It’s the archetypal Earth Day image…a lush tree, its branches densely green with foliage. Like many symbols of Earth Day, it tends to be one we take for granted. Over the next five years, as Earth Day moves closer to its 50th anniversary, the call from the Earth Day Network is to help achieve one of their most ambitious goals yet —planting 7.8 billion trees via this year’s global theme of Trees for the Earth. So, why trees?
- Trees help combat climate change. They absorb excess and harmful CO2 from our atmosphere. In fact, in a single year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced by driving the average car 26,000 miles. Trees help us breathe clean air.
- Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.
- Trees help communities. Trees help communities achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability and provide food, energy and income.
Let’s keep in mind that when looking at this tremendous goal, it’s important to also think about conservation and sustainability. That can mean taking very easy steps in your everyday life that help you personally as well as the environment. One direct tie to the Trees for the Earth theme is taking action to end the junk mail that comes to your home or business. Another mail reducing tactic is to sign up for paperless billing wherever possible, such as through American Water’s My H2O Online account management program.
Other ways you can observe Earth Day this April 22 include:
- Participating in your local Earth Day activities.
- Taking a “refresher course” on wise water use.
- Getting an at-a-glance look at how utilities work toward the joining of hands of economics and sustainability in your service area.
- More deeply understanding the role utilities like American Water play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and overall energy use.
Through steps like these, it is possible to make a significant and measurable impact on the Earth, and help create the foundation of a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet for all. So I hope that you have a Happy Earth Day, and encourage you to celebrate the impact you make EVERY day.