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The Number Of Trees Around You Can Affect Your Income, Here’s Why

The Number Of Trees Around You Can Affect Your Income, Here’s Why

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    Trees are more than just majestic in how they look. They provide a range of environmental, economical, and even social benefits that improve our quality of life. Trees clean our air, purify water, reduce our energy costs, and beautify our communities. People living in a community with more trees reported that their quality of life improved to the point of feeling up to 7 years younger, and making up to $10,000 more a year.

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    Trees make you feel healthier and feel younger! A recent study published in the journal Nature, “Neighborhood Greenspace and Health in a Large Urban Center,” led by a group of researchers in Toronto, Canada showed that people who live in neighborhoods with a higher density of trees on their streets reported significantly better health, and less cardiometabolic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, obesity, and more.

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      Maybe money does really grow on trees- At least in some cities.

      During the same study, using the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s natural resource inventory and satellite imagery, researchers gathered economic data, including income, land prices, and disposable income.

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      They found that for every 1 percent increase in per capita income, demand for forest cover increased by 1.76 percent. But when income dropped by the same amount, demand decreased by 1.26 percent. The researchers found that wealthier cities can afford more trees, both on a private and public property. The rich can afford larger lots, which can support more trees. On the public side, areas with larger tax bases can afford to plant and maintain more trees.

      Another study published in April in PLOS ONE gives us a picture of how unequal our cities are with regards to trees. The study revealed that high-income neighborhoods in the 7 selected cities were more likely to have a high tree population than low-income neighborhoods. Fortunately, many cities understand the value trees bring to their cities.  New York for one, is doing something to change that and started the Million Trees campaign that proposed to plant a million new trees over the next ten years.

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      How can trees increase your $$?

      • Trees planted near your home or business can lower air-conditioning and heating costs by decreasing energy use, thereby increasing income.
      • Landscaping your home with trees increases the value up to 15 percent, and will sell faster than a home without trees. The property values of an entire neighborhood or business district increase when there are trees planted as well.
      • Trees add beauty to communities and business districts. Studies show that people are more likely to slow down and linger at store windows and are willing to pay up to 12 percent more for goods and services, and spend a longer time shopping.
      • Office and industrial areas with wooded settings are in high demand. Employees that have a shady area to eat and walk during lunch and breaks are more productive and stress-free on the job. Employees without a view of nature from their desks reported 23% more illnesses than those with a view.
      • Streets with little or no shade need to be repaved twice as often as those with tree cover.

      plants
        Prefer the indoors?

        Having indoor plants can also improve your wellbeing. Indoor plants can remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours! Here are the top 10 indoor plants:

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        1. Rose Plant
        2. Devil’s Ivy
        3. Phalaenopsis
        4. English Ivy
        5. Parlor Ivy
        6. African Violets
        7. Christmas Cactus
        8. Yellow Goddess
        9. Garlic Vine
        10. Peace Lily

        Take all of these things, and you’ve got one powerful argument in favor of tree planting initiatives in all of our neighborhoods and cities.

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        Melissa Atkinson

        Freelance writer

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        Last Updated on July 10, 2020

        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

        We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

        We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

        So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

        Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

        What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

        Boundaries are limits

        —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

        Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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        Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

        Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

        Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

        How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

        Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

        1. Self-Awareness Comes First

        Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

        You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

        To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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        You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

        • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
        • When do you feel disrespected?
        • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
        • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
        • When do you want to be alone?
        • How much space do you need?

        You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

        2. Clear Communication Is Essential

        Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

        Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

        3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

        Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

        That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

        Sample language:

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        • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
        • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
        • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
        • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
        • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
        • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
        • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

        Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

        4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

        Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

        Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

        Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

        We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

        It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

        It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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        Final Thoughts

        Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

        Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

        Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

        The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

        Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

        Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

        They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

        Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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