New research has found that 70% of Australians believe individual actions can have an impact on global environmental issues like climate change.
Following the finding, Planet Ark is urging the public to participate in National Tree Day this July by planting a tree, highlighting a range of benefits. These include:
- A 5% increase in tree cover can reduce nearby daytime temperatures by 2.3C, which could be crucial as heatwaves cost more lives than all other climate change impacts combined
- A large healthy tree can capture up to 93kg of CO2 and 1.4kg of air pollution a year
- Time spent in green outdoor spaces can lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes
- Time in nature reduces stress, improves happiness, wellbeing and productivity
All these insights and more have been captured in Planet Ark’s first edition of the Tree Report, entitled Living Cities: Trees in the Urban Environment. Planet Ark Deputy CEO Rebecca Gilling said that the report should inspire the community to participate in tree planting: “It’s heartening to hear that Australians think that individual action can make a positive impact on our environment. National Tree Day is an excellent opportunity to work together on a local level to benefit your community and the environment at large.”
In support of the Tree Report Dr Tony Matthews, Urban and Environmental Planner and Planet Ambassador, said the report provides a clear call to action: “Trees may be the most cost effective and positive urban intervention available to us. While some of us may be lucky enough to live in areas with plenty of trees there are many other places that would benefit from tree planting.”
This National Tree Day also marks a major milestone for National Tree Day partner Toyota Australia, as their partnership reaches its twentieth year. Chief Marketing Officer Wayne Gabriel said it was an opportunity to reflect on both organisations’ successes: “Since its inception National Tree Day has seen Australians plant over 25 million trees around the country. Toyota Australia is proud to have been a part of this journey and of our ongoing commitment to the environment.
“We look forward to seeing as many volunteers and members of our dealer network as possible on Schools and National Tree Day.”
Schools Tree Day and National Tree Day are Australia’s largest annual tree-planting and nature care events and take place on Friday 26 July and Sunday 28 July. This is an initiative organised by Planet Ark in partnership with Toyota Australia and its dealer network which provides on-the-ground support at tree planting sites across Australia.