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Home » Library » Shade: Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities, Healthy People

Shade: Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities, Healthy People

Businesses that invest in trees realize far reaching and ever growing returns: they increase property value, increase the amount shoppers will pay for products, decrease air conditioning needs, and increase employee productivity, satisfaction and retention. Trees decrease health care costs by luring people outside and encouraging increased physical activity and by providing cleaner, safer air.
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  • Businesses that invest in trees realize far reaching and ever growing returns:
    • Trees increase a property’s value between 3 and 7 percent.
    • Shoppers will pay up to 11% more for products purchased in shops along tree-lined streets than they would pay for the same items in shops along treeless streets.
    • Strategically placed trees can reduce summer air conditioning needs by at least 50%.
    • Employers find greater employee productivity, satisfaction and retention at businesses located on properties with trees and other vegetation.
  • By luring people outside, trees encourage increased physical activity. Studies suggest that attractive streetscapes and parks that include trees, can lead to an increase in physical activity.
  • According to the American Lung Association, asthma costs our healthcare system over $50.1 billion annually and indirect costs from lost productivity add another $5.9 billion (http://www.lungusa.org/get-involved/advocate/advocacy-documents/senate-EPA-FY2011.pdf). Urban trees can lower health care costs associated with asthma and other pollution-related health problems by providing cleaner, safer air.
  • Since the 1977 Clean Air Act overhaul, Atlanta has never been in compliance with ozone standards (as of this publication’s date of 2005). Cars are the main polluters; each day, Atlantans daily drive more than 100 million miles a day, causing the release of 264 tons of nitrogen oxides.
    • A 60% reduction in Atlanta’s natural tree cover between 1985 and 2005 means fewer air pollutants are filtered. There are fewer trees to cool the city’s temperature, and when pollutants are superheated by increased air temperatures, they become more volatile and more harmful. Preserving and increasing tree cover can mitigate some of the impacts of driving related air pollution.

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Last modified by Nate Lotze

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