How is the thought of commemorating any event by gifting your loved ones the gift of nature - a tree? This unusual gift is a promise at Grow-Trees.com, which is an e-commerce platform with a difference. These trees have no owners - they belong to the community. Here it is possible to not only gift it to your friends or family but an entire community!
Grow-Trees has an interesting social impact-driven business model. It has a website (www.grow-trees.com) which invites people to plant and greet with trees to celebrate any occasion - a birthday, a wedding, an anniversary, or even just to feel good about doing it. Companies also participate in the pursuit of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. An elegantly designed TreeCertificate is given for every gift. Making a green gift is quite simple. You select one of several featured projects, decide the number of trees you'd like to support it, and pay just Rs.85 on a per-tree basis.
Operating since 2010, over 500 companies and thousands of individuals worldwide have planted over 3.5 million trees on the public lands of India creating around 291,000 workdays of jobs for mainly tribals and women; these trees will offset about 70,700,000 kilos of carbon every year once mature and also will provide flowers, fruit, fodder and fuel to communities and living creatures, offer shade to nomads and their livestock, give shelter to birds and animals, prevent soil erosion and flooding, improve water catchment, generate oxygen, remove pollution, reduce carbon in the atmosphere and fight climate change. All the plantings are audited by the third-party auditors and through internal inspections.
About 45% of India's land is degraded due to deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices, mining, and excessive groundwater extraction. Over two-thirds of this can be regenerated by providing planting opportunities to individual and corporate customers.
Bikrant Tiwary, CEO- Grow-Trees.com says "What we have is a happy confluence of technology and social initiative. We have succeeded in making participation in a meaningful social program easily accessible to almost anyone. We now have the confidence for much more ambitious targets."
Many renowned brands such as Blue Dart Express Limited, Pepperfry, Mercedes-Benz, Larsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd, IndiGo, Vodafone India, PepsiCo, Yes Bank, Tata Capital, DCB Bank, and others are getting involved with the schemes around afforestation and rural development to strengthen the core of Indian society for a brighter future. Companies have also started engaging their employees to plant minimum one tree every month by subscribing to the 'Plant Monthly, Greet Anytime' Plan which has no direct cost to the companies and a way of enhancing their green credentials.
Hundreds of companies have used the website to plant trees for their stakeholders. The beautiful TreeCertificates that are generated from the website are helping people to use the idea to move away from conventional greeting cards.
One party getting a way to greet and other getting livelihood, call it a win-win, won't you?