Our health and well-being are closely tied to the health of our natural environment. Trees and forests are important features of healthy ecosystems that support healthy human populations.
According to a 2012 Trees Ontario report A Healthy Dose of Green, Trees help to reduce smog and pollution in our cities by filtering out many airborne pollutants that have negative impacts on our health, such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulphur dioxide and particulates. These pollutants have been linked to heart disease, respiratory illnesses, diabetes, and cancer.
Forests and green spaces have also been linked to a significant decline in stress, improved rehabilitation, faster hospital recovery rates, and a decrease in the severity of symptoms in attention deficit disorders.
Experts have determined that a minimum 30 percent forest cover is required to maintain a healthy, sustainable ecosystem. Currently, forest cover is as low as five percent in some regions of Ontario, compromising our health and the health of our ecosystems.