Two of India’s biggest problems are its youth unemployment and bad air quality. India’s Rural Development Ministry is working to take on both of these problems at the same time. The Rural Development Ministry has created a plan that will hire India’s youth, potentially up to 300,000, to plan trees along India’s highways.
The length of national highways in India is around 62,000 miles, the plan is to plant 2 billion trees alongside the highways which would then do the good of creating jobs for the unemployed and protecting the environment. The planting of trees would not only provide jobs for a segment of the population that is largely unemployed, but would also help greatly improve India’s air quality.
A recent study conducted by UK scientists found that tree leaves can capture a substantial amount of particulate pollution. The researchers measured how much air pollution goes into houses by using dust monitoring devices and analyzing what was collected with magnetic remanence (a technique that provides the number of iron bearing particles). Researchers placed silver birch trees in front of four houses, leaving four houses without any trees. Wipes from all eight houses found that wipes from houses with trees had 52%-65% lower concentration of metallic particles. Researchers concluded there was a 50% reduction overall in houses with trees in the front compared to houses without trees. The hairy surfaces of the leaves on the silver birch trees captured metallic particles.
At Chicago Gateway Green our tree partnership program partners with business and community organizations to transforms vacant land across Chicago’s neighborhoods into tree filled green spaces which improves Chicago’s livability and environmental health.
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