How Do Plants Help the Environment?

By absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and producing the oxygen needed for life, green plants form the basis for the long-term health and sustainability of all environmental systems. Plants are the only organisms on Earth that can manufacture their own food by converting the sun's solar energy into food.

The process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy is called photosynthesis. Water and carbon dioxide are turned into oxygen and glucose during photosynthesis. The glucose produced is either stored in the form of starch or used for respiration. The oxygen is released into the air as a by-product. Green plants are the most crucial components of the food chain. Every other animal either directly or indirectly rely on them for food.

Numerous organisms rely on various forms of vegetation as their primary source of shelter and safety. On a grander scale, such as in tropical forests, plants can affect rainfall patterns. Green plants moderate surface temperatures by providing a form of natural cooling when they prevent the sun's heating effect.

The roots of plants help bind the soil together; this conserves the soil by minimizing soil erosion. The leaves also reduce soil erosion by reducing the velocity and impact of falling rain drops. The aesthetic properties of green plants such as flowers make the environment more beautiful.