishes life of all the other species of this world. It’s a Mother. Worship it, love it, pray for it, and help it grow. By doing this, you support your own life as well as of others.

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