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This time of year when so many of us are talking about trees — which one to buy, how does it smell, what happens if my dog eats the branches — we should all take a minute to say "thank you" to the life of a tree and the environmental protection they provide.

Trees for environmental protection

Trees are essential to life on Earth. Heifer recognizes their simple yet extraordinary virtues and gives many varieties of trees and saplings including acacia, fodder, forest and fruit to families in the communities where we work. And trees seedlings are Passed On to other families ensuring the sustainable cycle that's key to Heifer's development model.

Did you know?

  • Trees breathe out oxygen and breathe in carbon dioxide.
  • Trees hold water in the soil and moisture in the air.
  • Trees provide food and medicines for birds, animals and people.
  • Fast-growing trees put nitrogen back in the soil, serve as windbreaks and provide fodder, fencing, firewood and fruit.
  • Multi-purpose trees that families plant along the contours of hillside plots and between rows of crops can provide shade for animals and high-protein fodder.
So as a "thank you" to trees for how much they give us,  I'm gifting trees to my friends and family this holiday season. Hope they breathe a little better.

This holiday season, give trees for your loved ones dedicated to environmental protection.

This post is part of our What to Give series, where we're helping you choose the best Heifer gift for your loved ones. Read previous What to Give posts here, and subscribe to the What to Give series here.

Still don't know what to give? Visit our full catalog page here.

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