Celebrating our giant green friends on Love a Tree Day

According to various sources, today, 16 May, is Love a Tree Day. Not an officially sanctioned day like Arbor Day, for example, but any day drawing attention to trees has to be a good thing, right? Also, the problem with Arbor Day is that it’s a localised event, celebrated on different dates around the world, so there’s no single date for us all to get together and sing the praises of the mighty tree.

Until Love a Tree Day, that is.

So, this is a good time to again remind ourselves why we should all really go out every day and hug the trees around us; why we should feed & nurture them; and why we should not let an opportunity go by to plant a tree.

While today is a reminder to love all trees, let's also use it to celebrate the diversity of trees out there. And to remind ourselves of those trees that need particular protection from potential extinction. Pictured here is the beautiful Aloe dichotoma, or quiver tree (kokerboom), indigenous to Southern Africa. Different subspecies of the tree have been rated as 'vulnerable' (A. dichotoma), 'endangered' (A. ramossisima) and 'critically endangered' (A. pillansii) respectively on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (© All Rights Reserved)
While today is a reminder to love all trees, let’s also use it to celebrate the diversity of trees out there. And to remind ourselves of those trees that need particular protection from potential extinction. Pictured here is the beautiful Aloe dichotoma, or quiver tree (kokerboom), indigenous to Southern Africa. Different subspecies of the tree have been rated as ‘vulnerable’ (A. dichotoma), ‘endangered’ (A. ramossisima) and ‘critically endangered’ (A. pillansii) respectively on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
(© All Rights Reserved)

I’m sure you don’t need convincing of the value of trees. They support life by producing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide. They release groundwater into the air to help maintain a healthy ecosystem. They help reduce soil erosion and create a soil climate conducive to microorganism growth. Shade trees around buildings can greatly reduce air conditioning costs. Trees are a key provider of food products (fruit, nuts etc) supporting humans and animals. Thousands of products used in daily life are made from wood.

Trees also happen to include some of the oldest, and largest, living organisms on the planet. The giant sequoia tree (Sequoiadendron giganteum), for example, can weigh over 2000 tonnes and live to be older than 3000 years. That is pretty damn impressive, so say the least.

To go into detail about the value and importance of trees would go way beyond the scope of a humble little daily blog post. Suffice to say, they deserve your care, love and respect.

Support local tree planting initiatives. Support your local Arbor Day. Heck, make every day Love a Tree Day.

Inspiring cultural tolerance through global learning

It’s Monday, 25 February, and try as I might, I just couldn’t find anything interesting related to this date, to write about.

Just as I was about to give up completely (hence the lateness of this post) I discovered that this week, 24 Feb – 2 Mar 2013, is Peace Corps Week. And as part of this week of celebration, each day of the week has a particular sub-theme:

  • Sunday: Grow Your Peace Corps Family Tree
  • Monday: Inspire Global Learning
  • Tuesday: Share Culture from Around the Globe
  • Wednesday: Invite the World to Your Table
  • Thursday: Foster Global Citizenship
  • Friday: Champion RPCVs as Global Professionals
  • Saturday: Act Locally, Influence Globally.
Today is all about learning to appreciate the diversity around us.(© All Rights Reserved)
Today is all about learning to appreciate the diversity around us.
(© All Rights Reserved)

So today, Monday, it’s all about Global Learning. The idea being to integrate global issues and cultural awareness into the daily reality of the youth. That awareness of the diversity around us is just so important, leading to increased tolerance for people that are different to us, and customs that are foreign to what we know. And this helps us appreciate the uniqueness of vastly different cultures around the globe, adding to the realisation that our way is not the only way – on the contrary, it is just one of many equally valid ways of living your life.

In essence this day is a celebration of global diversity, and a gentle reminder that you’re never to old to learn more about the ways of others. It’s a potentially thrilling journey – enjoy it!