Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Available online and at your local retailer May 2014 Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
When I look at trees, I am in awe of their beauty. I marvel at their shape, sculptural features or the color and texture of their leaves. I'm taken aback at the symphony of hues that color the landscape in the fall. With so much to admire visually, I often fail to appreciate trees for their greatest gift; one more important then even their aesthetic qualities.
Trees have been called the lungs of the planet, and for good reason. They play a vital role in helping to control air pollution by taking in carbon dioxide, storing the carbon and releasing oxygen during photosynthesis. Trees are the real workhorses in this department. According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, trees absorb enough carbon dioxide on each acre, over a year's time, to equal the amount you produce when you drive your car 26,000 miles.
In addition, tree leaves remove harmful chemicals such as nitrogen oxides, airborne ammonia, some sulfur dioxide, and ozone. At the same time, they're cooling the air by releasing water vapor through their leaves in a process known as transpiration. Trees also serve as collection sites for dust and harmful man-made particulates so they can be washed to the ground and filtered by the earth.
When you consider that trees and other vegetation store such huge amounts of carbon and combine that with the reduction of carbon emissions they provide by decreasing energy use, the benefits are obviously compounded. And if that weren't enough, trees are instrumental in reducing the “heat island effect” that is created in urban areas by high concentrations of impervious surfaces such as buildings, roadways and sidewalks, which can significantly increase temperatures in those locations. Well positioned, appropriately chosen trees around your house can save between 20 to 25 percent in energy use a year compared to a wide-open landscape, according to data from the U.S. Forest Service.
And then there's the less obvious but equally important benefit of trees. Their canopies slow down the velocity of raindrops and the root system aids in soil infiltration to soak up water. Trees and shrubs mitigate storm water run off by actually storing rainfall on their leaves, in their branches and on the trunk. Water droplets are either held temporarily, falling to the ground later, or eventually evaporate into the air reducing runoff volume. This ability to intercept such large volumes of rainfall is especially valuable in slowing the effects of erosion.
So next time you're looking for that just-right gift for any occasion, give a tree to a friend or family member or even to yourself. Donate one to a school on Arbor Day or Earth Day or any day! I can't think of a better gift to give that looks so good, lasts so long and does so much. Now, if they could only invent kid's toys this way!