Numerous studies published in peer-reviewed journals have linked human activities as well as natural causes to climate change. The result of these combined activities is the release of billions of tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere annually. Over time, climate change can lead to higher temperatures causing more extreme wildfires and rising sea levels. Greenhouse gases come from a variety of human activities, including burning fossil fuels for heat and energy, clearing forests, fertilizing crops, storing waste in landfills, raising livestock, and producing certain industrial products.
Energy and resources we use to install and maintain our landscapes also contribute to CO2 pollution from the production, transportation, and use of products such as plastic irrigation pipe, pumping systems, and gasoline used in our lawnmowers. We can reduce this trend by minimizing the use of high carbon products in our yard, and by planting trees and shrubs. Carbon is sequestered by plants and is stored in the soil, roots, trunks, and limbs via the process of photosynthesis. If all of us make even small changes to the way we plant and maintain our landscapes, collectively we can reduce our carbon footprint leading to secure and sustainable natural resources into the future.