A group of climate-conscious individuals in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala have found a unique solution to the problem of abandoned saplings by developing an application that could provide transparency while planting trees and tracking their growth.
‘Tree Tag’ aims to bring in solutions to the difficulty of tracking the growth and survivability of trees that you plant.
Abhijith Kumar Meenakumari, Aashutosh B Sai, Mohamed Wazeer and Anoop Babu launched Tree Tag and developed an eponymous app.
Abhijith and Aashutosh were schoolmates and were later joined by Mohamed Wazeer, Abhijith’s colleague from his first startup Alphavogue, and Anoop Babu, the director of another NGO Vydyuthi Energy Services in Thiruvananthapuram.
The application could bring in digital transparency while planting trees and during their growth.
This app helps in monitoring the growth of the trees that were planted by the user, until a period of three years from the date of its planting.
It provides a platform for individuals or organisations to sponsor trees without the need of procuring, planting, and maintaining the trees themselves.
This green startup was registered in August 2021, at the Technology Business Incubator, Government Engineering College, Thiruvananthapuram and is backed by the NGO Thanal.
The Tree Tag is an effort to create a resilient and sustainable environment for the future.
“We created a platform which could help the organisations, corporates or even individuals who put so much effort into planting trees. The Tree Tag app will help them access the data on the trees and monitor its growth,” Abhijith Kumar tells The Better India
Trees can be sponsored through the Tree Tag app, where a tree sapling is priced at Rs 170.
Any individual, organisation or corporate can use the app to sponsor as many trees as they want through the app. There’s also a provision in the app for individuals who want to host a green event on their special occasions.
The sponsored trees will be then planted by the affiliated NGOs through farmers. Later, the NGOs assign their volunteers to geo-tag the trees and thereby monitor their growth status.
“The saplings are handed over to farmers mostly because we believe that they could provide them with a secure environment where they will be taken good care of. After planting them, our volunteers geo-tag the tree with all the required data including pictures. Later, updates will be provided to its sponsor,” says Manju M Nair, Assistant director at Thanal.
Manju adds, “We only provide fruit-bearing trees in this initiative so that the farmers will also get benefit from it. This program is currently active in Thiruvananthapuram, Wayanad and Palakkad districts and it has a good reception among farmers as well.”
Trees can be sponsored through the Tree Tag app.
The tagging of trees is done through the phone and the app provides data like the common name and scientific name of the tree, its location, date of planting, sponsor name, planter name, an approximation of carbon sequestration, etc.
“The app provides updates every six months until a period of three years as three years would be enough for a tree to grow and flourish. The app provides the growth statistics of the tree as well as its pictures with every update. If a tree dies before the three years of its monitoring period, we will replant it with another new sapling,” says Manju.
Also, the Tree Tag app is free for the student community to encourage the young generation to come forward and to engage in activities like planting drives.
“More NGOs are now coming forward to support Tree Tag. Currently, we have over 400 users and have planted and tagged more than 800 trees since its launch in August. The process of tagging takes time as it is done manually. Now we are in the process of tagging over 5,000 trees planted by Mahindra logistics in Wayanad,” says Mohamed Wazeer.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)