Buy an iPhone, or buy a forest?

What would you rather spend your hard-earned money on: an iPhone that’ll last maybe 2-3 years that invites you to spend countless hours of your days ignoring life around you with its ever-distracting screen? Or your very own forest, grown in your own backyard/neighbourhood, that’ll last years and years and provide countless hours of embracing life and all the beauty it has to offer?

Image Credit: Earth. We are one.

Image Credit: Earth. We are one.

Let’s be honest here, you could have both too! The point is, for the cost of an iPhone, you could legitimately grow your own custom forest that will last for generations, helping the planet, the people around you, and your own spirit along the way.

How is this possible? Science! That and the brains of entrepreneur and engineer Shubhendu Sharma from Uttaraskhand, India, founder of Afforestt. He’s managed to grow lush forests of many sorts including one in his very own backyard spanning a mere 93-sq-m (1,000-sq-ft), yet containing 300 trees, including 18 species which bear fruit, and 17 species of bird, which is amazing when you consider the area only had two before his forest grew. How long did it take to get to that level? Oh, just three years.

Mama nature incarnate

I can almost hear all the environmentalists and nature lovers cheering for joy, for this kind of concept is fantastic! Regardless of the fact that this could be considered as the “next gen” of home decor, that many may only get it because “it’s cool” instead of all the other awesome reasons to do it, at least it’s for something that helps the environment instead of destroying it. Do you want to have a business meeting in a fresh new place instead of your ho-hum back area? Grow your own forest! Do you love nature and want a personalized set-up? Customize your own! No matter what your reasons behind it, you can embrace nature and help the planet while getting the beautiful customized result to see and enjoy for the rest of your days. So long as you have some space and your soil can grow stuff (what soil doesn’t?), there really is no limit!

I made a forest [of 1,500 trees in a 500-sq-m plot] for a financial technology company where the managing director wanted to create a place where he could have a board meeting in the open. ~ Mr Sharma

To grow your own forest you should have a plot of a minimum 100-sq-m in size. Your plot’s soil and local nourishment (via plantations etc within a 50km/30m radius) are analyzed and, when it’s ready to g(r)o(w), 3-5 saplings are planted per square meter and the journey begins!

I see your lawn and I raise you a forest!

Considering the group has already planted 43,000 trees for 33 clients, all of whom must be very happy once you see the fantastic results in the website’s gallery, I’d say it’s becoming the next step in both gardening decor and planet preservation. And all you’d have to do is check your aforementioned iPhone and order it online.

The website will enable people to make their own forest. Whichever new geography we do a project in, we have a step-by-step process ready to make a forest for that geography. We are going to share that process on our website. Everyone and anyone can make a forest with the click of a button. ~ Mr Sharma

Though they’re in the process of setting up a GPS-enabled probe that will enable people, regardless of where they are, to test their own soil and upload the data to the server for analysis, it’s not yet ready and as such this awesome initiative is only available in Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai(India)and Muscat(Oman). This doesn’t mean it won’t come to your neighbourhood at some point (that’s their big goal), so keep watching this group and be sure to show them your support – the more support they receive, the more likely you’ll have your own forest in your neck of the woods sooner than later!

BBC News has more info if you want to learn more!

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