A gift for Christmas

 By Gabriella Galloro

We are close to Christmas, a time for gifts … and, like every year, the big question is: what to give? For your elderly aunt (even though still feels young) an anti-aging cream! Or would a relaxing bubble bath be better … and what about grandpa? A scarf or the latest book about politics – there’s always one that comes out for Christmas… a bit banal, right? No, this year I’m going to give an original gift, I give a tree. Yes, a nice tree, like the ones you see in children’s drawings: a dark brown trunk and dense foliage planted in the garden … Ah, but that’s a problem: my old aunt doesn’t have a garden and Grandpa is not known for his green fingers…

Help us to plant a tree in Kenya: a gift from Eniday

But wait … look at this site: an e-commerce site for trees, to buy and plant. Beautiful, and by the way, it is an Italian idea that was born in 2010. When 30 million fans of an online game in which they simulate the life of a farmer, spending (real) money to plant virtual trees, two young boys in Tuscany, had an idea: to bring together the real and the virtual. Tommaso Speroni and Federico Garcea started to imagine a site where anyone could choose a tree to plant and follow it online and, at the same tome, ensure that the tree was actually planted, somewhere in the world.

On the site there are a range of trees that you can have planted, and for all budgets: from a Barbados Nut tree in Malawi to a Coffee tree in Haiti and a Beechwood in Senegal.

Federico tells us that in five years Treedom has made great inroads and to date has overseen the planting and care of an additional 280,000 trees, which also help to absorb the CO2 emitted by all of us and give the planet more oxygen. The idea is simple but very effective, and in recent years it has provided an opportunity for thousands of farmers to be financed in planting fruit trees or trees that are useful for the local ecosystem (e.g. to combat desertification or to be replanted after deforestation). Moreover, the trees are planted in countries where they have a real social utility, such as in Kenya to boost agricultural production, in Haiti in areas struck by the 2010 earthquake and in Southern Italy on land confiscated from the Mafia.

SEE MORE: I have a tree…! by Gabriella Galloro


The Treedom project has changed the lives of 19,000 people, the farmers who have been enabled to manage a nursery and a number of women who have built small business around the trees. Yes, because the trees also make a contribution to agricultural micro-entrepreneurship. In fact, the village women look after the trees, collect the fruit and transform it by starting up commercial activities with the products and thus contribute to generating an income for the family.

Yes, Treedom has convinced me … so let’s see how it works … for every tree there is a page with a description, the significance, the savings in terms of CO2 and a curiosity. For the Moringa Fortuna tree, that fights over 300 illnesses. So planting a Moringa is equivalent to having the most powerful good luck talisman. That’s good to know!

And if it’s a gift, on the site there are several ways to make you loved one know: by email, on Facebook or with a traditional greetings card. So in short … for my aunt a Guava tree, which means beauty, for grandpa a Coffee tree, in that way he’ll get a charge of energy …

about the author
Gabriella Galloro