HEP or Human Exceptionalism Paradigm, the idea that humans cannot be affected by our failing world. HEP is displayed when people, think the environment is there to serve them, and the resources they rely on, will never run out, and if they do, it will not be at their own hands. Whereas NEP, is the opposite, NEP, a paradigm, which expresses that nature, or the environment is a ticking time bomb. We have to preserve it, because we are part of it, and depend on it. Sandy, my tree, unfortunately fits more in to the HEP paradigm. A tree planted, not in her natural habit, purely for astatic value. Although, she thrives, because our climate is similar to the climates of central Europe, it is not a native tree to the mid-Atlantic, United States. Sandy, is a beautiful tree, she adds color to the quad and is quite large, but when students, walk by her and every other tree on campus, that’s what they think, if they even think about the trees.

Trees serve numerus almost countless benefits to the environment. And just to name a few: leaves that gather at the base of a tree, or blow elsewhere in the fall time can reduce soil temperature and soil moisture loss. Keeping the ecosystem around that tree in balance, just by shedding its dead leaves. Those leaves also work as self-composters. Decaying and rotting leaves that gather on the ground just like at Sandy’s base, break down and provide nurturance. Those leaves promote soil microorganism, giving food to other organisms, and provide nutrients for tree growth. Trees also help filter out and trap dust, pollen and smoke from the air. We create pollutants, from cars, industry and just everyday life, that trees, self-correct for use. Trees create an ecosystem to provide habitat and food for birds and other animals. Most people know trees absorb carbon dioxide, which is extremely important, but trees absorb many other harmful pollutants and gasses as well, such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, after it takes the gasses, or the damage we put in to air, it releases it back out as oxygen.  And if that wasn’t enough, here are just a few more facts about the benefits of trees:

  • “One large tree can supply a day’s supply of oxygen for four people.”
  • “A healthy tree can store 13 pounds of carbon each year —-for an acre of trees that equals to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide.”
  • “Each gallon of gasoline burned produces almost 20 pounds of carbon dioxide.”

Yet every day we, students, people, dependents on nature, walk by trees like sandy, and feel inclined to only comment on her beauty, her changing leaves, the nice shade she provides, none of the life essential jobs she dose. We as human can easily get sucked in to the HEP mentality, we forget how much the environment dose for us.

Evans, Erv. “TREES OF STRENGTH.” Www.ncsu.edu. College of Agriculture and Life Science. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.
-Maggie Dougherty

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