Today, June 28th, is World Tree Day. This date isn’t the only one during the year when the importance of trees, the true lungs of the planet, is celebrated. On March 21st there’s another celebration, the International Day of Forests. Trees purify the air, give us oxygen and are a source of food and raw materials. Without them, Astigarraga Kit Line would not exist. Insignis solid pine wood, from which we manufacture furniture and other items for the home, business and office, is our raison d’être. That’s why today, we’re celebrating World Tree Day.
The origins of World Tree Day
World Tree Day was established by the World Forestry Congress held in Rome in 1969 to recognise and commemorate the importance, value and transcendence of trees as vital elements on the planet, and as fully essential for human beings and for life itself.
More and more world and international days are filling up the calendar. But there are some – like World Tree Day – that need to be celebrated every day, because of the need to raise awareness of, emphasise and draw attention to the importance of caring for trees and preserving the environment. While there is a specific World Tree Day, every day is a day to preserve trees, the environment and the planet.
The benefits of trees
It’s a fact that human beings need trees to be able to breathe clean air. One of nature’s greatest wonders, trees are simply life itself. There’s even a practice, arbotherapy, which involves not only hugging trees but also visiting green environments frequently and breathing forest air. Trees provide shade, oxygen, food and many other benefits:
● They’re responsible for converting excess carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change, into oxygen, making the air breathable. Thanks to trees, life is possible. For this reason, they’re called the lungs of the planet.
● Trees clean and purify the air: they absorb gases and filter polluting particles, trapping them in their leaves and bark.
● They help us to preserve the soil. Roots regulate soil water, prevent flooding and restore moisture.
● They provide food with their fruits and leaves to humans and a large number of species. Likewise, trees provide shelter and are a refuge and home for birds, squirrels and so on.
● Trees heal. Living surrounded by nature, being among trees and in contact with nature, helps us to maintain our physical and mental health. Trees help you experience increased well-being and less stress.
● They’re not only a source of food, but also of raw material. Do you have any wooden furniture around right now? To continue enjoying that warm and pleasant feeling in your home, and to be able to use this natural, renewable and recyclable resource to decorate it, it’s key to do so in a sustainable way.
The Insignis pine
Radiata pine, Monterey pine or Insignis pine. These are the names of the tree from which we extract the wood for our trestles and other products. One of the best known woods, originally from California; although nowadays it’s the species most deeply rooted in the Basque Country. Radiata pine wood stands out for its light yellowish sapwood, brown heartwood, and very visible rings.
The Insignis pine is a medium to tall tree and usually measures around 30 metres in height. The rapid growth of this tree species is one of its greatest positives, as it can reach a diameter of more than 50cm in 25-30 years. But the feature we like the most about this pine tree is the one related to biology. Insignis pine forests are proven to be natural air filters. Thanks to its extremely high capacity to produce oxygen and fix atmospheric carbon, this species has become one of the most promising for combating climate change.
We promote repopulation
At Astigarraga Kit Line, we guarantee reforestation through the use of PEFC-certified wood. Our raw material comes from the forests of Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia. As a result, it’s local wood from close by. That’s why the PEFC seal – and any other certificate that guarantees sustainable forest management and that takes meticulous care of trees’ life cycle – is so important. So that when one tree is removed, space is left for another to grow.
Every gram of a tree counts. There are no leftovers. At Astigarraga Kit Line, we utilise 100% of the pine trees. Most of them are used in manufacturing our furniture. But there are always parts that cannot be used, such as bark or sawdust and wood chips. The former are converted into biomass, and the latter end up in paper companies for use in their processes. This is how we manage to reduce our direct impact on the environment, leaving a positive footprint on our surroundings. This is also how we guarantee to our customers and suppliers that all the timber around us is local, sustainable and monitored.
Happy World Tree Day!