Did you know that Tuesday, March, 12, was Arbor Day in China? On Zhi Shu Jie (植树节), literally Plant-A-Tree Day, people celebrated by planting anything they could. As Sina Weibo user @粮仓一鼠 put it, “Although there is no land to plant a tree, we can grow a pea in a flower pot.”
Like him, many others posted pictures of their work to Weibo. It was a fun and silly activity for many, but the outpouring of response also showed that lots of people desire cleaner air and are passionate about creating a better environment.
On Weibo, a post called “Show Off Your Green Spirit on Plant-A-Tree Day” attracted more than 3 million forwards. Some netizens posed with new flower pots in their office, some snapped pictures of themselves watering trees near bus stops, while others smiled at the camera while eating with stainless steel chopsticks instead of ones made of wood or bamboo.
Other netizen reactions:
@粮仓一鼠 wrote that he was going to plant a tree in a small courtyard below his apartment complex, yet he was afraid that the new tree would take up nutrition from a bigger tree nearby.
@济南陶玉山: Our suburb has a holly tree. The branches are horrendous. After work, I will get the big scissor from the office to trim the edges.
@美丽水滴: We still have to work on the holiday. So my husband and I already watered the multiple pom trees at Seawall.
@向日葵吖頭: I didn’t find a place to plant a tree. And are we not allowed to plant a tree in public spaces? Anyway, I bought two cacti and a pot of tulips and our bedroom is greener than before.
@小米噗一直很脱线: My suburb had a game show today and I won a pot of ivies and a dozen Chinese roses! Those are so expensive! I love Plant-A-Tree Day.
@颐高数码太原店: Alright, planting a tree on Arbor Day is impossible, as we all know. Our home has no space for a single tree. For the spirit of the holiday, I still want to encourage everyone to not use wooden disposable chopsticks. Since we cannot plant a tree, let’s not kill one. Happy Arbor Day!
@阿黎seven: I was eating lunch today when I remembered it is Plant-A-Tree Day. Well, I don’t know where to get a baby tree, so for the spirit of the holiday, I selected a few onions in the kitchen, carefully buried them in the backyard and watered them. They will grow very quickly!
@广州天气: A fifty-year-old tree produces an amount of oxygen worth 31,200 USD; it takes in carbon dioxide that prevents environmental damage that’s worth 62,500 USD; this tree also provides for birds as a shelter, and is worth 31,250 USD. A tree’s help to our environment is substantial. Even though we cannot always plant a tree, make sure you don’t stomp a small tree either. They will grow up and contribute to our health and environment in a positive way.
@小小小丹兄: I don’t care if we can’t find a place to plant a tree. I put together twenty-something pots and gave some to my neighbors. Their kids will have a lot of fun watering and taking care of them.
These are all small contributions, but as the saying goes, if everyone did just a little to help the environment, we’d all live in a cleaner, better place.
Xiao Yi is a travel enthusiast who tweets @ellies_day.