Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. You know we complain about how hot (above 30 Celsius!) it gets during the summer, and because of our generators and poor electricity we can’t always put on the A/C, so we swelter? It turns out that there is an easy way to combat this: planting trees and plants. Did you know that the net cooling effect of a SINGLE young healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-sized air conditioners operating 20 hours a day?

Awesome. 

Best of all, planting trees gives us other benefits, too. 

By virtue of how they function, trees and other plants absorb heat-trapping gases and release oxygen. They also trap particulates that are found in these gaseous emissions. As such, they reduce the effects of the emissions from cars, trucks, and other machinery that produce fuel emissions.  Given that the trees absorb these heat-trapping (and often harmful) gases and give us clean oxygen instead, we get both cleaner and cooler air if we plant trees.

Nor is this the only additional benefit. Trees also act as a barrier in terms of noise pollution, something we desperately need. In addition, by virtue of their roots, trees prevent soil erosion, and prevent run-off rainwater because their roots absorb it. We know how the water floods down the streets when it rains; we get muddy water and need to jump from sidewalk to sidewalk to avoid getting our pants and shoes dirty. Planting some trees could really a make a difference not only in terms of temperature, but in terms of water control and soil erosion as well. Lastly, nature has a naturally soothing impact on people; it makes them calmer, happier, and more relaxed.   

My fellow Lebanese, preserving our green and reforesting where we can clearly has several benefits. Our beautiful mountains once earned us the name “Lebanon the Green.” Today they are being eaten up by concrete. Do you like sweltering heat or muddy rainwater? Do you like breathing dirty air, knowing that planting trees and other plants could mitigate that effect? Do you like looking at your beautiful country knowing that it is being ruined by the over-expansion of buildings with little thought to urban planning? This country is ours, and its future is up to us.

So let’s do it. Let’s participate in reforestation projects. Let’s plant some green on our balconies. Let us avoid building illegally and illegal rock quarrying. Let us advocate for stricter guidelines regarding building licenses, and for more urban planning. Let us advocate for green spaces in Beirut. Let us advocate for what is best for us and for our nation. We can do it, Lebanon!!!

Advertisements