The Green Gallery

View of Green Gallery.
Exhibition Dates: 
Ongoing

This exhibition explores the relationship between people, the environment, and paper.

Trees as a Source of Paper: Today, most of the paper we use is made from trees, which provide renewable and recyclable fibers.  The United States consumes more than 187 billion pounds of paper every year and each of us uses approximately 712 pounds annually. Trees are carbon sinks, capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  This is called carbon sequestration.  The carbon dioxide enters the leaf through the stomata, where it combines with water.  Then, sunlight causes a chemical reaction, converting the carbon dioxide and water into cellulose, sugars and other materials.

 

How does Climate Change Occur?

 

The sun heats the Earth and some of the heat escapes back into space.  The rest of the heat is trapped in the atmosphere by clouds and greenhouse gases such as water vapor and carbon dioxide.  This is called the greenhouse effect and is a natural occurrence which helps regulate our planet’s temperature.

Human activities also have added greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, causing the earth’s temperature to rise.

How Can Trees Help Counteract Climate Change?

Sustainable development meets present day needs without compromising the needs of future generations.

Sustainable forest management helps trees adapt to climate change and maintain biodiversity, and ensures an annual timber harvest..

Sustainable forestry is the best way to responsibly use trees as a resource, while enabling them to continue absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) and releasing oxygen into the air.  Maintaining existing forests and replanting areas where forests once grew are key to sustainability.  Active management of forest vegetation increases the trees’ resistance and adaptability to climate changes.

Today, one-third of the land in the United States, or 747 million acres, is forest.  Good forestry management creates more carbon sinks to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions at low costs.