Today we celebrate Arbor Day in South Africa, the start of Arbor month

So…… what does this mean?

Arbor Month promotes the planting and maintenance of indigenous trees throughout South Africa. In South Africa, Arbor Day was first celebrated in 1983. In 1999, the celebration of Arbour Day was extended to National Arbor Week. It is now celebrated for the entire month of September.

In 2013 the trees being highlighted are:

Common: Blossom Tree or Keurboom (Virgilia oroboides)
Rare: Cross-Berry or Kruisbessie (Grewia occidentalis)
Powder-puff Tree or Poeierkwasboom (Barringtonia racemosa)

The Importance of Trees

Trees absorb carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen. The natural carbon dioxide cycle keeps a balance in the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere. But our actions and behaviour cause changes which upset this natural balance. The creation of too many greenhouse gases causes an imbalance with heat being trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere, increasing the overall average temperature resulting in global warming.

We produce excessive amount of carbon dioxide by burning coal and petrol (referred to as ‘fossil fuels’ or fossil energy) in our power plants, factories and cars, and in deforestation.

The destruction of rainforests and cutting down of other forests also affects the balancing act. By destroying Earth’s natural forestation we threaten our existence.

Planting trees is one of the most cost-effective ways of offsetting our carbon emissions. However we do need to do all we can to reduce our footprint on the planet, and offset that which cannot be reduced by planting trees.

Trees play a vital role in rural and urban populations. They are needed to enrich and anchor soil, to maximise water supplies, to beautify and humanise townships and urban areas and to provide shade and shelter. They are also crucial for biodiversity conservation. Products and services from trees include food, timber, fibre, medicines and energy.

“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago; the second best time is now” ~ confucius

This post was brought to us Courtesy of an environmental awareness website that provides tips on how each of us can take steps in the green direction to reduce our impact on the Planet.

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