One simple solution for global warming, to save my country : #PlantAtreeChallengeBD

                                     #PlantAtreeChallengeBD – Iffat-E-Faria


On September 8th 2016, I have initiated an online campaign called  #PlantAtreeChallengeBD” The reason behind this was very simple. A country like Bangladesh, which is constantly facing threats of so many kinds of natural disaster, is being increasingly ignorant about its natural conservation. This country has only 17% of forests within. This by the way is getting narrower. Even the largest mangrove forest Sundarbans, which is an internationally recognized world heritage site, is also facing terrible manmade disasters and constant environmental pollutions. It has reached such a zenith, that the global-ecosystem is threatened with the loss of a majority of all species, by the end of this century. Everyone knows, but some chose to ignore it, some choose to remain silent about it. But I thought the simplest solution to address this problem is just plant more trees. It’s a simple yet most productive solution to involve the youth, who first of all should be concerned about it; secondly should take initiatives to mitigate this problem. The idea to run an online campaign came to me due to the massive participation of youth in social media. My goals were very simple, engaging the youth to talk about the problem or at least make them realize how important it is to address the issue. Secondly, mobilize my community to take an initiative in real space so that they feel the necessity to do something about this particular problem.

Along with few friends, I started inviting people over facebook to join the event. All they had to do is plant 5 trees and nominate 5 other friends on facebook to replicate the same. This way it will work like a chain reaction and we will be able to see a huge number of trees getting planted in a short period of time. The campaign is still going on and more people are joining. I know it has not gone viral and the number is not that high. Because in reality if you want to mobilize your community for a good cause, you have to ensure some motivations for them. Social norms are something that people tend to follow. Online campaign is there to help create a buzz, to create an objective. Which means if someone can bring out the movement from online space to offline, it moves faster and better. This is exactly why I have planned to run this campaign both online and offline.

Primarily I even offered few things extra to carry on with the campaign. Since I am an online based entrepreneur and I have a client tale which is 3 years old, we kind of have a personal trust relationship with each  other. So I personally offered my clients, I’ll plant trees on behalf of them for every sell worth $10.

To bring the campaign to reality, a part of that plan involves talking to the civil society and involving them. Therefore, we are in touch with mayor’s office to propose an idea to tell the citizens, if they plants 5 trees, they’ll get a discount on their TAX. The CEO’s of top notch companies to take part in this initiative where we want them to initiate a tree plantation program as a part of their CSR activities. Encourage their employees to plant trees so that they can get a better record at the end of the year in the ACR. We’ve asked the Headmasters of local schools to run the campaign along with the students, whoever plants more trees and takes care of them properly, will get an excellence award & certificate from the school. Recently our PM received the award of CHAMPION of the Earth for her outstanding initiative on increasing forests and going green. I am simply trying to follow her path to make a change. Because I believe, OXYGEN is the most needed thing on earth and one can not simply buy a healthy environment with money. It takes proper plan and interest to create a land full of trees and a lot of patient. I got inspired by watching BHUTAN be the very first carbon negative country.

There is a chinese proverb saying ’ The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now. ’ So, I believe in trying for a good cause. To save our galaxy. We only have one home, planet earth. You should start too.

Because, if not now, when? If not me , who will?

Hello @IFFAT-E-FARIA, thank you for sharing this project. It’s challenging to take action in the face of such overwhelming issues. There’s real strength in the simplicity of your project - planting 5 trees. This creates a solid foundation from which you’re exploring diverse ways to motivate people to participate by seeking out where incentives might lie. Motivating people to change behaviours that are contributing to global crises or in support of conservation is no easy task. My own sense is that its not lack of information or awareness. I think people feel despair, hopelessness or perhaps denial. They would rather distract themselves with other things. I don’t think there are any easy answers. I know there was a project here in the UK who came to the conclusion that issues of global warming were being responded to with more and more science and evidence when the root cause was cultural - and especially the myth of progress and civilisation that we perpetuate.

I wish you all the best in your efforts.

Thank u so much @Gehan. I am trying my level best while keeping it simple because people tend to avoid engaging themselves in complex tasks. 5 trees won’t take much space but will ensue a better environment around for sure. I hope more people are going to join in near future. I am going to keep updating the results. Take care.

Great initiative.

Hello Iffat,

Being a scientist and environmentalist from Bangladesh myself, I can appreciate the simplicity of your project. There are of course some challenges associated with it. However, it’s a great initiative. Well done!

Thank u so much ! @mashrekur_rahman why don’t you take the challenge and join us too? :slight_smile:

Nice: the City and private companies collaborating

@iffat_e_faria @mashrekur_rahman hello again and what were the chances of you two meeting here online?! Are you already seeing some positive results with your project Iffat?

I especially like the idea of talking to private companies - where I come from in Romania, I have many friends working in corporate environments who would like to volunteer more, or get their colleagues to volunteer more - and they dont have a fun way to do it, together (better than on their own…). Their thinking is: why dont we talk to management to convince them to give us 2 hours once a month to go out on a set cause. A good person to “make the case” and convince management in the company is the employee representative - who understands volunteering but also the interests of the company and knows how to frame it.

An actual example, a few years ago our city hall gave all the green spaces in the city for “rental” to firms willing to maintain them - so the firms took their employees out for planting weekends. After that they get their name on the green space as the “Carers” of the space.

Hello dear @Noemi mam. Thank you foe your words, Yes we met once and my project is running well now as it is summer in my country, everyone is tired of this increasing heat , poeople are showing interest in planting trees for their own sake. We are offering a new option to the landlords , if they let us use their rooftops, they’ll get paid in return. Few people joined already and more are joining. I am hopeful because I think deep inside everyone loves their planet and the idea of going green has a thousands og positive side. I will be posting few pictures of our improvement soon.

Green Up

Hello @iffat_e_faria, it’s hard to create a viral campaign that requires even small effort to engage, unfortunately, people are really lazy.

You might want to connect with Green-Up-Gambia Green-Up Gambia - Home | Facebook founded by my friend Kemo Fatty.

Also, it might be a good idea trying to get in touch with !

@Damiano , Hello.

Yes I understand, Still I am hopefull because I am getting positive feedbacks.

Really? Wonderful! I will check and keep tracks of Kemo from now on and will get in touch with too. Thanks for suggesting! Have a good day.

A tree story

Hi @iffat_e_faria. More green, more forests are beneficial to our health in so many ways. Taking joy of caring of them as @Noemi points out, taking a walk in the forest, cleaner air, better soils, more stable climates, more biodiversity, … The list goes on.

In Brussels there is a project I met that is offering a tree planting service to stores. The service entails that Creo2 will be the intermediary to invest in a non-profit for eg. every euro spent by a customer. They started with trees a few years ago and now it seems they have gone broader.

Five seems to be the magic number, coincidentally I planted five trees myself about 1,5 years ago. Here’s the story. The five apple trees were a leftover decor piece from a theatre play, so we saved them. Here’s loading them in a cargo bike:

The ride was pretty funny, people didn’t know what was going on as we were driving a mini-forest through streets and parks. We also found out that the electrical wiring for the trams is not conducive to mobile trees.

We planted them at our lab:

This month, we have to move our lab since the old building will be erased, probably together with the trees. So we have to save them again. Last month we already saved a small one by taking it to the Edgeryders space in Brussels. @Noemi and I took it by train and after surviving the shock, it’s now settled in! There’s even an apple growing:

Four to go! Any potential hosts around? :slight_smile:

Dear @WinniePoncelet, I feel really glad to know that there is someone at the other part of the world , thinking the exact same process to make a positive change in the environment. I really felt good about the whole story from the beginning to collect them from a play and to saving them and nurturing. The efforts, time and energy you have given behind this , is truly amazing. I hope there will be more to this story, 4 other loving people like you will take those beautiful trees away and give them the proper care that they deserves. I hope to see more tiny apple fruits on the branches , and let others knoiw tbat they have life too, the strong will of surviving and more.

Thank you for comnmenting here, means a lot.

Plants for Future

Dear @iffat_e_faria, its very impressive and motivational efforts. All around the world, people are gearing up for earth day. Started in 1970, this designated day of April 22 has become an annual reminder of our responsibility to be good stewards of the Earth. You did excellent and contributed into a healthier Earth in multiple ways with plant a garden, which committed to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Good and keep it up… All the best for your future endeavors

Dr. Saeed Ahmad Qaisrani

Dr. @saeed_qaisrani, First of all, thank you so much foe finding time to read my story and sharing your thoughts. I do not really know why more people are not being concerned about trees. I just hope and pray it is not too late when they finally realises. Please keep in touch and share the plan with others. TC.

Preaching to the choir

That’s a say which points out that the people already active will continue to do this anyway: we are not environmentalists, or have a job to take care of the earth, we do it because we like it, but there’s only a few trees we can care for personally. I think projects like yours @iffat_e_faria are more important because you systematically convince people who dont normally do this, and have a bigger impact. So more power to you, do keep Edgeryders posted if you are looking for partners or would like to exhibit or demonstrate an action during the OpenVillage festival we are organising in Brussels.

Another idea: if you are available, you can organise an OpenVillage in your city at the same time as the event in Brussels - as a partner. So you have international promo throuhg this network, yu can use the name and the communications, and we’ll make sure to coordinate to share the learnings from Europe all the way to Bangladesh and the other way around. let me know…