Trees are CO2

by | August 23, 2019


Trees are made out of thin air. Literally.

I’m guessing most of you were like me and had either never really thought about this before or assumed the substance of a tree came from the soil.

But nearly all the mass of a tree comes from the air. A tree’s mass is almost entirely carbon and water.

Pretty amazing, right?

So, next time you look at a tree know that:

  • Much of what you’re looking at is CO2 that the tree converted into carbon (leaving the oxygen for us).
  • It was able to suck up that CO2 despite CO2 only making up 415 out of every 1,000,000 particles in the atmosphere (trees are far better at this than any of our current technology).
  • A tree can absorb up to 48 lbs (21.8 kg) of CO2 each year.
  • Trees are also far more advanced than we give them credit for. They communicate with each other and share resources in a “wood-wide-web”. For the most mind-bending info, watch: Two minute BBC videofive minute TED video, or listen: 45 minute Radiolab podcast.

Good news: Many countries are stepping up their tree game, planting millions (Scotland, India, and China come to mind). And Ethiopia just set a world record, planting 350 million of these extraordinary beings in just 12 hours.

As a part of the Prime Minister’s ‘green legacy’, Ethiopia hopes to plant 4 billion trees this summer by encouraging every citizen to plant 40 trees.

It’d be great if every country, state, city, and town would copy their leadership on this easy, non-controversial, and incredibly positive action.

Have a great weekend!


This post originally featured in the Crowdsourcing Sustainability newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter below!

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