Plants are essential for the Earth

Published 4:22 pm Saturday, June 21, 2014

Without plants, animal life would not be possible.

They provide humans and other animals with oxygen and food.

Life on this planet would cease without their ability to create food for themselves using only sunlight.

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Short of developing our own method of photosynthesis, plants are our direct link to the power of the sun.

Today I learned that they can serve a much larger purpose in ensuring our continued success on planet Earth, they can clean up pollution.

I knew that plants served an important purpose, but was not quite aware that they are able to remove toxic chemicals from the air and water if provided the right conditions.

As I talked with Dr. Bill Wolverton, I was reminded that Pearl River County is home to many intelligent and important people, and that great work is ongoing in south Mississippi.

The research Wolverton conducted at Stennis Space Center was the precursor to the previous wastewater treatment plant in Picayune.

For $250,000 the city was able to construct a wastewater treatment plant capable of treating at least a million gallons of wastewater using minimal energy.

That plant has since been replaced with a $12 million wastewater treatment facility that uses ultraviolet light to treat wastewater.

Additionally, if you have plants in your home, preferably without the use of potting soil, they can help clean the air of the chemicals that your appliances and electronics expel.

Also, if you have the know-how you can build your own method of treating wastewater at your home, by simply using plants.

There is more to it than I can explain here, but this is an example of how such a simple organism can play a large part on this planet