The 40th Arbor Day in China
Republic of China began celebrating Arbor Day in 1927 as a holiday, and was only in 1981 that Mainland China adopted this day. After a major campaign to plant trees in the country was mooted by the authorities, it was suggested that everyone capable of labor should plant at least 2-3 trees every year. It is celebrated in China on March 12 every year.
Chinese 'plant' trees on mobile phones
A nonprofit project by Ant Financial, See Foundation and China Green Foundation since 2016, is rewarding low-carbon acts by Alipay users with "energy" that is used to "water" virtual trees in their mobile phones.
"When a virtual tree grows up, we plant a real tree," said Xu Di, who heads "Ant Forest," a function embedded in the Alipay app.
In addition to public transportation, "energy" rewards are given for online purchases of movie and train tickets and online trade in second-hand items.
"We hope everyone will be part of environmental protection with a low-carbon lifestyle," Xu told Xinhua ahead of China's Arbor Day on March 12.
The campaign has attracted 280 million participants and brought more than 12 million Haloxylon trees in Alxa and Ordos in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Wuwei in Gansu Province, according to Xu.
OuyangXialing, a Beijing resident, has raised three virtual trees in less a year and therefore contributed three saplings to Alxa. "I would like to take my son to see the trees," she said.
Herders are also beneficiaries of the campaign. They are paid to plant the samplings in their pastures and care for them.
Nie Yusheng, one of scores of herders involved in the project, makes about 3,000 yuan (about 473 U.S. dollars) a month from his work.
Tree planting activities in China in 2018
A tree planting activity aimed at fostering children's awareness about environmental protection was held at Lijiaxiang Township of Changxing County, east China's Zhejiang Province, March 12, 2018.
Arbor Day (simplified Chinese: 植树节) originated in Nebraska, United States, in 1872 as a day observed for planting of trees. This day derives its name from the word "Arbor" in Latin which means "Tree". The popularity of the day soon caught the fancy of the world, and the day began to be celebrated on different days under different names in various parts of the world.