Giving Tuesday is considered to be an international day of giving and lands on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday season. This is a good time to reflect on how nature gives to us freely every day, and how we can give back. This year One Tree Planted is helping you double your impact for the environment by matching donations on our Giving Tuesday page.
Let's take a look at the ways nature gives to us.
1. Clean Air to Breathe Trees provide us with clean fresh air to inhale into our lungs and stay healthy. One mature tree can sequester up to 48 pounds of carbon a year, and forests absorb one third of fossil fuel emissions every year!
2. Food to Eat A lot of our food comes right from trees! According to the Food and Agriculture Organization almost 50% of fruit is produced from trees. Furthermore, trees help maintain the health and balance of other agricultural crops by creating shade and adding nutrients to the soil, protecting the land from mudslides and desertification, and creating a water cycle that supports the local micro-climate.
3. Job Opportunities A lot of people rely on nature for their livelihoods. In fact, 1.6 billion people rely on forest resources as a way to make a living. Land restoration practices such as agroforestry provide lucrative and sustainable job opportunities to surrounding communities, and when managed sustainably, forests also provide resources that meet global demands for materials.
4. Habitat for Humans and Animals It is probably no surprise that forests provide many of our furry friends a place to live. 80% of the world's terrestrial biodiversity is found in forests, including plants, animals, and fungi, all of which rely on both the forest and each other for the entire food chain. Beyond that, many people around the world still rely on forest resources to heat and build homes.
5. Resources to Heal Have you ever thought about where your medicine comes from? 25% of key ingredients of medicine come from forests! For example, aspirin comes from tree bark. The bark of willow trees are also used as a pain reliever.
6. Water to Drink Water is one of our most basic requirements for survival. Trees are a vital part of the water cycle that helps grow our food, and they also filter the water we drink through their roots. Trees also help reduce water flow when it is not desired, such as by creating a natural barrier in coastal areas to reduce the amount of stormwater that can damage communities and properties.
7. A Place to Reflect Beyond the physical resources that nature provides, there is a natural connection that we as living beings on the planet have to nature. There are countless studies about how immersing yourself in nature is good for your body, mind, and soul. John Muir said it best, "The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
Make this Giving Tuesday count by giving back to nature. We only have one planet, let's take care of mother nature the same way she takes care of us. We have many reforestation projects around the world, pick one that most resonates with you. Having trouble picking just one? Visit our Facebook Fundraiser and your donation will go towards the projects most in need.