Trees Around Factories Could Absorb 27% of Air Pollution

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Nature-based solutions can compete with technology to reduce toxic air emissions across the U.S.
  • Restoring natural areas to county-level average canopy cover could reduce air pollution by an average of 27%
  • In 75% of the counties, nature-based solutions ended up being less expensive than technological interventions such as smokestack scrubbers in mitigating pollution
  • Maintaining current levels of vegetation as well as restoring vegetation cover in industrial areas could help reduce some of the most common types of air pollutants, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter
  • A mycorrhizae network connects trees to each other in mind-blowing ways, such that trees might be viewed as beings with a capacity for intelligence, decision-making, learning and memory

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