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We often take trees for granted, but have you ever stopped to think of all the benefits they provide us every day? From forests containing thousands of trees to those surrounding your home, each has enormous potential to benefit not only the world, but your community. With the help of our friends at the Arbor Day Foundation, we would like to share just some of the ways that trees benefit us.

Research by the U.S. Forest Service has shown that trees remove pollution from the atmosphere, improving the quality of the air we breathe. In fact, according to the Department of Agriculture, one acre of forest can absorb up to six tons of carbon dioxide and can supply four tons of oxygen. Globally, forests play a major role in the fight to reduce fossil fuel emissions. Up to one-third of fossil fuel emissions from 1990 to 2007 have been removed from the air by the world’s forests. Stepping back from a global perspective, even roadside trees in your neighborhood can reduce nearby indoor air pollution by more than 50 percent. The next time you walk past a tree, take in a deep, relaxing breath!

Clean water is one of the most important resources in the world. Much of it comes from 09_AH_Trees_Body Imageforested areas and watersheds, which supply 75 percent of the world’s accessible fresh water. These forested watersheds (areas of land that catch rainfall and other precipitation) funnel into marshes, streams, rivers, lakes, or groundwater, providing quality drinking water to more than 180 million Americans. This source of clean water is also very cost effective: New York City spent $1.5 billion to preserve and maintain the forested watershed that supplies New York City’s drinking water. A filtration plant large enough to clean New York City’s water supply would have cost more than $6 billion. Today, New Yorkers enjoy some of the cleanest drinking water in the world while saving billions of dollars, all thanks to investing in the preservation of their forested watersheds.

Aside from providing fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink, trees have positive impacts on other aspects of our health. Shown by laboratory research by the University of Texas A&M, visual exposure to settings with trees has shown to significantly reduce stress, blood pressure and muscle tension. It has also been shown that office workers with a view of trees report significantly less stress and more overall satisfaction at work.  Even community forests and trees within cities can increase lifespans of those living nearby, according to studies by the U.S Forest Service.

09_Post_1_AH_ArborDay_body_image_3Trees can also help reduce your energy costs. Trees that are properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs up to 30 percent, and can save up to 50 percent of energy used for heating. In fact, computer models from the U.S. Department of Energy predict that the proper placement of only three trees can save an average household up to $250 in energy costs every year. Show thanks to the trees in your neighborhood by switching to paperless billing from your energy company.

These are only some of the benefits that trees provide. To learn more about how trees benefit you, your community, and the world, visit our friends at the Arbor Day Foundation. Check back next month as we dive into the meaning of Arbor Day and the projects Publix supports to celebrate the occasion.

Alec H.

Written by

Alec H. started his career with Publix in 2012, serving in many roles in the store before transitioning into corporate first as an intern and eventually as a full-time associate on the Social Media team. He loves to bring you behind-the-scenes looks at our products, especially because he gets to learn something new each time he writes a new blog, too. Alec’s favorite holiday is Halloween, which is fitting since watching scary movies are is one of his favorite pastimes. When he’s not writing for the Publix Checkout or interacting with our customers on social media, you’ll find him playing with his two dogs (Buster and Diesel), jamming on his ukulele, playing video and board games, or running on the beautiful streets of St. Petersburg, FL.

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