Enes Şahin has only 212 posts on his Twitter account, but a recent tweet starting with, “I have an idea” went viral with over 55,000 responses—and it attracted the attention of a member of the Turkish government, who vowed to establish his ‘National Tree Planting Day.’
“Let’s set an example to the world,” tweeted Şahin, “and hand down a green country to the upcoming generations.”
Many countries already have a national day dedicated to planting trees. For example, 34 nations are listed on The Arbor Day Foundation’s website, each celebrating an Arbor Day that corresponds with their best planting season. Other countries have developed their own versions of a national tree-planting day, including Australia, Kenya, North Korea, and Iran. But until now, Turkey hasn’t had any official push to grow trees for a greener landscape.
The Turkish official who noticed Şahin’s Tweet is Rumeysa Kadak, the youngest elected deputy. She replied that she would present Enes’s idea—and within hours, the president himself responded to Şahin via Twitter.
“This is a great idea, Enes. We‘ve always worked for a greener Turkey and continue to do so. My friends and I will undertake all responsibility to make sure that we have a national tree planting day,” said President Erdoğan, according to the Daily Sabah News.
In response, Şahin tweeted, “Mr. President, we are very happy that you responded to our call. We are grateful that you are the voice of young people and hundreds of thousands.”
Even before an official Turkish tree-planting holiday is established, the ‘idea’ has spurred a sweeping commitment nationwide, with citizens saying they’ve already begun planting saplings.
The planting of massive numbers of trees around the world has become more and more commonplace as people have realized the benefits both to the stability of the land and the air we breathe. India previously held the world record for planting the most trees in one day with 49.3 million saplings in Uttar Pradesh in 2016, and that one-day record was smashed in July 2017 with 66 million trees planted—by India again, in Madhyar Pradesh.
If you would like to get involved with a community tree-planting effort, the Arbor Day Foundation’s Time For Trees campaign was recently launched, and it seeks to plant 100 million trees around the world by 2022.
Additionally, you can check out nonprofits like One Tree Planted and The Nature Conservancy, (which has pledged to plant 1 billion trees worldwide)—or get involved with TreeSisters, a UK charity led by women who intend to plant 2 million trees in the tropics each year.
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