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Pledge to plant

Website starts plant a tree campaign, sends reminder emails so that couch potatoes don’t forget their green date

entertainment Updated: Jun 28, 2010 15:22 IST
Sneha Mahale
Sneha Mahale
Hindustan Times

Want to save the environment but don’t know how to get started? You may want to check this website for some tips. Called (mTmD), the portal that commenced operating on June 16, encourages people to plant trees on any day of their choice. What’s more, those who take on this commitment are sent reminders, encouraging them to keep their pledge date. The idea to start mTmD came about seven weeks ago when Aditya Dwivedi, a chemical engineer from IIT-B, insisted that his friends plant trees.

Passion Calling
“Aditya is passionate about the environment. He called me and asked me to plant a tree in my locality. I wasn’t able to spot a location near my home and being a lazy guy, I didn’t try to identify any other place and skipped the idea,” says Amit Aggarwal, co-founder of mTmD. However, Dwivedi didn’t stop and called Aggarwal daily to ask for a status update. Finally, Aggarwal figured out a location and planted a tree. That’s when Aggarwal thought of creating a website which can act like Aditya for people like him. And mTmD was born, as part of their plant a tree campaign.

How it works
As part of the pledge, volunteers need to drop an email to mTmD mentioning the date on which they are going to plant the tree. As soon as they receive the email, the date mentioned turns green on Tree Calender on the website. And for folks who are simply lazy, they send an email reminder or make a reminder call a day before the pledge date. Volunteers can also upload images of trees planted and have discussions. They can help fellow volunteers by tagging locations where trees can be planted.

The mTmD team also helps volunteers by providing them with a list of places where saplings are available and gives out information on what plant varities are best suited for that particular area.

Up Next
In the immediate future, the team also plans to start a sponsor a date programme that will allow people to just pay for the sapling and let team members plant it and ensure that it grows succesfully. “We are hoping that people will use this option around bithdays and anniversaries and gift trees to their loved ones,” says Aggarwal. There are also plans to involve corporates and get more people involved in this initiative in a bid to expand its reach. Aggarwal says, “But the website is still in its nascent stage and our immediate priority is to create awareness.”

Green Bike Trip
To create more awareness about planting tress, Aditya Dwivedi undertook a 10-day bike trip across the country. He describes his journey:

"I started my bike trip on June 17 and on the first day itself; faced heavy rains and strong winds. But I still managed to distribute 100 seeds to nariyalwallahs, dhabewallahs and farmers. Two days later, after a halt at Pune, I moved North. I distributed many seeds to farmers. Then I headed towards Kota and rested for two days. I moved to Jaipur, and on the seventh day, caught the loo (hot wind) and fell ill, and couldn’t ride anymore. n Overall, I managed to distribute more than 1,100 seeds of rain tree, seesam and neem. I am hopeful that at least 400-450 will turn into full-grown trees, as most of the seeds were distributed to farmers."

First Published: Jun 28, 2010 14:54 IST