Posts Tagged ‘pollution’

Appreciate Your Trees  

I love watching the trees take turns blooming this time of year. First the magnolia with its lovely pale pink flowers, followed by the cherries with their brighter pink and fuchsia blossoms, then the apples and their tufts of white flowers. Coming along is the golden chain tree with its delicate, dangling yellow flowers. The oaks are also flowering with their tender green leaves slowly emerging. (Did you know that all trees flower, some less conspicuously than others?) The majestic upright horse chestnut flowers are peaking and the fragrant purple lilacs are everywhere. Take a walk in your yard or around your neighborhood and appreciate the gift of trees.

Horse Chestnut Tree

Trees Need Care Too

Trees like humans, need preventative care to ward off disease, especially as they suffer from environmental stresses like air pollution, soil contamination and compaction, exotic invasive insect pests, temperature extremes, devastating storms and drought.

There are several organic approaches to prolong the life of a tree and maintain its good health and vigor.

  • Fix the soil with compost and organic supplements. Raking leaves in the fall removes vital organic matter, and toxic chemicals and high nitrogen based fertilizers deplete the soil of important nutrients.  It is imperative to replenish the soil with amendments or compost.  Healthy, nutrient rich soil determines how well your trees grow.
  • Consult a local arborist – a tree needs to be periodically inspected for structural defects, insect pests and disease.
  • Trees should be pruned properly and focus on removing dead, dying, diseased and broken branches.
  • Proper irrigation and mulching, especially in times of drought, are essential to maintain a tree’s good health.

Trees play a critical role in the health of the planet. They are not living statues – they need care and protection just like any other living thing.  Please help preserve these majestic beauties.

Some information compiled from bostontreepreservation.com.

 

For more green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.

 

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Friday is Arbor Day!

This Friday is Arbor Day – always the last Friday in April – a tradition that began nationwide in 1872 and continues today with individuals and groups celebrating trees and nature.

Planting new trees and caring for existing ones is more important than ever as we battle exotic invasive insect pests, air pollution, soil compaction and contamination, limited water and nutrient availability and the overall effects of extreme weather conditions and climate change.  Trees are much more than just a beautiful big plant; their social, communal, and environmental benefits are numerous.

  • They manufacture oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide.
  • They provide shade in summer and windbreak in winter.
  • The beauty and serenity of trees have been shown to help hospital patients recover more quickly.
  • Trees reduce crime in low-income urban areas and increase home property values.
  • Trees save energy, improve air quality, conserve water and provide homes to wildlife.
  • Trees offset our carbon footprints.
  • Large and majestic trees are a major asset to any community.

This Arbor Day, plant a tree seedling, learn how to care for the trees in your yard or neighborhood, read a tree identification book, or simply take a walk and appreciate not only their beauty but what they do for our health and for the health of the planet.

For group activity ideas, go to arborday.org.

For more green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.

LED Light Bulbs – Their Time Has Come

Just as we all have made the switch to compact fluorescent bulbs (I hope!), along come LED light bulbs, which are now the most energy-efficient, eco-friendly, and long-lasting.  And they are affordable!

LED bulbs last about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs and 3 times longer than CFLs. LED bulbs and diodes have a life time operational expectation of about 30,000 hours, or 11 years of continuous operation or 22 years of 50%.  Imagine not changing a light bulb but once every 20 years or more!

What’s more, you can cut your electric bill by 80 – 90%.  With a LED bulb, at least 60% of the electrical energy is converted to light.  Conventional incandescent bulbs convert 20% or less into light and the rest is lost as heat, which is why they are so hot to touch.

There are also more advantages.   CFL bulbs take a few minutes to brighten.  LEDs are bright immediately.  The color of the LED lights has improved immensely too – you can choose either whiter or warmer bulbs. And they are durable and dimmable.

Unlike CFLs, which contain toxic mercury, LED lights are free of toxic chemicals with zero UV emissions.

I just bought the CREE home LED bulb from Home Depot.  It looks almost exactly like a conventional bulb and only cost $10. CFL bulbs were a great interim energy-saving bulb, but now it’s time to make the switch to the eco-friendly LED light bulb.  You will pollute less and save money – you and the earth have everything to gain!

Information compiled from The New York Times New Reasons to Change Light Bulbs,By DAVID POGUE Published: March 20, 2013,

http://www.ledluxor.com/top-10-benefits-of-led-lighting,

http://www.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-tech/sustainable/led-light-bulb2.htm

 

 

Happy Arbor Day!

With Earth Day over (though everyday is really Earth Day), it’s on to Arbor Day. The last Friday in April is Arbor Day, a national holiday dating back to 1874 when J. Sterling Morton, a journalist and editor of an important Nebraska paper, founded it. (Arbor Day does vary in some states based on the best tree planting time.) His idea was to set aside a special day for tree planting; it is estimated that more one million trees were planted that first Arbor Day in Nebraska.  The tradition began nationwide in 1882 and continues today with individuals and groups celebrating trees and nature.

Tree

Tree (Photo credit: Adnan Yahya)

Planting new trees and caring for existing ones is more important than ever as we battle exotic invasive insect pests, air pollution, soil compaction and contamination, limited water and nutrient availability and the overall effects of extreme weather conditions and climate change.  Trees are much more than just a beautiful big plant; their social, communal, and environmental benefits are numerous.

  • They manufacture oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide.
  • They provide shade in summer and windbreak in winter.
  • The beauty and serenity of trees have been shown to help hospital patients recover more quickly.
  • Trees reduce crime in low-income urban areas and increase property values.
  • Trees help us save energy, improve air quality, conserve water and provide homes to wildlife.
  • Trees offset our carbon footprints.
  • Large and majestic trees are a major asset to any community.

My photo, taken April 25, 2003 at Student Acti...

This Friday, Arbor Day, plant a tree, learn how to care for a special tree in your yard or neighborhood, read a tree identification book, conduct a big tree search, or simply take a walk and appreciate their beauty, especially this time of year.  For group activity ideas, go to arborday.org.