Growing basil trees in the United States can help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of Washington and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that basil plants produce about 10 times more carbon dioxide than their native, green counterparts.
The researchers found that plants from the basil family, which includes lavender, oregano, and dill, are able to sequester almost as much carbon dioxide as native plants.
In addition, the researchers say basil plants can sequester the carbon in their roots, allowing for greater carbon storage than other plants.
The study is published in the journal Nature Plants.
“This is the first study to demonstrate that basil can be grown without soil or soil nutrients,” said lead author Dr. David Baskin, an associate professor in the UW Department of Entomology.
“When you grow basil, you can keep the soil carbon in the roots, and you can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 80 percent,” Baskins said.
“And by doing that, you could have significantly reduced global warming.”
Baskins is a member of the UWA plant community.
He’s also a plant geneticist and an expert on the science and economics of growing plants.
He is also a co-author on a study published in Science in 2012 that found basil can sequesters a third of the carbon dioxide that other plants produce when they grow.
Baskin said basil has been used to combat climate change since the beginning of recorded human history, with its use to create paper towels, paper towels made of it, and paper towels that were made of the leaves of the basil plant.
“The idea of saving the planet by growing basil was first developed by the Greeks, and this is a great example of why it’s an excellent idea,” Basks said.
“It’s a beautiful plant and one that can be used in many different ways.
It can be an excellent fertilizer, an excellent seed, a wonderful container plant for storing food, and it can be a great tree for the garden.”
We need to make sure that we use it in a way that is environmentally responsible,” he said.