There are some people who don’t do things by halves, and when it comes to climate change, India are leading the way.
Not only are a whopping 2million people helping to plant 250million trees to protect the environment, they are also aiming to cover 30% of the entire country by the year 2030.
That’s quite some feat considering India is ranked seventh as the largest country in the world, behind only Russia, Canada, China, United States, Brazil and Australia.
For context, the United Kingdom ranks at a lowly number 80.
Thanks to Uttar Pradesh, a northern state, the locals and volunteers from other areas managed to kickstart the challenge while maintaining social distancing due to COVID-19.
Once the trees are fully grown, the goal is to cover 15% of the landmass in order to provide cleaner air for India’s most densely-inhabited state.
It is not only natives who will benefit, but the rest of the planet too as the country emits a significant amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere due to its booming economy.
The reason for this is because currently, most of the energy consumed in India is from non-renewable resources i.e. coal and oil, as opposed to green alternatives.
The gas has far-ranging environmental and health effects; causing climate change by trapping heat and also contributing to respiratory disease from smog and air pollution.
Trees have also been planted along the Ganges riverbanks – a trans-boundary river of South Asia which flows through India and Bangladesh – in the hope it becomes cleaner.
The water is heavily polluted yet is one of the most holy places for Hindus and Buddhists who believe that bathing in the river causes the forgiveness of sins and facilitates Moksha (liberation from the cycle of life and death).
Tree planting is one of the most fruitful ways to combat air pollution as they give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilise the soil and give life to the world’s wildlife.
If humans do not continue to act, it is believed that global temperatures will increase by 5°C by the year 2100 – consequently, the polar ice caps would melt, sea levels would rise, and more extreme weather conditions would be endured such as mass drought.