Trees are as important to human beings as food and water are. To keep city air cool and clean, trees should cover at least 40% of city land. One tree can clean toxic emissions from the dirty air exhausted from an average car being driven 4,000 miles.
Trees and land plants produce about 30% of the oxygen on earth, the rest (70%) is produced by plants in the ocean (which are being impacted by polluted water). Trees and other plants keep our air breathable by removing carbon dioxide and pollutants. They also add moisture through transpiration.
Trees reduce costs of using our resources. For example, shade trees save money and energy. The trees lining city streets can save up to 50% on air-conditioning bills during the summer. In cold places, trees provide windbreaks that can reduce heating bills by as much as 30% in the winter.
Trees conserve other resources. Forests hold soil in place. They keep rainwater from running off the land so that it soaks through to the aquifer. Trees keep the water from running off the land too quickly and help control floods. Trees take care of our soil and water.
Trees provide shelter, food, recreation, beauty, and homes for birds, insects, and other animals and, we must always remember, chocolate. (The cocoa tree, the source of chocolate, is now on the endangered species list!)
As important as trees are, we are destroying them much faster than they can grow without our help. Imagine how many trees are used all over the world. People cut down trees to make room for new farms, housing developments, highways and cities. Trees are used to make newspapers, computer paper, furniture, houses and many other products.
Whenever large parts of a forest are cut down, animals lose their homes and everything about the place where the trees grew changes.