“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Joni Mitchell brought awareness to this issue back in the 70’s and it is just as relevant today. I am fortunate to say that where I currently reside and where I grew up are little pieces of paradise in their own way. Where I currently reside, in the Okanagan, trees are disappearing to make room for real estate developments. Many of these developments are being built on hillsides; massive retaining walls replace the mature trees that once served as a natural solution to prevent landslides and erosions. Back on my family's farm in rural Nova Scotia our back farm fields have been experiencing flooding as a direct result of the clear cutting that has been taking place on the adjacent mountains. In both these situations you rarely see replanting to replace the mature trees that have been cut down. This sparked a call to action to make the tree planting program a fundamental part of The High-End Hippie’s sustainability initiatives.
Here are 5 reasons we feel it is crucial to plant trees:
Trees, like a mature mangrove, planted along coastlines are able to break up the forces and energy from waves and mitigate coastal erosion.
This past November in BC, we experienced unprecedented flooding that wiped out all of the highways connecting the lower mainland to the interior of BC. The castrophophic forest fires that we experienced months before the floods ignited a chain reaction of events that all BC residents experienced. Once the trees were gone, due to the fires, this made the mountain sides vulnerable and there was nothing to hold back the mudslides once the heavy rainfall set in.
Tees help slow rain as it falls to the earth, and allow it to soak into the soil. They also prevent soil from eroding into our waterways, reduce stormwater runoff, and lessen flood damage.
Filtering Fresh Water
Trees filter rainwater and protect aquifers and watersheds. Forests help control the water cycle by regulating precipitation, evaporation and flows. Layers of forest canopy, branches and roots can store and release water vapor, which controls rainfall.
According to the government of Canada, our rivers discharge close to 7% of the world's renewable water supply. Our abundant fresh water supply is directly related to our lush forests. However, according to a Nasa-led study, many of the world’s freshwater sources are being drained faster than they are being replenished.
By working with TreeEra and replanting in areas that have been impacted by forest fires we can also protect our freshwater resources.
One large tree can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for up to four people. Trees sequester carbon from the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis. One tree can absorb between 10 and 40 kg of carbon dioxide. Planting trees is one of the simplest solutions we can implement to help reduce carbon emission.
In June 2021 British Columbia experienced a severe heat wave with a record breaking high recorded as 46.6 C. That combined with little rainfall during the spring created the perfect storm for the devastating forest fires experienced during the summer. According to the provincial government, BC lost 869, 279 hectares of trees to forest fires between April 1, 2021 and March 28, 2022. One area that was heavily impacted was Barriere Lake in BC. TreeEra has been able to work with the Canadian government and plant trees on land designated for reforestation that have been impacted by fires. North of Barriere Lake was one of the areas they have been able to start replanting.
On a hot sunny day most of us gravitate to find shade and comfort under a tree; depending on the type of tree it can decrease the temperature by 2 degrees. Trees lower air temperature by transpiring water from their leaves. Strategically planted trees can help you save 25% on your home energy bills.
Would you want to live forever? Trees are the largest living organism on earth and never die of old age. That is something that I can definitely respect. At The High-End Hippie’s core, we are a wellness-based company. As I have learned in my many years working in alternative health care, you cannot separate the body from the mind when treating disease. Just like we cannot ignore how the state of our environment affects our health. Addressing environmental issues is just an extension of our self-care. Spending time around trees has been shown to lower stress, improving cognition and boosting longevity. Every two bar sold we plant one tree.