by Ralph W. Reid

Originally Written: Saturday, September 23, 2006

As global warming becomes an ever-increasing problem, some individuals might be asking themselves what they can do to actually make a little difference in the overall problem. Changing one's lifestyle to help reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is one solution some individuals may be able to undertake, and those who have the opportunity to make such changes might even improve their household budgets a little in the process. Another approach to the carbon dioxide problem is to find ways to break down the carbon dioxide and remove it from the atmosphere. While industrial processes might be produced some day which remove carbon directly from the atmosphere so it can be used in construction and other projects, most individuals need a simpler solution if they are going to be able to help solve the problem themselves.

Perhaps one of the simplest things some individuals can do to help remove carbon dioxide from the earth's atmosphere is to plant one or more trees. Trees (and other plants) take in carbon dioxide from the surrounding atmosphere, remove the carbon from the carbon dioxide molecules to use as building material for their growth, and then release the remaining oxygen back into the surrounding atmosphere. While the description here leaves out many of the details of tree growth, a basic fact is that trees effectively remove carbon dioxide from the earth's atmosphere as a natural part of their growth process. Different types of trees grow best in different climates in different parts of the world, and a study in Australia has attempted to begin calculating just how much carbon dioxide different types of trees absorb in that region of the earth. Another source of information concerning this and other types of Carbon Sequestration from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) here in the United States of America is also available.

In general, planting trees can help curb global warming by setting up relatively long term carbon absorbers which often require low maintenance as they grow naturally in the environment. While planting trees is not the only solution which should be applied to the problem of global warming, it is one solution in which many individuals can participate. Whether individuals own their own land where trees can be planted or find tree planting programs which are looking for volunteers, many individuals can help to make a difference where the global warming problem is concerned. For those who can put in a little time and effort, one partial solution to the global warming problem is pretty clear: Plant a Tree--Save a World!