Arbor Day recently passed – April 28th to be exact. A couple of Arbor Days ago, we wrote about the History of Arbor Day, so feel free to click on that link to refresh your memory.
The team at Joshua Tree is grateful that people like Julius and Caroline Sterling Morton recognized the value of trees enough to spearhead a movement, setting aside a day that honors these magnificent living things.
Trees are beautiful, they provide shade and necessary cooling, trees make oxygen, produce food, create shelter, enrich the planet’s soil, and generally make the world a better place in ways we can’t even imagine because they are such as staple in our lives.
7 Tips to Save the Trees
This Arbor Day, we’d like to celebrate trees by sharing some tips on how to conserve them, and ensuring that every tree consumed for a human need is replaced.
- Practice tree stewardship in your own backyard. There’s that old, wise saying about a man who wanted to save the world but ultimately found he had to love himself, and then his family, before he could tackle the world. Saving the planet’s trees is sort of like that; it starts by honoring and taking care of the trees in your own backyard. An irrigation leak that weakens root structures, a pest infestation or disease that run amok for too long, branches that grow so large they eventually split off and damage old-growth trees beyond repair – all of these are common scenarios in our line of work. It’s always a shame to remove a tree that could have been saved with a little help from its friends – sooner rather than later.
- Take an inventory. You can start taking care of the trees that are yours by taking a tree inventory. These are used by arborists and tree experts to track community and municipal trees, and they provide an important record of what’s planted where, the treatments or techniques that have been applied and for what reasons, and other valuable information. Tree inventories are like a medical history of sorts, and they can be very useful when determining which aspects of tree care and management will be the most helpful.
- Reface your cabinets rather than replacing them. Are you planning to remodel a kitchen and/or bathroom this year – or anytime in the near future? Consider refacing, rather than replacing, your cabinetry. The process to reface cabinets in the average, spacious kitchen uses less than a single tree’s worth of wood. Plus, you’ll save the landfills from having to store your fully functioning cabinet boxes.
- Say “for here” and/or use those travel mugs. Are you a regular at your local coffee shop or Starbucks? If you’re meeting a friend for tea, or planning to work in-house for a while, let the barista know so your drink-of-choice is served in a mug, rather than a paper cup. If you’re a daily drive-thru or “to-go” person, keep a to-go mug or two in the car so you have one to offer up. Some companies will even give you a small discount for bringing your own. If not, it’s still nice to know that hundreds of thousands of paper cups would be saved if more people were mindful of the waste factor.
- Switch to cleaning rags and cloth napkins. Reusable, white cleaning cloths are super-affordable (honestly, a whole stack may even cost less than that economy pack of paper towels you buy each month). They work better than paper towels and are easy to throw into the wash with the load of whites you’re running anyway. Cloth napkins can be used by the same person for a number of days before they have to be washed and if you purchase a few sets, you’ll always have clean ones on hand.
- Only use FSC-Certified wood. If you are performing a home remodeling project, make sure the wood you use is FSC-certified, which guarantees it was harvested from forests that prioritize sustainability and healthy forest stewardship.
- Plant a tree. Finally, by planting a tree you help to save trees at large, because you’re a part of regenerating new life that will eventually grow into old-growth trees and forests. It’s a generous way to give back to the future. Read, How to Plant a Tree, to give your new trees the best chance at a long and healthy life.
Joshua Tree wishes you a very happy Arbor Day. If you don’t plant a tree, give a loving pat and a nod of gratitude to the beautiful trees in your life.