Providing your nieces and nephews with trees to plant is a lovely
thought! They will probably enjoy the activity and take pleasure in
watching the trees grow, and this may help them toward a deeper
appreciation of nature.
Many years ago, when I was a Girl Scout leader, I planned a
tree-planting event with a group of young girls. It was heartening to
see how enthusiastic the girls were about the project. Each girl's
initial concern, of course, was for "my" tree. As time passed, I
believe these girls developed a greater concern for "our" trees, and
(I hope) for "our" planet, as well. Some of the trees that we planted
by the roadside have grown to maturity in the twenty years since the
seedlings were first set in the ground. The girls are grown women now,
and, although I have lost touch with them, I like to think that they
may be young women who have a little bit more love and respect for
nature than they'd have had without their experience with those tiny
I have gathered some information for you about the consumption of
trees. By current estimates, planting about seven trees each year
would offset the typical American's use of paper and wood products.
"The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and
other products made from trees."
Ramola15: Recycling Fun Facts
"Trees cool the earth. Trees absorb heat-trapping CO-2 and produce
oxygen. Each tree will absorb over 500 pounds of CO-2 during its life.
Before men invented agriculture, 15 billion acres of the earth were
covered by forest. Today, barely 10 billion acres are forested. Almost
all of this loss happened in the last 30 years.
The average American uses seven trees a year worth of paper and packaging."
USDA Forest Service: Carson National Forest
"If you are an average American, it?s going to take 465 trees to
provide you with a lifetime of paper. (Town of Islip, NY, 1988)
Enough paper is recycled each year to fill a boxcar train 7,600 miles
long. (American Forest & Paper Association)
45 million tons of paper were recovered in the United States in 1998 -
an average of 336 pounds per person. (American Forest & Paper
Americans throw away the equivalent of more than 30 million trees in
newsprint each year. (EarthWorks Group, The Recycler?s Handbook)
If every American family recycled their newspapers, approximately
500,000 trees would be saved weekly. (Taken from The Derrick/The
News-Herald Newspaper: Friday, October 30, 1998, Page 12.)"
Western Michigan University: Fun Recycling Facts
Google Web Search: "average OR typical american" trees lifetime
I hope this is helpful! If anything is unclear or incomplete, please
request clarification; I'll be glad to offer further assistance before
you rate my answer.
Clarification of Answer by
08 Jul 2006 20:48 PDT
I just saw your clarification request. Here is some additional information for you.
Regarding the use of trees for energy, the Forest Service estimates
that 62 million tons of roundwood from U.S. timberland is used for
fuel each year. Using a round number of 300 million residents of the
U.S., this would be approximately one-fifth of a ton for each person.
If we assume that a typical tree weighs about a ton, then you could
plant one tree per year for every five children.
Another thing you may want to consider (although it will take a lot of
tree seedlings) is the concept of becoming "carbon neutral." Trees
help our environment by taking in the carbon dioxide that our highly
industrial society is putting out. Planting trees is a way to help
offset the damage done by our pollutants:
"The average North American produces 22 tons of CO2 per year. One
tree, planted in the dry tropics of Central America, over 12 to 20
years, can convert 0.82 tons of this CO2 into carbon and oxygen . 'So
what?' you say. This means the average American would have to plant 27
trees per year, to become carbon neutral."
Tropical Sierra Foundation