In Other Words – why it is important to plant trees

Basil English,

Basil English, Silviculture supervisor of Newfoundland’s Forestry and Agrifoods Agency

People often say that planting trees is a good deed for the environment, but when you try to add it up, you realize the value of a living tree is incalculable to our planet and the species on it.  So to get to the root of the matter, we interviewed the Tree Guy aka Basil English, Silviculture supervisor of Newfoundland’s Forestry and Agrifoods Agency.

Is planting trees good for the environment?

Yes with out a doubt! 

Does it help address climate change?

So there are a few ways in which planting trees help address climate change: some of the direct-effective benefits of plantings trees are that they absorb carbon and release oxygen.  We breathe what they create.

Trees also help mitigate climate change by keeping urban temperatures cooler areas in the summer by providing shade to buildings and homes during summer. This reduces the need for the use of air conditioners (though not so much here in Newfoundland!). In winter trees block wind and reduce wind speeds keeping houses and buildings warmer, which also helps reduce energy usage

Does planting trees here in Newfoundland make a difference in other parts of the world?

Climate cycles have no borders, but it’s difficult to see direct impacts. BUT any measure taken in any single country will have benefits everywhere. By planting trees, we increase the carbon we sequester and we reduce energy consumption.

Does planting a tree in your own backyard make a difference?

Large-scale tree planting projects have larger impacts on the environment, but individuals planting trees can have a bunch of benefits by helping people act in a way that is very real, physical and connects people with their environment. Too often people feel helpless when it comes to global environmental challenges. This is a way people can look at the tree growing as something tangible. 

In urban settings, trees provide habitat for birds and larger animals, and improve aesthetics (and property values). They also make people feel good – there are many studies showing that people’s mental health can be improved by nature, which helps them feel more content and with a better sense of wellbeing.

Depending on where you live, trees can also help reduce noise pollution from cars, buses, and industry.  

What are some of the environmental benefits of planting trees?

On the larger scale, trees and forests are part of the earth’s ecosystem. Trees help improve water quality by filtering water pollutants. In addition, they slow down the movement of water which reduces the risk of flooding. Trees also can sequester pollutants from the air, water and soil.  

When is the best time to plant trees in Newfoundland and Labrador?

It depends on your ability to take care of the tree. Through our Department’s reforestation program we plant trees on an industrial scale – millions of trees – and those trees are usually on their own so we usually plant from spring through summer so that the trees have time to acclimatize for the winter. It is really about being careful and making sure the roots are handled carefully and the tree is well watered. So if you are planting in your backyard you can probably plant from May (or when it begins to thaw) to September/October. 

So there you have it! Planting trees is a good deed for the environment, and for yourself, and it doesn’t matter if you plant 1, 2, 3 or even 100 trees – it’s all good! So grab a shovel and get your hands dirty!

thegreenrock.ca is proud to partner with Junior Forest Wardens NL for the Annual Tree Sale.   In Other Words is a project of thegreenrock.ca – Guide to the Good. You know when people start talking about the importance of taking care of the environment, and you’re interested, but it’s hard to pay attention when they talk about the microns, the quarks and parts per million? In Other Words makes scientific information understandable and practical.   If you like it, share it!

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Happy Earth Day!- living la vida local

last Sunday thegreenrock.ca, with support from Memorial University, Department of Forestry and Agrifoods, and some really cool local businesses launched the How do You Fit in? initiative during the Earth Day Fair at the Suncor Fluvarium.   It goes like this:  the earth is one big beautiful interconnected system, and we all have a role to play in caring for it.  When it comes to ‘thinking planet and living local’, we asked, “How do you fit in?”

how do you fit in

and guests to the Fluvarium answered!   the liked the sneak-peek preview of the Habits for Your Habitat ~ Guide to the Good site that we’ve been building on the past months; they lined up for the white spruce seedlings which we completely ran out of;  they wanted to win the excellent “Living Local” draw with some of St. John’s finest – goodies from St. John’s Soap Works, a ‘Shop Local’ poster, a gift certificate from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, as well as locally made fire-weed jam from Casey’s Crafts.  (congrats Nicole!)

But the biggest deal of the day was how people see themselves fitting in – and there are so  many ways.  Answers came in English, Spanish, Korean on paper, in voice, in video and in art.  Turns out there is great love on for the earth, and once our voices join in unison we will do a better job of caring for our planet.

Let’s keep going!  thegreenrock.ca is now moving into phase 2  which is the development of a creative ‘talking pictures’ and an some insight on living la vida local with Dr. Sean McGrath from For A New Earth. The responses we received were very inspiring !  We can’t wait to share it with you.

Stay tuned

cropped-thegreenrock-1.pngthegreenrock.ca is a not-for–profit company that informs and inspires people in Newfoundland and Labrador on ways to address thegreenrock.ca is a not-for–profit company that informs and inspires people in Newfoundland and Labrador on ways to address the challenges facing our planet, our communities, and our lives.  like and share!

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reasons to like the weather – July 2015, NL

wpid-20140104_160321.jpg1. no mosquitos

2. people stay close – seeking body heat

3. no shoveling

4. it’s not too hot.

5. if you’re not pleased with the location of your plants, you can transplant them no problem

6.  the air is not choked with smoke from forest fires

7.  people aren’t complaining about the heat

8.  sunburn is not a problem

9.  hair curls

10.  cool weather vacations are trendy

11.  there are good jokes

12.  the weather is good for running the Tele 10

13.  it’s good for allergies

14.  it’s good for fishing

15.  the grass is nice and green

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thegreenrock.ca is a non-profit that informs and inspires people in Newfoundland and Labrador on ways to address the challenges facing our planet, our communities, and our lives.  like and share!

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#g2kgtg – shanti shakti uganda

Shatki Salecheck out these tablet covers and hand-made necklaces and bracelets – #g2kgtg – beautiful unusual gifts that will brighten up the darkest of winter days, and brighten the future for Ugandan women!

hits #5H Giving because they’re handmade,  healthy and helpful!

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the items are all handmade with Ugandan batik fabric and other materials. beads are made from a process of cutting recycled paper into very long triangular strips, rolling them into small bead shapes, painting and repeatedly shellacking each single bead before designing and stringing the beads.

the goods are bought, brought and sold by Bobby Bessey, friend to thegreenrock.ca and yoga teacher.  100% of proceeds goes to Shanti Uganda, an organization that improves infant and maternal health, provides safe women-centered care and supports the wellbeing of birthing mothers and women living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Bobby is leading a group to Uganda in May. visit ShaktiYoga.ca for details.10665346_10152842766516253_1063480403265871519_n

inbox Bobby Bessey to purchase – items are going fast!

 

 

 

 

 

cropped-thegreenrock_small.pnggood to know gifts that give (#g2kgtg) is a special project of thegreenrock.ca that looks at local gifts that people will like, use, and won’t leave an unnecessarily big footprint on the planet or humankind.  please like and share!

thegreenrock.ca is a non-profit that informs and inspires people in Newfoundland and Labrador on ways to address the challenges facing our planet, our communities, and our lives.  like and share!                   facebook thegreenrock.ca, google+ thegreenrock.ca

 

#g2kgtg – tis the season to ReStore!

restore the giving spirit of the season!  the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Logy Bay Road, is a treasure trove of amazing finds that helps Habitat NL help families find affordable home ownership.  5H Giving in spades. vintage, antique, one-of-a-kind or just off the shelf recycled and new surprises that make this Christmas present merry, and Christmas future all the merrier for a family in this province.

people and stores donate the good things they don’t need any more, and the stuff that comes (and goes quickly) is amazing.  last week there was a big old record player,and a gobsmacking cupboard and mantle.  cupboard doors to create with, and so much more.  proceeds from sales of all things help Habitat do its business of building homes with families throughout the province, and there is no HST..

like ReStore Manager Ryan O’Dea says, the ReStore is full of community camaraderie.  the vid tells the story!  it was a gift to Habitat from Roger Maunder, Up Sky Down films.  (Up Sky Down did the You Are Not Alone with Amelia Curran).

 

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good to know gifts that give (#g2kgtg) is a special project of thegreenrock.ca that looks at local gifts that people will like, use, and won’t leave an unnecessarily big footprint on the planet or humankind.  please like and share!

thegreenrock.ca is a non-profit that informs and inspires people in Newfoundland and Labrador on ways to address the challenges facing our planet, our communities, and our lives.  like and share!                   facebook thegreenrock.ca, google+ thegreenrock.ca

shout out – 2014 thegreenrock.ca CCNL Green Team

seeking sustainability!

seeking sustainability!

good things happen when good ideas come together.  thegreenrock.ca CCNL green team is officially finished for the summer, but the good things and good ideas will keep on.

through July and August thegreenrock.ca Green Team members – Jeff Smyth (lead), David Mahre, Tamara Segura, and Chris Ball sought and found so many fabulous examples of sustainable activities.  the fruit of their labours (video stories) will be posted on thegreenrock.ca (and other places) through the fall.

every day they were inspired and impressed by the volume. caliber, passion and will of people to live life in a manner than cares for each other and the earth.  in their words, the people they met were ‘happy people’.  there is something to be said for that!  thank you all for being part of it.

thanks too to Jeff, David, Tamara and Chris, to the amazing staff at Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador, and to Junior Forest Wardens NL.

check back!  you’ll see good things on the Tree of Life, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Forest Wardens, the Quidi Vidi Plantation, Green Tips, and so much more!

 

 

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thegreenrock.ca is a non-profit that informs and inspires people in Newfoundland and Labrador on ways to address the challenges facing our planet, our communities, and our lives.  like and share!

facebook thegreenrock.ca, google+ thegreenrock.ca

 

thegreenrock.ca goes to the woods… day 2

lesson 2 – get on with it.  it’s not the thing, its the reaction that makes a fuss.

stuff happens all the time to and with everyone.  if reaction to stuff (screaming, annoyance, frustration…) takes priority and precedence over resulting action (fixing, picking up, stopping flow of blood)… stuff will fool you up.

the sun moves across the sky.   the tide comes in and goes out.  the stars appear.  and disappear.  reoest.

makes me feel silly for ever worrying. about anything.

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