Plant Your First Tree on Earth Day
On Earth Day, people are looking for ways to express their gratitude towards Mother Earth. Looking at the dire need for reforestation, Earth Day Network has planted tens of millions of trees since 2010. Their goal is to plant 7.8 billion trees for the 50 anniversary of Earth Day in 2020. This project is named as the Earth Day Network Canopy Project. Leveraging agroforestry, sapling distribution and tree care training, they are working worldwide to strengthen communities through tree planting and to conserve, repair, and restore tree cover to their lands.
Trees not only provide food and income but also help in achieving long-term economic and environmental sustainability. They prevent soil erosion, filter the air and help reverse the adverse climatic. In merely one year, a mature tree produces oxygen for a minimum ten people!
This Earth Day, you can extend your support to the Canopy Project by donating to their $1 per tree program or plant a tree in your surroundings. Imagine if you are a family of 4, and plant one tree per family member, then the impact on the environment would be visible within a year.
Looking for more inspiration? Read ahead.
Inspiration from Japan:
During World War II, Japan, not having coal mines or mineral fuels, resorted to cutting down trees on a large scale to fuel its war machines. The result was devastating floods and rapid soil erosion.
After the war, the Japanese started vigorous campaigns to plant trees, and it is this that saved them from total and final disaster.
Every school and college were assigned a piece of land to be developed into a tree farm on which they planted fruit bearing trees. The income from these farms covered most of their schooling costs.
Would it be possible to implement such a productive and fruitful long-term policy in our towns and cities, where some schools lack even so much as a playground?
Trees for enlightening human senses:
Nothing delights the heart and refreshes the mind more than viewing an expanse of land covered with greenery, or merely being amidst the fresh and crisp foliage of varying shades. The magic of spring, with its riot of vibrant colour and sweet fragrances, incites the sense of sight and smell.
Read about Top 10 Beautiful Flowering Trees in India.
Trees for a sustainable economy:
No tree displays its flower without the promise of fruit. All the fruits, rubber, vegetable oils, spices, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, resin, turpentine, cork, essential oils, resins, and gums, etc. come from trees.
Unquestionably timber and its products are important, and increasingly so because irreplaceable fossil fuels are being used at an alarming rate.
Trees have therefore become very crucial to our existence- they are valuable for being renewable sources of carbon and fuel, and as natural converters of carbon dioxide to oxygen.
Read about Top 10 Shade Giving Trees in India.
Trees and Spirituality:
Human beings cannot live by woods and fruits alone, and trees do not minister only to our bodily needs; they have a vital part to play in our spiritual well-beings as well. Deified and worshipped since prehistoric times, as guardians of the dead and protectors of the living, revered through the ages as links with the past and the present, trees have a special place in human affections not enjoyed by many other living things.
The very size of some trees inspires in us an awe unmatched by other creations. With size comes a variety of shapes and colours- from green to gold, spring blossoms of every hue, summer greenery of great variety, and autumn tints of yellow, red and rust.
An ancient tradition that continues to linger today is the sacred groves. Groves are groups of trees that were worshipped as animist deities, for the original inhabitants of our country. Though they knew no botany or ecology as we understand it today, did not from the empirical knowledge that these green deities protected them, providing shelter and food, medicine, fire, innumerable other means of sustenance.
Read about the Astral Garden: The Nakshatra Udyan.
Trees for a better environment:
As catalysts in nature’s anti-pollution squad, trees cleanse the air, alleviate dust content, and absorb moisture. They play the role of cooling agents, as anyone who has spent a burning hot summer afternoon in a forest rather than city would testify. They act as buffers against noise and pollutants.
Besides functioning as natural screens between tightly built housing, trees soften the stark contours of harsh concrete structures, making urban settlements more habitable for us. Above all else, a tree is beautiful to look at and have around. More trees attract more butterflies and bees and insects, squirrels and birds that cheer us with their melodious songs. Learn about how to attract birds in your garden.
Remember Thomas Fuller once said that “He that plants trees loves others beside himself.”
Ref: ‘Planting trees for better tomorrow’- Pheroza J. Godrej (2011)