By SOLA OGUNDIPE
Just being around trees makes you feel good, doesn’t it? Imagine a community without trees? Trees, especially in urban areas, or a business district can greatly improve the mental and physical health of residents and workers.
Many people may not know it, but tree planting is one of the best things anyone could do for the environment. Besides producing oxygen and removing carbon dioxide and contaminants from the air, trees have many social, economic, and environmental benefits.
“Trees are like the lungs of the planet. They breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen,” noted an environmentalist. Trees a help reduce ozone levels in urban areas, reduce urban runoff and erosion by storing water and breaking the force of rain as it falls and absorb sound and reduce noise pollution. A well planted group of trees can reduce noise pollution by up to 10 decibels.
Nigerians are finally beginning to appreciate the imporftance of planting trees to reduce what is described as the “urban heat island effect”.
It’s now clear that trees are essential to life on Earth and that not only can you plant trees in your yard, you can also get involved in local tree planting activities.
This exactly was what the MTN Group, did recently when it utilised its 21 Days of Y’ello Care programme to mark the 2011 World Environment Day. As part of their contributions towards ensuring the “Go Green” initiative of a pollution-free world, they planted trees ina simulteneous event which which ran in all 21 countries where the network provider operates in Africa and the Middle East.
The adopted theme was “Making a positive difference in our environment” for this year’s celebration. To commemorate the World Environment Day, MTN Nigeria kicked off the celebration with the Y’ello Earth Walk, an activity that aimed to create awareness for preservation of the environment.
The Walk was joined by people from various walks of life with same interest, chief among them being Dr. Newton Jibunoh, a renowned Soil engineer, a consistent environmental crusader and Founder of Fight Agianst Desert Encroachment, (FADE Africa).
For 21 days, FADE Africa partnered with staff of the telecommunications giant to plant thousands tree saplings for both fruits and shade in communities across the country.
Recycling also formed part of the event as the team moved from schools to orphanage homes, markets and garages, teaching them the social and economic benefits of recycling and Craft. They participated in cleaning of blocked drainages, gutters and roads.
Mr. Ekong Udoabang, Project Manager of 21 Days of Y’ello Care, ‘it is not enough to tell people about global warming and environmental degradation, it is more impactful go a step further by showing what eco-friendly habits like tree planting and recycling can do for our environment.”