May is Clean Air Month, and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) reminds us all the many ways our living landscapes – grass, trees, shrubs and flowering plants – help improve the air we breathe. Sure, our yards are aesthetically pleasing, but your landscaping goes beyond that. Our lawns, community parks and other green spaces help ensure we have fewer code red air quality days.
Here are OPEI’s top three reasons to celebrate the great American yard during Clean Air Month.
Captures Dust and Particulate Matter
Grass helps clear the air! It plays a vital role in capturing rainwater, which collects dust, smoke particles and other matter from the air and then the plants filter those pollutants that harm people, according to researchers at the University of California, Riverside. Scientists at Lancaster University in the U.K. also discovered the placement of grass, plants, and trees in urban environments can decrease the concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) by as much as 40 percent while reducing particulate matter by up to 60 percent.
Breathe easier! A 25-square foot area of turfgrass supplies enough oxygen to support one person for a day, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. Additionally, American Forests reports that two mature trees provide enough oxygen for one person to breathe over the course of a year.
Help our atmosphere! Research from Texas A&M indicates that turfgrasses remove atmospheric pollutants including carbon dioxide and ozone from the air. According to the Urban Forestry Network, planting just one tree per American family would reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by one billion pounds per year.
There are many additional environmental and health benefits of your living landscapes. To learn more, visit LivingLandscapesMatter.com.
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. OPEI is the advocacy voice of the industry, and a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in the development of safety and performance standards. OPEI is managing partner of GIE+EXPO, the industry’s annual international trade show, and the creative force behind the environmental education program, TurfMutt.com. OPEI-Canada represents members on a host of issues, including recycling, emissions and other regulatory developments across the Canadian provinces. For more information, visit www.OPEI.org