banner

Breath clean: Plantation to improve the air quality

Back
Pellentesque erat arcu

You can start plantations in your housing societies
or with your home herb gardens 

When Priyanka & Vaibhav were expecting twins they were overjoyed but wondered if their children would have a healthy life in a polluted city like Mumbai. While it is a common worry for most parents today, the couple decided that they would do something about it. 

In February this year as the twins celebrated their first birthday, instead of a party the family decided to host a plantation drive to nurture and celebrate life. So one early Sunday morning their family and friends gathered at a designated municipality park in Hiranandani  Powai and planted 60 trees. 

The couple were sure that they did not just want a ceremonial plantation but one that would be a proper scientific one so that the planted trees would thrive for many years and therefore approached Earth5R to organize the plantation. 

While plantations drives are important it is also important to keep a few things in mind before planning a plantation; such as the land and the soil where the plantation will be done, the types of trees or plants that should be planted and also how the plants will be nurtured for the initial period. 

It is recommended to plant local and resilient plants such as Ashoka, Neem and Gulmohar as compared to flowering or ornamental plants. Herbal or medicinal plants like Neem or Ashoka have multiple health benefits and are also good for controlling the air quality 

In February with support of Swiss Staff Foundation and local citizens, Earth5R also developed a herbal garden for children of a municipality school near IIT Powai. The objective was not only to increase the green cover but also to make children aware about the environment and learn about positive steps that can be taken towards their surroundings. 

About 30 plants of medicinal variety were planted in the school backyard by the children themselves, they were involved in all activities right from digging the soil, planting the trees to watering the saplings. 

11 year old citizen volunteer Jahaan Gupta delivered an Earth Talk and explained to the students and teachers why it was important to choose the right kind of plants Holy Basil (Tulsi) plants were chosen for it’s great medicinal value. 
Considering the school is close to a busy highway medicinal plants help in controlling the air quality as well. 
“Air pollution is a critical problem and needs to be addressed at all levels. Increasing the green cover in our surroundings is an effective way to help improve the air quality. While large scale drives are necessary we can all undertake some plantation in our housing societies or in our homes by planting our own herb gardens.” said Saurabh Gupta, Founder of Earth5R.

Apart from adding greenery home herb gardens are beneficial in many ways; 

  • Herbal and medical plants can be ingested/ consumed and offer vitamins, antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Some plants such as basil and mint are effective in repelling mosquitoes and rodents.
  • Children who participate in gardening and planting grow up closer to nature and learn to respect nature deeply.
  • Herb gardening is an educational experience for children as well as adults. 
  • How to develop a herb garden in your home
  • Use medicinal or herbal plants such as Basil, Mint, Ajwain, Fenugreek (Methi). You can also grow Parsley and Micro Greens.
  • Drainage is important. Make sure that the pot has a hole to release excess water and it is not blocked by the plate below it.
  • Make sure that the plants receive at least 4 to 6 hours of sunlight.
  • Don’t overcrowd and keep a few plants or they may not get enough sunlight.
  • Do not over-water. The soil needs to be moist all the way through but not soaking.
  • Regularly add some compost (home compost preferable) to the upper layer of the soil.

Under the ACT Powai project, with the help of citizens Earth5R has committed to plant 36000 trees in Powai over the next three years. The organization conducts regular plantation drives in open spaces, housing societies and even in schools and commercial complexes. 

About Earth5R 
EARTH5R is a socio-environmental organization working towards creating green and zero-waste localities. ACT Powai is an acclaimed project of Earth5R that has received widespread global attention and appreciation.   
 
To conduct plantation drives and local environmental events please contact Earth5R team on 9920045587 or community@earth5r.org