How to play the 50p ($1) game!
How to change a behaviour right now, make a difference and plant trees!
In Tamil Nadu through Project GreenHands, it costs 50p ($1) to grow and tend a tree for 2 years (by when, it could easily be taller than any of us because they grow so fast over there!) Into that 50p goes all the nursery costs, the volunteer costs, the travel to site, the ongoing maintenance and checking...everything is covered miraculously by only 50p.
So, the game is simple! From this moment on, 50ps (dollar bills) are no longer money, they are trees. Every 50p you find, you don’t spend it, you put it into a tree pot and save it to turn into a real tree in India.
This is great to do with your kids. This is great to take into your school. If parents around you agree, it can become something accepted and encouraged, that if a child asks if you have any 50ps (dollar bills) and can tell you why they are needed (why trees are important at this time...see below) then they get your 50p/$1's! This works well in the UK...50p for a much needed tree...we have yet to crack a rhyme for a dollar...any thoughts?
Our dream is that in the classroom, there will be a bare branch standing in a pot representing a tree. Then, every child that finds someone who will consciously collect 50p’s/$1's for them becomes one green paper leaf that they can tie onto the tree. As the children spread the word, and get more people saving 50p’s, then the tree becomes leafy again, life comes back because we are all doing something FOR life, by collecting money for trees that will help reforest the tropics where climate change is at its most potent already. This can also be a bare tree in a picture on the wall, and for every person around you adding 50p's then another leaf is painted on...
So why save for trees?
Trees provide the very air that we breathe (Apparently every 4th breath we take comes from the Amazon...which we are loosing at the rate of a football pitch sized area every second or so) they provide the water vapour that cools us, they bring biodiversity, they shade the soil and keep it moist, they feed the soil and keep it alive, they hold the soil with its roots against wind and water erosion, their roots channel the rain water down into underground aquifers. Without trees, land often turns to desert. Rivers and streams dry up, soil blows away, life moves out and poverty, suffering and often malnutrition move in.
Trees are made of carbon. Carbon dioxide is tree food! Plant a fast growing tree in the tropics and it will suck carbon out of the air three times as fast as a tree growing in temperate zones. We are flooding our atmosphere with the carbon dioxide resultant of burning fossil fuels for energy, and we’re cutting down the trees that are natures very own carbon clean up and cooling mechanism! We need to protect our standing trees and reforest this world as fast as is humanly possible. Reforesting in the tropics works against climate change, reduces poverty, malnutrition, urban migration, farmer suicides and desertification...in other words, it maks sense and is beneficial in every way for all of us here and there.
To this end, could you or your children invite everyone you know to play the 50p game? It’s simple, effective, easy, it brings trees into your thoughts every time you look into your purse...it makes you start asking for change in 50p’s, it makes you feel good to bring nature more consciously into your every day life (or at least it makes me feel really good!) AND THEN when your tree pot is full, you can take it to the bank or to one of those machines that changes change, and turn it into money to donate to TreeSisters...or you can donate it directly to Project GreenHands.
Whatever you do, PLEASE let us know that you’re doing it, and if you’d like help knowing how to take this into schools, please make contact on facebook and we’ll get into that groove with you! Happy playing...:-)
(images - alexbellos, planetforward)
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