Trees can do a lot of things to benefit the environment. They keep the air clean, provide shelter from predators and shade our homes. But they also have some other very important benefits for air quality, one of them being how they benefit our health. For a long time scientists and environmentalists have known that trees can help purify the air around us and reduce respiratory problems. Even your local tree can benefit you.
Trees are fantastic for reducing both chemical and anthropogenic (radiation-related) pollution. If you live in a forest or a part of the country that is surrounded by trees you will notice a reduction in the air pollution floating through the air. The reason is because the dense cover of leaves block out most of the pollutants that you would normally see floating through the air. When you go away for a few hours or so your air is still very fresh but when you return the air is saturated with pollutants from traffic fumes, garden fertilizers, pesticides and other man made chemicals. Your lungs are getting the double whammy.
A second way in which trees can benefit the atmosphere around you is by filtering UV radiation from the sun. This is because trees are very good at blocking out this particular spectrum of light. Think of all of the tanning booths and indoor lighting that you see in touristy areas. The tourists are breathing in these harmful rays every day, even if they don’t visit the country they have their reasons to stay indoors all year round.
Trees can also reduce respiratory diseases. Respiratory problems affect thousands of people every day and the biggest killer is lung cancer. Trees can soak up these pollutants and reduce the amount of damage to your respiratory system that you would normally suffer from breathing in pollutants. This can help prevent other respiratory problems such as bronchitis or asthma. Asthma can be fatal without treatment.
Trees can help you fight off air pollution as well. As they grow old, they become more dense so they block more of the sun’s heat from entering your home. This means that less heat is escaping causing your air conditioner to work harder to cool your home. Less energy means you’ll use less of them. This results in lower energy bills and ultimately lower air conditioning costs.
One of the most important things about trees is that when you see one, you automatically think of cleanliness. When you’re outside on a sunny day, it can be hard to avoid the pollutants floating around in the air. You might think that leaving your window open to get some fresh air is a good idea, but there is something to be said about being outdoors when the air is clean. Even on days when there isn’t much going on outside, you should still consider opening your windows to let some fresh air into the home. Opening your windows to help you breath better helps reduce symptoms of air pollution.