We all know that oxygen is vital for animals to survive. The Amazon rainforest produces approximately 20% of the earth’s oxygen, but deforestation is occurring at a phenomenal rate. To make up for that, we are encouraged to plant trees where and when we can. The problem is that small trees can’t make up for one 100-foot tall tree with an 18-inch diameter, which only provides enough oxygen for two people each year. Just think of how many small trees, bushes and shrubs it would take to replace one of those trees. Thousands of trees just that size are being destroyed all over the world every day.
How Much Oxygen Is Enough?
Each man, woman and child on the earth consumes approximately 130 to 150 pounds of oxygen a year. Two mature trees like the one described above can support a family of four, but people aren’t the only consideration. Animals and insects consume oxygen too, and a large animal consumes much more than even a large human. If we all lived in an bubble, it would be easy to decide exactly how many trees and how much oxygen we would need, but we don’t. If there are only enough trees to support human life, we all suffer, because we all breathe the same air. Without oxygen in the atmosphere, the oceans will not have enough for the sea creatures either. So it’s not about cutting down one tree, it’s about the survival of every living thing on earth.The fact is, if we keep killing trees at the rate we are now, living things will begin to die on the land and in the sea. Deforestation is responsible for the extinction of 137 plant, animal and insect species every day or 50,000 a year through loss of habitat alone. How long will it be until there aren’t enough trees to sustain life on earth, and humans and animals start dying off until there are only enough left for the remaining oxygen to support?
What Can We Do?
It’s been said that you don’t plant a tree for yourself, you plant it for your grandchildren. That’s wise, because it will take that long for the tree to mature enough to provide the oxygen to support two of them. If we all planted a tree for ourselves and one for each of our children and one for each of our grandchildren, the earth may have a chance to recover. If and when those trees mature, they will continue the cycle of life for all living things. So plant a tree today and help produce oxygen for future generations.
Austin, Texas is where Peter Wendt calls home. He has been researching and writing for several years in the Lone Star state. If you would like to find out more about this topic, Peter encourages his readers to visit: Professional Tree Care Service