Plants are one of the main building blocks of life
Plants help to achieve the balance required for our planet to survive. Forests and woodlands are essential for the survival of our planet as we know it. They help to create a balance between the gases and water in the atmosphere. This is even more important in the last half of the twentieth century and the current century when fossil fuels have been used at very high rates. Yet the area covered by forests and woodland is dramatically reducing every year.
All countries have been guilty over the last hundred years of felling the woodlands and forests throughout the world. Even though it is known that clearing forest and woodland for other crops is not good for the long-term environment, it still happens. Even if we replace a tree for every tree that is felled there is still many years before the new tree can do the work of the tree that has been felled.
The widespread clearance of forests has contributed to the erosion of soils and in many areas contributed to either flooding and in other areas drought. Plants help to keep the balance of the earth to survive and develop.
There are well-managed forests and woodland which can produce crops of wood and paper in a sustainable way. We can all help by making sure we only buy products that have been FSC certified which is a globally recognised certification. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo on a wood or wood-based product is your assurance that it is made with, or contains, wood that comes from FSC certified forests or from post-consumer waste.
Go to the FSC website for further information http://www.fsc-uk.org
Also look on the UK FSC website for latest news in the UK https://ic.fsc.org/en/news-updates/id/2000
Project with FSC in Chile
Growing plants produce oxygen and reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
When we look around our landscape we see the miracle of nature in the forms of the greenery brought about by plants. Plants may look simple but they are very complex
Plants grow by taking up water and nutrients from the soil via their complex root system which works in conjunction with mycorrhizal fungi in the soil. The majority of the roots that you can see easily are the transporters of the water and nutrients. It is the minute root hairs especially if surrounded by mycorrhizal fungi which help the absorption of nutrients into the roots.
The leaves of plants contain stoma, (plural stomata) which are tiny pores allowing the passing of gases and water in and out of the plant. During the daytime when the chlorophyll, the green part of the plant, is active the carbon dioxide is taken from the atmosphere and a process, known as photosynthesis, takes place allowing for the production of carbohydrates and sugars and oxygen becomes a by-product of the process and is released into the atmosphere. Reducing the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The larger the plant the more oxygen is produced.
Algae are also simple photosynthetic plants. In the sea, they are extremely important for photosynthesis and producing oxygen for the water and air to support life.
The importance of photosynthesis is that it is the basic requirement for the existence of virtually all other forms of life (except a few bacteria). Photosynthesis enables plants to grow and provide carbohydrates and protein. This is not only important for the health of plants but also the health of every animal on the planet, including us.
We all need plants!
Plants provide food and medicines
Humans and all animals rely on plants for their survival. We, humans as part of the animal kingdom are not able to produce energy for life from the sun and atmosphere. It is the unique ability of plants, through photosynthesis, to extract and store this energy in carbohydrates (starch and sugars) and proteins. They also absorb essential nutrients and vitamins from the soil and air which are vital for healthy growth in animals as well as plants.
For hundreds of years, prior to the use of medicines as we know them today, plants were used for their medicinal properties. The pharmaceutical pioneers who originally extracted the medicines from plants were incredible people. The link to the website below shows all the medicines that have been extracted from plants.
Plants add to the enjoyment of life
Plants undoubtedly add to the enjoyment of life and here are a few reasons why:
- They provide us with an abundance different textures and flavours in our food as well as the nutrition we need.
- They provide us with food for all animals including our pets.
- They provide us with smells and scent that we love in perfumes and many other items.
- They provide us with a range of medicines that enable us to carry on enjoying life.
- They provide us with cleaner and more balanced air.
- They provide us with colour pigments that we use for our clothes.
- They provide us with material to make clothes, bedding, curtains furniture, homes etc.
- They provide us with the landscape that we live in.
I could carry on but I hope you can see how essential plants are to our very existence.