Want to save the environment but don’t know where to begin? A good place to start would be Grow-Trees.com. Launched in June 2010, the website lets you gift trees for any occasion including birthdays, weddings, festivals and even anniversaries at just Rs 50 per tree.
These are then planted in areas they are needed, to help local communities and wildlife, and offset carbon emissions. Plus, you get a gift or offset certificate honouring your noble gesture. Nearly 38,000 trees have been planted through the website in the last two months.
Pradip Shah, founder of CRISIL and Grow-Trees, came up with the idea after receiving a similar gift from Israeli clients. Says Paresh Murudkar, the in-charge of the initiative, “They gifted him a garden of 100 trees. That was when he thought of starting a similar project in India.”
To plant a tree, you need to log on to the website, enter the number of trees, and state the purpose. Options range from wildlife (benefits local animals), rural (benefits rural communities) and forest (to prevent loss of tree cover). Enter your payment mode, choose between a gift and offset certificate, and you’re good to go. There are no restrictions on the amount of trees you can plant.
Grow-Trees contacts their planting partners and plants trees depending on the purpose. “We only plant trees on government and community land and not on private land. This way, no one owns the trees and wildlife and local communities can reap the benefits of their produce,” says Murudkar. The trees are mostly planted in the monsoon to give them a better survival rate. They also have a target set for each area. Once that is completed, they move on to new locations.
Grow-Trees currently has ongoing projects in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Orissa and Kanha in Madhya Pradesh. They are also on the lookout for planning partners in Mumbai and Maharashtra.
Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary, Rajasthan: Planting 50,000 trees to prevent deforestation.
Rajasthan: Planted 66,000 trees.
Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh: Helping wildlife by planting 50,000 trees.
Dahod, Gujarat: This is a 13,500-tree project. The community here will nurture a forest so that it provides fruit, fodder and fuel every year.