500,000 Fruit Trees to celebrate 50 years of Earth Day

Photo: Markus Spiske

He who plants a tree, plants hope. And in these times of COVID-19, when there are despair and uncertainty about the future, vowing to plant trees is what the world needs. As April 22, 2020, marks Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, US-based reforestation non-profit One Tree Planted has committed to helping plant 500,000 fruit trees across India during the monsoon planting season this year.

These trees will be planted in the land of marginal and small farmers in India. For these families, fruit trees will not only mean nourishment without spending a paisa, the harvest can also provide supplementary income for a positive social and economic impact. At a time when a number of migrant labourers returning to their native villages is a harsh reality, fast-fruiting trees, such as banana and papaya, can keep hunger at bay. 

Moringa, papaya, and banana trees can produce food and fruit within 8-10 months of planting. Lemon, guava, apricot, pear, peach, and jujubes produce fruit in their third year and onward. The long-term benefit is immense. Each tree provides a minimum of 1000 Rupees of fruit and nutrition per year, half a million fruit trees translate into Rs 50 crore worth of fruit and nutrition, year after year for the next 50-60 years.

Beyond the nutritional and social benefits of reforestation with fruit trees, this project will support cleaner air and help reduce the effects of climate change. Statistically, India’s air quality is among the lowest in the world, leading to pollution and health issues among the population.

The planting and nurturing of the fruit trees will be executed by local partners at Sustainable Green Initiative, with whom One Tree Planted has already planted over 300,000 trees throughout India.

Reforestation will begin as early as June, 2020, just in time for World Environment Day on June 5th, and will take place in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Odisha with local community involvement.

Fruit trees will be planted to arrest migration, Combat Poverty and Hunger, while Fighting Pollution and Climate Change

For more information, contact: Raj Mohan, Phone: 9831784225, Email: rajmohan@greening.in

Quotes from Earth Day Network and One Tree Planted:

“Everyone is hurting in different ways right now due to COVID-19, and we’re honored to be able to help through the simple act of planting trees. These trees will support cleaner air, water, food, and social impact for families. It’s a humble offering that can have a ripple effect of benefit for years to co­­me,” says Matt Hill, Chief Environmental Evangelist at One Tree Planted. 

As Kathleen Rogers, President, Earth Day Network said, “Trees not only filter the air and fight climate change — they provide food, energy and income to communities. One Tree Planted’s commitment to plant half a million fruit trees in India is admirable, especially during such trying times. To create a more sustainable future, we must all work together to come up with creative solutions. Planting trees improves our shared environment while supporting some of the communities most affected by coronavirus and climate change. We applaud the efforts of One Tree Planted.” 

Karuna Singh, Regional Director, Asia, Earth Day Network, saw synergy between what Earth Day Network does and how One Tree Planted is also encouraging fruit tree planting. She said, “Earth Day Network has run Trees4Earth since 2016, and endeavours to distribute saplings in areas where those who are less privileged, live. Understanding that low levels of income often compel people to chop native trees for firewood, we explain to them the economic benefits of maintaining trees that bear fruit.” Ms. Singh also congratulated One tree Planted for their gesture to dedicate half a million fruit trees to those less fortunate, and said, “I wish other organisations would follow their example.”

About One Tree Planted: One Tree Planted is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on a mission to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees. Their reforestation projects span the globe and are done in partnership with local communities and knowledgeable experts to create an impact on nature, people, and wildlife. Each project focus is different, and many have overlapping objectives, creating a combination of benefits that contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. By focusing on collaborative sustainability from the ground up, they hope to make a lasting and positive difference for the planet.

About Sustainable Green Initiative: Sustainable Green Initiative (SGI) was set up as a social enterprise in 2013 with the objective of planting mostly fruit trees to fight hunger, poverty, and climate change. SGI distributes, plants, and maintains fruit tree saplings for one-three years in community lands, homesteads of marginal farmers, government schools and campuses, orphanages, old-age homes, etc. SGI’s planting activities address seven of the 17 SDGs set by the UN. The organization has planted more than 15,00,000 trees since its inception in eight states across India.