Arbor Day, which is celebrated on the last Friday of April in most states in the United States, is a holiday where people are educated about the importance of trees and encouraged to plant and care for them. It is celebrated around the world, but dates vary depending on climate and suitable planting season.
There are many benefits that trees provide for the world. They lessen the impact of global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide, which cools our planet. In return they let out oxygen, which all animals need to breathe. Through this process, the air gets cleaned by absorbing pollutant gases and filtering out particulates. Forests are one of the most diverse ecosystems on land with millions of species that have not been discovered, but these species are becoming endangered at very high rates due to deforestation. Threats from deforestation can impact biodiversity, soil protection, and water security, and can also lead to desertification. Since trees regulate water cycles and prevent droughts with their roots extended to act like “sponges”, they slow down the process of desertification. Without trees, soil would erode quickly, land would become less fertile, and forests would turn into arid deserts, affecting the livelihood of 1.6 billion people who depend on forests.
Ecosia is the search engine that plants trees with its ad revenue; 80% of the profits support tree planting programs around the world. On average it takes 45 searches to plant a tree. Ecosia’s mission is to plant one billion trees by 2020; so far over 98 million trees have been planted and still counting.
Some of the programs Ecosia supports include:
- Restoring Ethiopia’s water cycle
- Re-greening the Sahel in Burkina Faso
- Restoring mountain slopes in Peru
- Planting in the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania
- Restoring coastal forests and natural corridors in Madagascar
- Restoring the Atlantic Rainforest and watersheds in Brazil
- Supporting development through reforestation in Morocco
- Making transition from planting cocaine to cocoa in Peru
- Providing alternatives to palm oil in Indonesia
- Restoring volcano slopes in Nicaragua
- Supporting Spain’s biodiversity
Learn more about these projects by visiting: https://info.ecosia.org/project
Sometimes we don’t have the time or resources to plant trees ourselves; Ecosia gives us the opportunity to make a difference in such a small way. A majority of us uses search engines everyday therefore by simply switching your browser, you can make everyday Arbor Day!
Written by Samantha Sing