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Clearing the air, one tree at a time

Cheryl Santa Maria, staff writer
May 7, 2012 — Hundreds of volunteers gathered to plant trees on Saturday in an effort to offset carbon dioxide emissions.

Tree planting can help offset carbon dioxide emissions
Tree planting can help offset carbon dioxide emissions

Summer is right around the corner and it's only a matter of time before smog alerts begin to dominate the weather forecasts.

Every year, thousands of people across the country experience breathing problems due to summer's haze -- but a group of volunteers are hoping to reduce the impact of smog, one tree at a time.

John Perno is a board member of CAA South Central Ontario. He says his organization has been supporting Trees Ontario for nearly seven years.

Since 2004, the not-for-profit organization has worked with volunteers and businesses to plant more than 13 million trees across Ontario, creating a carbon offset of nearly 350 million pounds.

On Saturday, CAA sponsored eight tree planting events in communities across the region.

Huge crowds turned out to greenify their neighbourhoods and enjoy the fresh air they're helping to create.

"There's obviously a link between air quality and respiratory diseases, so it's really important, from my point of view, to do everything we can to reduce the emissions that are in the air and help improve air quality," Perno says.

This year, CAA and Trees Ontario will be planting nearly 10,000 trees together, equivalent to a carbon offset of about 160,000 pounds.

Visit Trees Ontario to learn about community planting events in your neighbourhood.

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