This Lohri don’t underestimate the power of trees!

Harnoor Gill planting trees in Acton, Ontario.
Harnoor Gill planting trees in Acton, Ontario.


Grade 11 student

Christ The King Catholic Secondary

Georgetown, Ontario 


LOHRI is a Punjabi festival celebrated in respect to the Land of the Five Rivers in marking the move towards the end of winter. Sikhs in particular around the world carry on this tradition and I for one am a part of the act of celebrating this festival as well. On this day people light bonfires outside their homes on in common areas within their communities, and roast peanuts, cashews, marshmallows and, of course, popcorn.

But I believe that instead of using up firewood on Lohri, we should plant an indoor tree instead, because firewood uses up trees and without trees there would be no oxygen in this world. Furthermore, when firewood is burned it creates pollution in a sense that not only harms the atmosphere but also the trees on the ground which require the atmosphere around them to be healthy as well.
Hands down the most effective way with the least cost is to plant a tree on Lohri. Tree-planting is a great tradition to practice as it helps to preserve the environment and it is indeed a great way to experience the beauty of nature. It helps reduce the amount of pollutants in the earth’s atmosphere and it also helps to raise our oxygen levels as well as our water levels in our ponds, rivers, lakes and oceans.

The forests have been aiding us in our survival for millennia. Now I believe it’s our turn to give back by planting trees worldwide. So why not kick off this year’s Lohri by helping the environment one tree at a time? Not only will we help improve the atmosphere by planting a tree, we will also create a home for many little critters to dwell in.

As a youth activist who speaks out for issues, I noticed one of the goals of the United Nations to be quite interesting. One of the eight millennium development goals of the U.N. Development Program in 2015 is to ensure environmental sustainability throughout the world and is ranked as the Number 7 priority. The only way we will be able to achieve that long-term goal is to start immediately.

To begin, our number 1 priority should be to plant as many trees as we can around the world as pollution levels can only decrease if more oxygen is produced. Since a tree can “in a sense of personification” eat up lots of the pollutants in the air that harm the environment, the final outcome will be the cleaning up of our water. This is a great way to get rid of our pollution.

So we should all stop talking about it and start planting.

Therefore, don’t forget to plant a tree and Happy Lohri to you from me!