While there are other clean energy technologies such as wind and solar power to create electricity and harness energy, the upkeep for massive wind turbines and solar fields is costly. From the upfront purchase to the annual maintenance. While wind and solar are fantastic as renewable energy sources to offset our heavy reliance on the burning of fossil fuels, not many people have thousands of dollars to purchase them and thousands more to install them. Not to mention the legislative hurdles that can overly complicate a well-intended project. Hydroelectric plants are even more controversial because it is believed by many that there is a negative impact on the environment due to the massive amount of cement produced to create each dam.

While trees cannot directly create electricity in our homes, and you can’t just stick a tree branch in your gas tank to make your vehicle go (please don’t stick a tree branch in your gas tank), trees definitely can absorb carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere, offsetting the emissions of energy used by burning fossil fuels elsewhere.

So, why trees?

Not only are trees aesthetically much more pleasing than renewable energy mills and plants, they are held at a much lower cost point, and there is minimal pushback from communities and governmental agencies at this time. Planting trees isn’t harmful to the atmosphere or environment. By using native trees, we are not affecting the local ecosystem as negatively as removing already established trees would. Animals will not be displaced, and there is absolutely no cement production.

By offsetting the carbon dioxide that is emitted by cars, homes, businesses, schools, supermarkets and industrial plants, trees are a logical necessity for any city to improve the air quality and lower health risks of everyone who lives and visits there. The burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas is not easily mitigated. While there are programs out there to utilize wind and solar energy to replace the detrimental impact that carbon dioxide emissions are leaving, they are costly and often met with legislative red tape. With each success comes another hurdle. Planting trees in the meantime, can only help our planet as we figure out how to move away from burning fossil fuels successfully.