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  • In most states, the last Friday in April is Arbor Day. Certain states celebrate Arbor Day to coincide with the best tree-planting weather. It was created to inspire people to plant, care for, and learn more about trees.
  • Two mature trees supply enough oxygen—that's 520 pounds of oxygen—to support a family of four for an entire year. On the entire planet, there are only 61 trees for each person alive today.
  • The average tree in an urban or city area has a life expectancy of only 8 years.
  • No tree dies of old age. They are generally killed by people, insects, or disease.
  • Some trees can "talk" to each other. For example, when willow trees are attacked by caterpillars, they emit a chemical that alerts nearby willow trees. The neighboring trees respond by pumping more tannin into their leaves, which makes it more difficult for caterpillars to digest the leaves.
Let the Sun Shine In

Do you have extra space in your home? Want to put it to better use? Turn that spare bedroom into a home gym, or convert the room over your garage into a media room. Here are a few helpful hints for your upcoming project:

Home gym

The convenience and time benefits associated with a home gym are priceless for those looking to fit workouts into their busy schedules. To get started, think about how much space is available and the exercise equipment you'll need. Make sure there's enough room for your mat, free weights, balance ball and any other equipment. Electrical considerations and built-in storage areas may come into play too, depending on your vision for the room.

Flooring is another component to think about, as larger equipment and heavy weights need a durable base that stands up well to wear and tear. Practically speaking, ventilation or fans can provide a more comfortable workout experience. Having a few large mirrors on the wall to see your progress or a small refrigerator for those post-workout protein shakes are a few valuable comforts not to be forgotten in the initial planning stages.

Media room

There's nothing like a new media room to add value to your home and a little fun for the family in the process. Whether you're starting from scratch or adding enhancements to an existing room, you'll want to take into account a few things to make the experience a good one.

  • An enclosed, rectangular space works best for sound.
  • Low ceilings work best —12 feet or lower is ideal.
  • Cover the walls and ceiling with something to absorb sound; try floor-to-ceiling drapes and give the room that true movie-theater feel.
  • Lighting should be soft and subtle. Strategically place light sources to avoid screen glare. Point track lights at the ceiling or walls, or direct lights toward the floor. Install dimmer switches so that you can control the light level.

Consider consulting with a sound specialist that can really help create an ultimate entertainment experience for your home.