Blue Trees

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Blue trees

A half hectare of forest – that is what it needs to neutralise the CO2 emission of one person, annually.

To visualise the scale of this area, the tree trunks around us are painted blue.

Imagine yourself in the middle of a large ballroom, worthy of a palace. The sun shines through its canopy of foliage and we hear the soft rustling of leaves and the chirping of birds.

Listening to this music, you could dance 3000 pirouettes to go around the room.

But be careful, you are not alone on the dance floor, but you share it with 300 potential dancing partners.

Our elixir of life, the air we breathe, supplies our lungs with oxygen. Oxygen that is needed by our body to burn carbohydrates. The energy thus released is used to dance and to maintain the necessary vital functions.

The combustion process in our body, like any other process, leaves residue in the form of carbon dioxide, which we get rid of by exhaling.

Trees absorb it and convert it in their chlorophyll-filled plant cells, with the help of water and solar energy, into carbohydrates, which they need for growth.

As a by-product of this process, which we know as photosynthesis, oxygen is produced. Oxygen, that in return, we breathe in again.

This rhythm of nature can seem like a harmonic dance.

But we are rushing, and emitting far more CO2 into the atmosphere than the plants around us can absorb. Our daily electricity consumption, and our activities like driving cars, or buying exotic food and clothes from distant countries, are the reasons why each human being is responsible for the emission of 6 tonnes of CO2 per year on average.

All our forests in the commune of Schifflange can absorb around 3000 tons of CO2 per year, which is roughly equivalent to the CO2 emissions of 500 inhabitants.

In that regard, deciduous trees with leaves perform better as conifers with needles, because they shed their leaves each year, and the carbon they contain is stored in the soil.

Even if our forests in Schifflange contribute significantly, unfortunately they cannot absorb all the CO2 emissions of the commune.

Energy savings, and the development of renewable energy sources therefore remain important objectives.