Green House gasses are vital to life on Earth. They trap heat and allow it to distribute throughout the planet more easily than it would in places like Mars. Unfortunately, as you may already know, there is too much of these gases. The effect is global warming. One obvious example of global warming's devastating impact can be found in the arctic. National geographic states that "A large part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, scientists reported last year, is doomed to collapse" They also said that “If a climate disaster is to be averted, we’ll have to move forward without relying as much on fossil fuels. It can be done.” There are many renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar energy, flowing water, and heat from Earth's interior. Unfortunately, reducing the production of green house gasses is not enough to prevent the devastating impacts of global warming. The surplus green house gasses need to be taken out of the atmosphere. Plants can absorb the green house gas, carbon dioxide (CO2). Some plants can take in more carbon dioxide than others.
Below is a list of the highest carbon intake plants, that you can add to your yard and/or neighborhood, to help stop global warming.
Native plant species will do better, and in turn store more CO2. Also, it will benefit local wildlife.
- If trees do better (as in, don’t get sick), they don’t need greenhouse-gas-producing-Fertilizer, or harmful pesticides
1. Yellow Poplar (or Tulip Tree), the top carbon-storer in one New York City study, works hard under rough conditions.
2. Silver Maple can trap nearly 25,000 pounds of CO2 in a 55 year period, according to the Center for Urban Forests.
3. Oak (White Oak, Willow Oak, Laurel Oak and Scarlet Oak) has adapted to thrive in many climates, provides food and shelter to wildlife.
4. Horse Chestnut grows well in cities; its domed top provides exceptional shade which offers passive cooling benefits.
5. Red Mulberry provides the added benefit of delicious seasonal fruit.
6. London Plane is an excellent choice for urban planning, very tolerant of pollution and root-cramping, resistant to cold and disease.
7. American Sweetgum has brilliant fall colors, is large and long-lived. In the north, consider American Linden instead.
8. Dogwood offers lovely seasonal flowers; this and other particularly dense trees like Black Walnut can store more carbon in a smaller tree.
9. Blue Spruce, widely introduced as an ornamental, thrives in most northern regions; in the Pacific Northwest, Douglas Fir also excels.
10. Pines (White, Red, Ponderosa and Hispaniola) are the most carbon-effective conifer; find out which is right for your zone.
To reduce production of CO2
Walk and roll (Bike, walk, skateboard, scooter, etc.)
Try an eco friendly car.
Use renewable energy sources, such as solar panels.
Most electricity comes from fossil fuels, which expel the green house gasses. Use less electricity.
- Carpool (Almost 77% of all cars use fossil fuels. Ride in a friend’s car to put one less car on the rroad.