This Valentines day, volunteers were on roads with decorated rose saplings packed with fancy baskets and eco friendly wrappers. Spreading the message of gifting trees volunteers were motivating the passer by to buy Plants and gift their beloved ones on this Valentine’s day. “If we promise to be in love for lifetime, then why not a gift which grows and stays for ever.” Said Sulagna Sivaprava, A Volunteer from the city based Voluntary organisation, Bakul Foundation. We have set up 2 stalls in the city and also 10 different florists have joined hands with us to spread this cause and Packed saplings are available with them as well, added Sulagna.
A total of 200 plants have been sold so far since we start this campaign which got launched today. We are receiving orders for more and we will keep spreading the word of Gifting Trees. Our basic idea is to bring a cultural change where people will think of byuing a sapling instead of Gift or a flower boquet at the time of gifting. Said Alok Mohanty, another volunteer. This is a gift that grows, like this tree i wish our relationship will also grow, said Madhumoy, a buyer who got a red rose plant being packed in a basket for his valentine.
This Tree for Free is an initiative under the My Tree Campaign of Bakul, which aims to create an emotional connect between individuals and trees by promoting individual ownership of trees. The main objective of the My Tree Campaign is to promote gifting and plantation of trees as a cultural practice where it becomes a part of the everyday lives of people.
The campaign, which started in 2009, has many components through which the idea of gifting trees is promoted. There is a campaign on social media in which hundreds of people have profile pictures with trees. Environmental Film Festivals and workshops have been organized in schools, colleges and apartments to create awareness, and most importantly, to suggest how individually, each one of us can contribute to address the problem of climate change.
Tree for Free is an attempt to break the inertia that people have in planting trees. It comes from a realization that many want to plant trees but they keep procrastinating. Hence, this makes it easier by taking the saplings to the people. Many people in the city have not known the joy of planting a tree and seeing it grow. This initiative facilitates that and over 8500 saplings have been distributed so far to individuals, who have planted them. Many people have come back asking for more saplings after the excitement of seeing their tree grow.
The My Tree Campaign has received international recognition now, as it is being featured in an Exhibition from November 2014 to June 2015 in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, widely considered the Mecca for contemporary art and architecture. The curators of the exhibition interestingly identified the campaign as one of the very creative and impactful endeavours to address environmental challenges in urban areas in the world.