Tree Plantation drive: Earth Day 22nd April, 2018 @ Rajkot

Earth Day 2018 - End Plastic Pollution(Ecology club of Rajkot)1

Tree plantation is an easy strategy to cater to climate change mitigation as well as aid in climate change adaptation.

A tree plantation drive was organized to commemorate Earth Day 22nd April, Sunday at Sh Vinoba Bhave Pri Govt School no. 93 at Rajkot, Gujarat, India. It was citizen driven initiative with support from government and private entity.

The idea to bring in citizen participation was three fold- one to enhance green cover at the school premises thus also help in not only carbon sequestration but also greater water retention apart from providing nutritional value to the school kids of Government school.

Earth Day 2018 - End Plastic Pollution(Ecology club of Rajkot)2

Event had digging the pits (shram dan activity), planting and watering the trees followed by discussions / networking /Presentation/ video screening and light snacks. Discussions also ranged from plastic pollution, climate-friendly practices of waste minimization to changing behavioural and lifestyle choices and energy conservation to using renewable energy and pledge to ending plastic waste .

Since this year the area chosen was Government school where kids from lower middle income households generally come to study, the idea was to choose plants which are indigenous and also have nutritional plus pharmaceutical value. The school kids, when these plant matures and produces fruits would be allowed to consume the fruits thus also tackle nutrition and mal-nutrition if any.

 

  • Event Highlights:
  • Total Volunteers: about 60 people
    • About 25 with various backgrounds: from business man / women to service men / women to doctor to interior designer to engineers, music professional to radio program manager to Home manager,
    • 25 students and staff from the school
    • along with 7 people from Central GST Appeals – Rajkot. Central GST commissioner had felicitated the occasion by participating and showing immense support for future such events and 4 other schools adopted by the GST Appeals department in Rajkot apart from this school.
  • Total trees planted: >160 in tree beds and pots
  • Tree: Indigenous trees with medicinal and nutritional values like neem, vikdo, pomegranate, lemon, karanj, guava, rose apple etc
  • Along with Ecology club of Rajkot there were two other organisations which provided support
  • Support from Central GST Appeals – Rajkot:
    • Helping dig and build garden bed to plant 12 big trees
    • Fund to procure more than 160 Earthern and plastic pots
  • Support from Grand Regency Lagoon – Rajkot:
    • Helping with 3 tractor full of soil and also 20 bags of Vermicompost
  • Highly enthusiastic volunteers gathered on time at 6 am to plant trees as a eco-community initiative
  • Briefing of importance of Earth day and a small round of introduction
  • Digging pits according to the size of tree bag was done at ear marked spaces
  • Planting and watering activity was done and finished by 7.55 am.
  • Presentation of sharing events done by Ecology club so far along with presentation of plastic pollution menace with example of global and local context to explain the magnitude of plastic pollution.

Earth Day 2018 - End Plastic Pollution(Ecology club of Rajkot)3.jpg

  • Discussion Highlights:
  • Networking and open discussions followed which were:
    • Current environment and climate crises and on need to do planting
    • How could we make our city green
    • What sort of plants should be selected so as to attract flora and fauna
    • How can we move to making more sustainable choices of consumption as eco-conscious citizens
    • About next such drives and meeting at-least once in two months ( 6 such meets in a year)
    • There were volunteers who mentioned they had factory space or other land where we could do this joint activity of planting.
    • Volunteers pledged that they will come to take care of the trees thus planted once in a while and also try and reduce their plastic waste generation.

Like any activity we humans do has its carbon footprint, this event however small in terms of numbers had its carbon footprint; we will take responsibility of our event carbon emissions by way of accounting and improvising. However since this event was of tree plantation we would also in a way be off-setting those carbon emissions through the carbon sequestration by those planted trees. Plants photosynthetic process utilizes the available atmospheric CO2 and acts as a natural sink for the excess carbon dioxide generated by anthropogenic activities.

To publicly demonstrate commitment to sustainability and to inspire participants and spectators to choose low-carbon options in our own lives, as well as saving money through measures such as reducing energy consumption event organiser opted cycle as mode of transport and choosing biodegradable bowls and steel / Glass utensils.

Earth Day 2018 - End Plastic Pollution(Ecology club of Rajkot)

Though we did not calculate our carbon footprint like last year, we continue to share the  highlighting fact as to not to ignore negative impacts by way of vehicle and electricity consumption and social media over dose and consumption even for a small yet  positive low-carbon event like this. The purpose of this effort was also in a way through this exercise to help raise awareness of climate change issues, shift in behaviour, consumption patterns and lifestyle choice and bring people to action that can be taken to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions of our activities.

All in all it was a very positive event with lot of positive commitments for more future such events to make Rajkot a green city.

We will also highlight this event in EarthDay network’s Green cities challenge of amongst 48 Indian cities and also participate in Plant.Care.Guard a tree challenge.

Inferences:

  1. Any green event though seems to derive positive impact  has its own carbon footprint which should not be ignored
  2. Pre Planning of an event does take up to considerable footprint of the event especially use of social media and internet should not be ignored.

More over this effort was to bring in community building and environment consciousness and action for better and greener environment promoting positive social changes for and by Rajkot citizens under the aegis of Ecology club of Rajkot while making it an active club to host more and all such events for greening our city making it climate resilient in a way.

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