The Green Yogi is an eco-chic yoga studio. That being said we try to be as green as possible and limit our use of paper products, recycle the ones we do use, like our recycled cups we provide for thirsty yogis, or use reclaimed and recycled wood for our desk, shelves, and cubbies.
From a young age I remember my teachers planning special lessons on our environment for Earth Day and emphasizing trees in particular imperative role in providing our planet’s life force; oxygen, as well as their usefulness for fuel, shelter, and food for wildlife. What I recently learned though from Jim Robbins’ Op-Ed Why Trees Matter in the New York Times, is how many other somewhat miraculous contributions they make to our environment I never knew about and was taking for granted. The next time I practice or teach Vrksasana, tree pose, I will have a whole new perspective on the balancing and strengthening asana!
Impressive Tree Facts
- when tree leaves decompose they leach acids into the ocean, which fertilize plankton
- when plankton thrive so does the rest of the food chain
- fishermen replant forests along coasts and rivers to successfully bring back fish and oyster stocks
- trees are nature’s water filters
- they have dense clusters of microbes around their roots that clean water in exchange for nutrients, this process is called phytoremediation
- these microbes are capable of cleaning up the most toxic wastes, including explosives, solvents and organic wastes
- increased numbers of trees in urban neighborhoods correlate with lower incidences of asthma
- a walk in the woods reduces the level of stress chemicals in the body and increases natural killer cells in the immune system, which fight tumors and viruses
- in a landscaped urban environment there are lower rates of anxiety, depression and even crime
- trees release vast clouds of beneficial chemicals, one of which, taxane from the Pacific Yew Tree, has become a powerful treatment for breast and other cancers
- aspirin’s active ingredient comes from the Willow Tree
- trees are the planet’s heat shield, keeping the concrete and asphalt of cities and suburbs 10 or more degrees cooler and protect our skin from the sun’s burning UV rays
So “when is the best time to plant a tree?” Answer: “Twenty years ago. The second-best time? Today.”
With Earth Day around the corner let’s all try and appreciate our trees, even better, plant one.
Jim Robbins is the author of the book “The Man Who Planted Trees.”