MAY 2011  
Green in a click!

“Each generation takes the earth as trustees. We ought to bequeath to posterity as many forests and orchards as we have exhausted and consumed.”

—Julius Sterling Morton, 3rd US Secretary of Agriculture

The significance of tress is not unknown to us. Yet, we do not mind cutting them down for fulfilling our economic and developmental needs. Despite increased public awareness and a large number of initiatives, deforestation is continuing across the globe, mainly because of expansion of agricultural and industrial needs, population growth, poverty, consumer demand, and landlessness. Ironically, deforestation just makes matters worse. It creates numerous environmental catastrophes, including altering local rainfall patterns, accelerating soil erosion, causing the flooding of rivers, and threatening millions of species of plants, animals, and insects with extinction, as well as leads to global climate change.

Approximately 45% of India’s land is degraded, primarily due to deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices, mining, and excessive groundwater extraction. But, the good news is that experts believe that more than two-third of this can be regenerated.

Tree planting is an important way to counter the problem of deforestation, as well as tackle climate change by offsetting carbon footprint. Planting is also a quick, cheap, and immediate action. With increased public awareness about climate change, individuals and companies are determined to be part of the solution. And, showing an easy way to them is Grow-Trees (

Set up by Pradip Shah, founder of CRISIL, Grow-Trees is a web-enabled service for individuals and companies across the world to enable the planting of trees and do their bit for the environment, at their cost. It is conceptualized as a social business and aims to help people plant trees, for which individuals and companies will be willing to pay, while doing social good. At Grow-Trees, you can plant a tree on community and public lands for the price of a greeting card.

Grow-Trees enables you—from the comfort of your office or home—to empower grass-roots organizations (experts at planting) to undertake the task of tree planting for you. The planting partners include the Foundation for Ecological Security, Seva Mandir, and Tata Chemicals Ltd. Grow-Trees is the official partner of the United Nations Environment Programme's Billion Tree Campaign.

You may use the carbon calculator on the website to compute your carbon footprint. And, based on the amount of carbon an average tree absorbs in its lifetime, you may set a tree planting goal to offset the same. In addition, you may honour your friends and family members by gifting the trees you plant, inspiring others to follow your act, and spreading the circle of nurturing the environment. For corporates, Grow-Trees not only enables the undertaking of such an initiative, but also sends e-certificates to customers and employees.

The list of projects undertaken by Grow-Trees include tree planting at the following.

  • The periphery of Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary, Angul, Odisha: 30,000 trees.
  • The periphery of KanhaNational Park, Mandla, Madhya Pradesh: 50,000 trees.
  • The periphery of Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary, Udaipur, Rajasthan: 50,000 trees.
  • Dwarka, Jamnagar, Gujarat: 50,000 trees.
  • Dahod, Panchmahal, Gujarat (completed): 19,000 trees.
  • Tegra/Karech/Thadi Beri/Dhimdi, Udaipur, Rajasthan (completed): 29,990 trees.

All you need to offset your carbon footprint or send a green gift to someone is:

  • Log on to
  • Enter the number of trees to plant
  • Select a purpose for planting and a project
  • Enter your details (like name and e-mail address)
  • Pay
  • Send/receive a gift or offset certificate

And, you are done! Doing your bit for the environment is now just a click away!