Carbon Crusaders

Trees Are Made Of Clouds! by explodingtrees
August 22, 2008, 11:57 pm
Filed under: Global Warming | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

My wife and I were recently discussing the weight of the Wye Oak.  It turns out it weighed over 30 tons1.  I knew all of that mass had to come from somewhere, and thinking that most of the mass of the tree came from the surrounding soil, I was wondering if there was a huge depression around the tree as the tree “ate up” the soil as it grew.  My wife corrected me and pointed out that most of a tree’s mass comes not from the soil, but from the atmosphere.

About 400 years ago a Flemish guy named Jan Baptista van Helmont also wondered where a tree’s mass came from.  So he planted a small tree in 200 pounds of soil.  The tree gained 164 pounds, but the soil only lost two ounces!

It turns out that most of a tree’s mass is carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen.  It gets the carbon from the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the oxygen and hydrogen from water.  So in terms of my twisted logic:

  • The vast majority of a tree’s mass comes from the air (carbon dioxide) and water (rain).
  • Clouds are made of air and rain.
  • Therefore, trees are made of clouds!

So what does this have to do with you?  Well, go plant a tree in your back yard.  It will pull some of the carbon dioxide out of the air.  Tired of raking leaves?  Hire a neighborhood kid to rake the leaves for you.  Don’t cut the tree down; it’s not worth the carbon (and financial) cost!  And don’t throw dirt in the air.  It might combine with a passing cloud and instantly turn into a tree.

Spinwave Your Carbon Footprint Goodbye! by explodingtrees
August 13, 2008, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

With energy costs soaring and global warming becoming more imminent, there’s no excuse for wasted energy.  At a recent Boston tech event, I found out about a company that can help businesses reduce their carbon footprints.  They can help office buildings reduce their energy usage by as much as 50% through their wireless sensors, thermostats, and controls.  Check them out at  It’s great to see an increasing number of companies taking positive steps to help the environment!

MakeMeSustainable Is Growing! by explodingtrees
August 13, 2008, 6:01 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m proud to introduce myself as the newest member of MakeMeSustainable.  I joined the team as the Chief Engineer two months ago and it has been truly exciting.  The energy and enthusiasm of the MakeMeSustainable team is contagious!  It’s great to be a part of a company with such a great mission and I look forward to being a part of the success of MakeMeSustainable.

Wyatt Greene