4″ x 6″ watercolor
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Those beautiful and vibrantly painted trees setting the scene for your Thanksgiving are doing far more than visually entertaining you during the drive to grandma’s house. They’re also enormous vacuums sucking up gaseous pollutants spilling out of your tailpipe. In technical terms, they are performing “terrestrial carbon sequestration.” This is,
“the process through which carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere is absorbed by trees, plants and crops through photosynthesis, and stored as carbon in biomass (tree trunks, branches, foliage and roots) and soils. The term ‘sinks’ is also used to refer to forests, croplands, and grazing lands, and their ability to sequester carbon…A carbon sink occurs when carbon sequestration is greater than carbon releases over some time period.” – US EPA
What is most alarming is the disparity between the rise of total CO2 emissions and diminishing landscapes left intact to absorb it.
Yes, I am thankful for the many wonderful people in my life such as my grandfather who still calls me “Ashley Kay” (even though my middle name is Michelle), my dad who has lovingly referred to me as “moose” ever since my height became awkwardly obvious as a kid, and my mom who tells me my driving makes her nauseous and will forever try to get me to wear pink. It’s incredibly easy to take for granted (and abuse) the many sources of our happiness. Sometimes we forget to thank a friend or family member, but few of us have ever felt appreciation for the hard working array of plants that forgive and balance our toxic output.
Times are a changin’. Many of us are beginning to acknowledge the life-supporting functions of nature, which soon may not be around to continue on going unnoticed and unappreciated. Here is a short list of ways for you to express your gratitude for your planet:
- Shop for innovative gifts at The CarbonNeutral Company
- Plant a tree and watch it grow in Niger to fight desertification
- Calculate and offset your own level of carbon emissions
Add a few more check boxes to this year’s to-be-thankful-for list and have a happy Turkey Day!
Click here for a direct link to watch this painting being painted.