Q:

What are some everyday uses of plants?

A:

Quick Answer

Plants and plant-derived materials provide humans with everything from oxygen, food and medicinally active chemical compounds to building materials, rope and paper pulp. Plants are also used to beautify both indoor and outdoor spaces.

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Full Answer

All plants undergo the process of photosynthesis, which releases oxygen as a by-product into the Earth’s atmosphere. In this way, plants support all the organisms on Earth that require oxygen to survive.

Most food consumed by people worldwide is plant-based. Vegetables, grains and legumes are all derived from plants, as are coffee and tea, chocolate, and corn syrup. Meat, eggs and dairy products originate from animals that consume plant-based feed. Hundreds of medicinal compounds are derived from plants.

Humans use many products derived from trees and other woody plants. Wood is used to build houses, furniture, tools, toys and cooking utensils. Paper and cardboard are made out of wood pulp. Textiles, clothing and ropes are made from other plants such as cotton and flax. Woody plants are a source of fuel and heat when burned or transformed into charcoal. All fossil fuels, including coal, are also derived from ancient plants.

People use both living plants and cut flowers to decorate their homes and offices. Many people enjoy the hobby of propagating flowers and vegetables in their homes and gardens. Gardens and parks are full of plants that enhance people’s enjoyment of these recreational areas.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the waste product of photosynthesis?

    A:

    Photosynthesis, which is the process through which some living organisms, including most plants and some fungi, make their own food, produces oxygen as a waste product. The process of photosynthesis in plants is the reverse of the respiration process in humans. While humans breathe in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, plants ingest carbon dioxide and dispel oxygen.

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  • Q:

    Why do humans need plants?

    A:

    Humans need plants for a number of reasons, with the two most important ones being to provide oxygen and food. Additionally, plants give fuel, fiber, medicine and materials for shelter. They can also be useful in cleaning toxic soils, filtering particles from the air, stabilizing soils and acting as an insecticide.

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  • Q:

    What are some different things plants provide?

    A:

    Some things that are derived from plants are food, shelter, furniture, musical instruments, paper, clothing, beauty, medicine and oxygen. The types of plants and plant products used as food include: corn, wheat, rice, cabbage, beans, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, squash and fruits.

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  • Q:

    What kind of plants lived during the Cenozoic Era?

    A:

    Common plants during the Cenozoic Era included moss, grass and flowering plants, as well as edible crops late in the period when humans began to learn how to grow their own food. Plant life began to flourish during the Cenozoic Era, and nearly every plant living today has some sort of tie to this period in time.

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