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And here I am, adding yet another blog to the long list of blogs that I seem to be miraculously managing amidst all my daydreaming. This one, however, is for the mundane day to day happenings

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Going green on the eve of love

The 13th of Feb this year is also Friday the 13th. It also marks the beginning of the tenth year since Merryn and I got together. Yes, we beat St Valentine by a day! Why am I not talking about our recent wedding? Of course, that was a hell lot of fun. But it was merely another day that we got to celebrate with friends and family.What still tops our list of memorable days is the one where we decided to let our guards down in front of each other and decided to take the leap of faith together. We've had our spring-summer-fall-winter cycles, both literally and figuratively. Having gone through our fair share of ups, downs, and kittens, having realized that what we share is not a mere martian-venusian pact, and having gotten to a point where we can look back and see that the happiness outweighs the tears by a ton, we decided to do something different this year. Something that can grow with what we share and stick around long after we're gone

So we planted a Frangipani tree. Well, it's not a tree yet. That's kinda the point, right? You plant something together, you nurture it, prune it, let it grow and blossom, and watch it stand tall, all in the span of a lifetime. It's a safe bet, I think, considering that that an average Plumeria tree lives for more than a hundred years, provided you don't start a war on it. I kid you not! It takes over 500 degrees of heat to burn a Frangipani and it can stand pretty much everything once it has survived the initial few years

Yup, that's the 'tree' we've planted. It's also the first one we've planted together. And with planting a tree comes bigger responsibilities, one of which is encouraging others to plant some. So if the above reasons weren't tempting enough, here are fifteen more reasons (all of which have been copied off the internet for the sole purpose of spreading awareness) why you should plant a tree.

1. Combating the greenhouse effect
Global warming is not a myth. keep burning those fossil fuels and destroy tropical rainforests, and we'll all learn it the hard way. Heat from the sun, reflected back from the earth, gets trapped in the ever thickening layer of greenhouse gases (courtesy, you, me, and the rest of the world), causing global temperatures to rise. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major greenhouse gas. Trees absorb CO2, removing and storing the carbon while releasing the oxygen back into the air. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles.
(Source:  http://www.treepeople.org)

2. Cleaning the 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. So if flatulence is your thing, make sure you plant a forest

3. Providing oxygen
In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people. And trust me when I say this, we're a lot more than just 18 peeps

4. Cooling the streets and the city
Trees cool the city by up to 10°F, by shading our homes and streets, breaking up urban “heat islands” and releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves.

5. Conserving energy
Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants.

6. Saving water
Shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns. Most newly planted trees need only fifteen gallons of water a week. As trees transpire, they increase atmospheric moisture.

7. Preventing water pollution
Trees reduce runoff by breaking rainfall thus allowing the water to flow down the trunk and into the earth below the tree. This prevents stormwater from carrying pollutants to the ocean. When mulched, trees act like a sponge that filters this water naturally and uses it to recharge groundwater supplies.

8. Preventing soil erosion
On hillsides or stream slopes, trees slow runoff and hold soil in place.

9. Shielding us from ultra-violet rays
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. Trees reduce UV-B exposure by about 50 percent, thus providing protection when we spend hours outdoors. Sunscreen can only do so much

10. Providing food
Where do you think all those fruits in your salad comes from? Aside from fruit for humans, trees provide food for birds and wildlife.

11. Healing
No hocus-pocus here! Studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with less complications. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. Exposure to trees and nature aids concentration by reducing mental fatigue. Feasting your eyes on some greenery also improves vision

12. Reducing violence
Neighborhoods and homes that are barren have shown to have a greater incidence of violence in and out of the home than their greener counterparts. Trees and landscaping help to reduce the level of fear.

13. Marking the seasons
Is it winter, spring, summer or fall? Look at the trees. If you're in the right part of the world, you'll know

14. Creating economic opportunities
Fruit harvested from community orchards can be sold, thus providing income. Small business opportunities in green waste management and landscaping arise when cities value mulching and its water-saving qualities. Vocational training for youth interested in green jobs is also a great way to develop economic opportunities from trees.

15. Providing a canopy and habitat for wildlife
Sycamore and oak are among the many urban species that provide excellent urban homes for birds, bees, possums and squirrels.

That's all from me for now. Tag me once you've planted your tree. And for all those who missed the wedding, here's a pic from 1-11-2014. It wasn't just the anniversary that had gone green ;) 

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