When you plant trees, you don't just make your property or your community nicer. You also directly reduce your carbon footprint. To a large extent, trees eat carbon dioxide. However, in addition to that benefit, you can also plant trees in a way to help you save energy and generate even less carbon.
Every living thing on earth is made up of four basic elements -- carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. They make up about 96 percent of your body, and they make up most of a tree's roots, trunk, branches and leaves as well. We get our carbon by eating it through our mouths. Trees, on the other hand, breathe it in the way that we breathe in oxygen. When a tree breaths, it inhales carbon dioxide and exhales oxygen -- the exact opposite of what humans do. This natural process helps to clean the air.
When you plant trees, you are directly cleaning the air. As a tree matures, it can consume 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year as it turns that CO2 into parts of itself. It also releases enough oxygen to supply your needs for two years. These two effects help to give the earth a healthier climate.
Beyond the basic biology of trees, they also reduce your carbon footprint in multiple ways. Here are some of the many environmental benefits of planting trees:
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