Ah, fall. The season where leaves slowly transform from vibrant greens into beautiful shades of red, orange and…blue?!
That’s right, blue trees have been popping up all over Vancouver, but it turns out they have nothing to do with the chilly autumn season. They’re actually the result of a project started by environmental artist Konstantin Dimopoulos. Many of the city’s residents recently came together to paint hundreds of different trees blue with a non-toxic coating, in an attempt to raise awareness about deforestation. And boy is that ever necessary.
In 2012, Canada cleared 45,800 hectares of forest, representing about 0.3 per cent of global deforestation. But it gets even worse when you look abroad. The World Wildlife Fund reports that, all around the world, 36 football fields of forest are cleared every minute.
But we know what you’re thinking: What does the colour blue have to do with cutting down trees? Barrie Mowatt, Director of Vancouver Biennale–a non-profit charitable organization that exhibits great art in public space, including this one–says the colour is very important.
“The blue colour not only catches your attention but it’s also, in the medical world, a ‘Hey, we got a loss of oxygen here,” Mowatt said to CTV News.
In other words, it’s supposed to be a powerful sign that trees, Earth’s oxygen producers, are suffocating. Why are they suffocating? Because we’re cutting down all of our forests.
“The planet can no longer keep losing all great forests the size of Belgium every year,” Dimopoulos said. “There’s only 30 per cent left.”
It’s not just in Canada though. Blue trees have been popping up all over the world, from Australia to the U.K.
Maybe it’s about time we took notice.