Today when most food comes to children via plastic, cellophane or cardboard; do they actually know about how trees and food production fit into the cycle of Mother Nature? If we did not have trees, would we have enough clean, fresh air? Would rain still be nurturing us? Would food be scarce or plentiful? What type of World would our great grandchildren inherit?
Upon investigation, research into the rapid loss of trees was rather depressing. A bleak future of wearing air-pollution masks and buying bottled ‘clean air’ sounded most inconvenient. Not only do dear trees produce about half the oxygen we take so for granted, they are crucial to our well-being and survival. Luckily, educated solutions are at hand.
This September, we invite you to go on a picnic with the children in your life to celebrate Arbour Week. Once in Nature, then imagine that there were no trees! What would it be like? Never mind the loss of their exquisite beauty and protection … as we continue to cut down around 15 billion trees per year, could the world’s forest disappear completely by the time their grandchildren arrive on this beautiful planet?
Ask the youngsters to try and name as many different colour shades of the leaves as possible. What would it be like not to have them there, silent protectors, consistent and each one a beauty and useful masterpiece in its own right.
Let them choose the most pleasing shady tree for the picnic blanket. Enjoy the leafy shade because, with less of it, the entire earth would become a lot hotter as more and more trees are obliterated in the name of development. Explain that this tree is ‘magical’ as it is making enough oxygen for them and 9 other human beings!. And it is producing good quality, pure air that has been moisturised, with a balance of beneficial, transformed gases. And at the same time, your tree friend is soaking up loads of carbon dioxide. So it is working towards creating lifegiving rain, while you relax under its shady branches. Look up at the leaves and think about how rain drops fall gently down the tree and then drain down the trunks. In contrast to your idyllic location, think about the last storm or flood you saw on the news or maybe experienced first-hand … with the resultant devastation, erosion and mud clogged rivers which kill fish and other water creatures. Trees reduce flooding and wind and halt erosion.
Invite the kids to think about how the tree’s roots bind the soil, and their decayed, falling leaves are absorbed by the earth enriching the soil with the leaves which have magically removed the pollutants they absorbed. This and their binding roots creates and protects topsoil. Without enough topsoil, they would not be enjoying the diverse and delicious contents of most what is contained in the picnic basket.
Ask them to notice the birds and appreciate the fact that forests are home to 70% of the Earth’s land animals and plants. And humans, as beneficiaries at the end of the food chain, are equally dependent. Also consider how many fellow humans in the world are dependent on trees for fuel for cooking and heating. In fact, without trees, there would be no petrol for the convenient transport which takes them to the picnic … or anywhere else. As you wipe the last tasty morsels with your serviette, think about how different our world would be without coal, wood and paper? Thank you Tremendous Trees!
The good news is that many organisations like Lunchbox Theatre are raising awareness and connecting the dots for our survival relating to trees. Over the past 25 years, the rate of net global deforestation has slowed down by more than 50% as more forest areas come under protection through education. The Tree entrenches the information you would have discovered on your magical picnic and the education afforded is unforgettable. The cherry on top is when the youngsters actually help us to plant a tree as the highlight of the Tree Show. It’s presence and care becomes a lasting reminder of a tree’s significance and importance.
Would you be interested to know what your carbon footprint is? It’s an interesting question to Google. Then consider paying it forward by symbolically ‘hugging a tree’ (and a child in the process) by donating a small monthly amount via Givengain towards the staging of The Tree Show. (We have only imparted this important message to 12 000 children so far and need to grow a lot more minds.)
Why Givengain? People are sometimes nervous to donate in case the money is not used for their intention. Our intention is to elevate the youth through education and training about important environmental and social issues. We chose Givengain, which is a non-profit organisation registered in Switzerland, to ensure that your valued donation goes directly to the cause. And you can choose whether you want us to educate children about the cycle of life, balance of nature and food production through The Tree Show, that they have rights and recourses through iLifa, caring for animals through A Dog’s Life and Eden to Addo, how to save water through The Last Drop, how to manage waste responsibly through the What a Waste Show, and how to avoid AIDS and HIV through Thand’ Impilo. For the cost of a cup of coffee every month you can make a difference, it’s assured. Click here to donate now!
Then celebrate your human kindness by planting a tree … ideally with the neighbourhood kids!