See the Forest and the Trees

Recent research conducted among more than 150 million people
shows that there is a strong correlation between poor air quality and
higher rates of serious mental health problems. This could be
caused by air pollution itself, or noise from the traffic, or it could
be that these areas are often more poor and more densely
packed with people, therefore the number of serious mental
health issues are bound to be higher. Scientists are increasingly
convinced that some of the smallest pollutants pass through the
blood brain barrier and are potentially affecting the brain.
Even more recent global data has found that people living in
heavy air polluted areas have higher rates of depression and
So, what’s the answer to this serious problem? Do we all move
out of cities? Can most people really afford to live in less air
polluted areas? Or does the answer lie in better public transport;
relying less on fossil fuels; greener, more efficient ways of
moving all the goods around that we now all buy online; a
greater concerted effort to properly green the most heavily air
polluted areas?
We already know that air pollution in New Cross and Deptford
is six times higher than the World Health Organisation guidelines,
so greening our area is essential. It’s clearly in all our interests.
And it is something we can all play a role in. Whether by planting
what we can in our own spaces, getting involved in developing
community green spaces or lobbying our council and the London
Mayor to expand their ‘greening’ plans even further.
Here’s one New Year’s resolution we all need to make and really
cannot afford to break – reducing our own and collective carbon
footprints. Planting trees and grasses, such as Bamboo, can make
a significant difference. Commit to planting a tree or some bamboo
this year. It doesn’t have to be in your own backyard, you
might not have one! If you would like to find out more about how
you can get involved in tree planting in London check out the
following websites:,,,