Hey Peoples! I hope you’re coping well with life. Thanks for continuing to rock with me; let’s get into my newest post.
“David and Goliath? Wuh she really talking bout?”
I know that is what some of you are thinking. But, that popular bible story can be applied to many real life situations and today I choose to apply it to mankind and the skyscrapers of the environment, trees. Earth Day is being celebrated today, April 22nd 2016, and I want to shed some light on the movement and it’s purpose as well as highlighting the importance of trees and the processes which make them our saviours.
What Is Earth Day?
Earth Day is a movement which was started in 1970 to bring awareness to the quickly growing environmental issues through participation from the world’s population. Their aim was really to increase the international environment movement and use it as a tool to “build a healthy, sustainable environment, address climate change, and to protect the world for future generations.” (For more information about Earth Day, please visit their website : About Us | Earth Day Network)
This year’s theme is: “Trees for the Earth. Let’s get planting.”
Countries the world over host rallies, forums, tree planting ceremonies, educational fairs and many other events to celebrate Earth Day and to bring awareness to the movement. Here in Barbados, the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (NPO) is hosting their own Earth Day activity called, “Shining Light on Climate Change”. It will be held at Brandon’s Beach, St. Michael, from 6:00 p.m. (For more information about the event, visit the event’s page on Facebook: Shining Light on Climate Change ) [CYEN – Barbados]
Trees : The Silent Saviours
Simply put, a tree can be defined as a woody plant usually with a single trunk and a branched top.
There are 2 types of trees:
- Deciduous Trees: These trees spread out as they grow with a rounded shape and their leaves are very broad. During Autumn, they tend to drop their leaves because of the change in weather and the difficulty to carry out photosynthesis properly.
- Coniferous Trees: These trees are referred to as “Evergreen” trees. This is because their leaves remain green throughout the changing seasons only dropping off if old. They grow upwards and tend to have a triangular shape. (Bajan example: Casuarina Tree/Mile Tree)
Forests make up some of the largest ecosystems of the world by being home to thousands of organisms; these organisms range from vertebrates to invertebrates. Imagine what happens to them when we carry out intentional deforestation (forest fires can be accidental). How would you live without your home?
What is Photosynthesis?
Trees also act as filters of the atmosphere through Photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which green plants create their food by combining Carbon Dioxide and Water using sunlight. All of which occurs in the chloroplasts of the leaves’ cells.
From there the sugar goes on to form polymers (a substance consisted of large numbers of similar units bonded together) like cellulose and lignin which make up the plant’s structure.
The above images represent the Process of Photosynthesis (left) and an image of a plant cell showing the Chloroplasts and other important cell structures.
With carbon dioxide emissions being one of the prominent environmental issues, photosynthesis is one of the best natural processes to clean up the atmosphere. Another great feature about trees and photosynthesis, is the expulsion of oxygen as a byproduct. Therefore, photosynthesis acts as a critical balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen. Who wouldn’t want decreased carbon dioxide levels for good clean oxygen to respire?
Now you know the some of the benefits of trees and why it is important to help preserve them. Not just on Earth Day but any day of the year. Trees help to save our lives every day and with deforestation & acid rain occurring, their duties are becoming more and more difficult.
I chose to go into a little detail about trees because photosynthesis can be represented chemically, with ease of description while all other issues discussed on Earth Day seem more social (this does not make them any less important)[Earth Day Campaigns]. In showing the actual process of photosynthesis, both chemical and biological, I aimed to give you an idea of what really happens and why it is as important as people say it is.
I used David and Goliath as the analogy because we,as small as we are, cut down the tallest and widest trees for our gain. In this case, David isn’t the hero, he is the villain. In another way, by planting more trees and creating more forests, we strike a detrimental blow to the body of that which is climate change; David remains a hero. My question to you is, which one would you rather be? The hero or the villain?
– the Awkward Chemist
“The good man is the friend of all living things.” – Gandhi
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