Climate change is an all-time trending topic across the world. Millennial population across the planet are standing up and demanding firm steps from the governments for environment conservation. While this activism is required to exert pressure on various institutions, it is meaningless if it is not substantiated with real action.
Weekend getaways to places surrounded by nature have become a norm for youth living in urban areas. When visiting such places, we often think, “I will live in a place like this after I retire!” We protest against the cutting of trees. Yet there is little we do to restore the trees that are being cut to fulfil our everyday needs.
In our second post of the Resolution 2020 series, we propose you to change that and plant as many trees as you can this year.
Benefits of Planting Trees
More often than not, planting trees is viewed as an act towards environment conservation. While this is the primary goal, there are many more not-so-obvious benefits of planting trees which might encourage more people to plant trees.
Trees are credited with reducing stress and improving productivity among people. They tend to soothe a person and allow them to have a clarity of thought.
Participating in planting trees can also help in fighting depression according to various studies.
Trees help in faster recovery of patients who have recently been through a surgery.
Studies have shown that children who spend time outdoors in green spaces tend to have a better memory and retaining capacity than those who do not.
In various parts of the world, people plant trees when their loved one dies in their memory. The tree then serves as a memorial tree for the family, who can feel their loved ones near them at all times.
Benefits to the Community
Planting trees in any neighbourhood is not only beneficial to the person who planted it, but to the entire neighbourhood. The shade, clean air, reduced temperature, and overall environment that accompanies trees could be enjoyed collectively by a community.
Streets that are lined with trees have a calming effect on the traffic.
Trees reduce the urban heat island effect through evaporative cooling and reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches parking lots and buildings.
Trees improve the quality of the air by filtering harmful dust and pollutants.
Trees help in checking desertification and soil erosion.
Trees are at the centre of preservation of biodiversity.
Trees can significantly reduce cooling costs as they bring down the temperature by a couple of degrees.
Fruits and Flowers that the trees produce can generate an extra income for the community.
How to go about it
Planting trees is the easiest way you can show that you care about society. It is not time-consuming and does not even require a long-term commitment. It is one kind of community work that can fit into anyone’s lifestyle, no matter how busy they are. It can be done by a rich or poor both.
There are trees that propagate by inserting a branch of it in the soil. Someone who cannot afford to buy a potted plant, can take one of these branches and plant it in their neighbourhood. Neem tree and Moringa are examples of such trees.
Gifting plants is another great way of planting a tree and getting others to participate in the activity too. Thus, next time, when you cannot think of what to gift on any occasion, log on to Greenish or Living Gifts to gift a plant to someone for a specific occasion. If growing trees is what you believe in and you know that there is no space where your loved ones can grow one, or they may not be able to care for it, you can log on to Grow – Trees to grow a tree in their name and send them an e-treecertificate.
Twinkle Khanna in her book, The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad, explored an idea of growing five mango trees every time a girl child is born. The trees would then belong to her and would take care of all her needs as she grows up. This would make her financially independent of her family. The idea is commendable and deserves to be promoted in rural areas, especially where female children are considered to be a burden on their families.
Planting a tree to mark your birthday is another amazing thing one can do. It is a great way to create a physical timeline of your life.
Apart from all of these, organizing tree plantation drives for birthdays or anniversaries instead of throwing a lavish party could be done. This would not only be unique but also be more satisfying to all the guests.
Organisations associated with Planting Trees
Green Yatra is a non-profit that is working towards environmental conservation. It is working to aid the government in achieving 33% green cover in the country. The organization is inviting volunteers who can participate in plantation drive every weekend. To know more about this, click here.
Sankalptaru is a non-profit that allows an individual to contribute to planting and caring for a tree for a festival, faith, project or zodiacs that are listed on their site. The organization then plants a tree on behalf of the person and sends geolocation of the tree to them. You can plant a tree using this site or volunteer with the organization. To know more, click here.
The Forest App is a focus app that helps people stay away from their smartphones and focus on the present. The app works like this: When you want to focus, plant a tree. The tree will grow in the following time. If you leave the app, the tree will be killed. If the tree survives, you win virtual coins. You can spend these virtual coins to plant a real tree.
Forest team has partnered with a real-tree-planting organization, Trees for the Future, to plant real trees on the earth. When the users spend virtual coins they earn in Forest on planting real trees, Forest team create orders of planting a real tree. You can download the app from Google Play or iOS.