Plant and protect trees

What a difference trees make! They sequester and store carbon (CO2), produce oxygen, enhance our quality of life with beauty, health benefits, cleaner air, and reduced stress. Planting more trees reduces the overall concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. On a macro basis, protecting tropical rainforests, wooded regions and wetlands, and supporting reforestation efforts all contribute to reducing the global concentration of greenhouse gases.

Trees are natural air conditioners

The evaporation from a single tree can produce the cooling effect of ten room-size, residential air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.

Trees make cities more livable

A lush canopy of folliage ensures that summer temperatures are at least 6 to 8 degrees lower than in comparable neighborhoods without trees.

Trees offer shade and windbreaks

Tree windbreaks can reduce residential heating costs 10-15%; while shading and evaporative cooling from trees can cut residential air-conditioning costs 20-50%.

Trees improve water quality

Urban forests promote beneficial water quality and reduce storm water management costs.

Source: Canopy

Yet many lower income neighborhoods have few trees, making them hotter, with residents suffering adverse health, environmental, and financial effects.

A joint investigation by NPR and the University of Maryland's Howard Center for Investigative Journalism found that low-income areas in dozens of major U.S. cities are more likely to be hotter than their wealthier counterparts, and those areas are disproportionately communities of color.

Correlation between heat and income in Oakland, California

Planting trees in lower income neighborhoods is a relatively modest investment with major benefits to residents, municipalities, and the planet.

Small, insulated, energy efficient and well-shaded homes that don’t require air conditioning are low-carbon alternatives to solar powered dwellings.

What a difference a tree makes!