Vermi compost on soil remediation restores eco-system and the microbiology of the soil

A group of researchers from Amrita University conducted a research study for five years on the island near Amrita hospital, which was used as a landfill and dumpsite for several years, causing the soil to become completely contaminated with heavy metals from both the dumped waste and from the polluted Backwaters. The land was a dead zone with a striking absence of ants, insects, worms, and birds.

waste dumpsite

Dumpsite 2010


First removing the waste and then segregating it transformed this dumpsite. When the ground was cleared, a layer of thermal compost obtained from the first six months was spread on the contaminated soil. The size of the area covered in compost was approximately one acre and the compost was spread at a depth of 18 – 24 inches. Clean soil was then brought in and layered over the compost. After the cleanup phase, vermin-compost was added and planting began. Specific plants, such as vetiver grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides), were cultivated to induce phytoremediation of the soil.

compost bed

Spreading Compost

Soon after applying the compost, the area, which had been bare of any vegetation, began attracting plant growth. By July 2011, almost one and a half years after the restoration efforts had started, the entire former dumpsite was covered by vegetation. Birds, insects, and other wildlife returned to the area. Gradually, the microbial life in the soil increased.

After the remediation activities had begun, every year’s soil samples indicated that heavy metal concentrations at the former dumpsite are reducing drastically. In January 2015, plant tissue samples only two metals were detectable (Copper and Lead), but within permissible limits.


Earth worms

This study concluded that it is possible to remediate the contaminated site with eco-friendly methods over a period of five years, to such an extent that it would be possible to grow healthy food on the site. It is possible to restore eco-system and the microbiology of the soil. The bioremediation methods consisted of a combination of phytoremediation, enhanced microbial activity, and vermicomposting.

  • Metal
  • Arsenic (As)
  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • Cobalt (Co)
  • Chromium (Cr)
  • Copper (Cu)
  • Mercury (Hg)
  • Nickel (Ni)
  • Led (Pb)
  • Restoration site soil mg/Kg
  • 2.48
  • 3.57
  • 6.30
  • 146.6
  • 126.0
  • not detected
  • 26.44
  • 112.5
  • Plant tissue mg/Kg
  • not detected
  • not detected
  • not detected
  • not detected
  • 1.45
  • not detected
  • not detected
  • 0.05


Now, vegetables are being deliberately planted on the site to provide healthy food grown without chemicals for the hospital’s cancer patients.

The Amrita Hospital received a certificate of merit for substantial and sustained efforts in pollution control and for launching new initiatives for environment protection in 2014 by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board.

The information presented in this study is not only globally groundbreaking, but also essential if we are to restore polluted ecosystems and grow the healthy food that the world so desperately needs.

after bio remediation

Dumpsite 2015

Current situation in India:

The contamination of water and soil with heavy metals through human activity is a growing concern, especially in  lower-middle-income countries. Studies in India examining the heavy metal concentrations of surface water bodies in proximity to industrial areas show alarming and hazardous levels of heavy metals. Heavy metals have been associated with gastrointestinal disorders, diarrhea, stomatitis, tremor, hemoglobinuria causing a rust-red color to stool, ataxia, paralysis, vomiting and convulsion, depression, and pneumonia. Cultivation of crops for human and animal consumption on contaminated soil can potentially lead to the uptake and accumulation of heavy metals in the edible plant parts. Dietary intake of heavy metals through contaminated grains and vegetables poses a risk to human and animal health.


It is the need of every Indian that Ganga remains clean

In the wake of Amma’s 100-crore (US$15 million) donation to Namami Gange, the Indian Government’s Swachh Bharat & Ganga Cleaning Project, Amma has answered many questions about the donation, the project itself, and her views on the issue surrounding the project. From the press meet at Amritapuri Ashram on September 11, 2015.

amma-press conference

Amma at the press conference


We started Cleaning India program in 2010
Question: You have given 100 crores [$15 million US] today. And you are going to give another Rs. 100 crores on your birthday for facilitating toilet construction in Kerala. Your feat is indeed commendable because industry has not given a single penny for this noble cause of building toilets. But I just want to know whether your Math or anybody from your Math will try to ensure that so much money that you have donated, is properly used and not misused for something else—because you can never be sure of Government. (Inder Sahni, Delhi Bureau chief of Gujarat Samachar.)

Amma: When Amma came to know about the Swachh Bharath and Clean Ganga project that the Government of India has decided to take up, Amma was very delighted. This is in line with the Amala Bharatham Campaign (Clean India Campaign) that we [the Mata Amritanandamayi Math] started much earlier in the year 2010. Amma met the Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year in Delhi to discuss on these lines {news}.

Surely, the matter does not end here just by donating the amount.

The Government has allowed us to survey as well as oversee whether the toilets are actually getting constructed in the specified areas. The Government has provided us with the detailed list of the all beneficiaries and their addresses. Also the Government. has agreed to provide us with all the necessary records and documents, which will allow us to evaluate the progress. A team consisting some of our people from Kerala as well as Delhi had visited these specified areas in Varanasi, Chhattisgarh etc., where they met and interacted with local sarpanchs [Head of five-village clusters]. Our teams will continue to visit these places and ensure that the people are getting benefitted. We are also going to educate the people on the use of toilets.

Bring back the golden days of Bharat

Question: Amma, you have done such a big work by donating Rs. 100 crores. When Prime Minister Narendra Modiji started the Swachh Bharat and Namami Gange project, he had appealed the industrialists as well, to donate for this noble cause. But no one ever donated so far. You have taken the initiative and the first step. What is your message for those industrialists who have the money and can make a contribution? (Sanjay Rai, National Bureau chief of Aaj Hindi Dainik, Varanasi)

Ganga in Haridwar

Ganga in Haridwar

Amma: Amma cannot command or ask anybody to act in certain way. Every one of us should feel for this cause from within, and help in whatever way we can. It will be good if everyone comes together for this cause. If big industries join in this project, a lot can be done. Not just the Clean Ganga project, there are various other kinds of pollution across India which need attention. If the industries get involved at state level to reduce these different kinds of pollution, there is a lot that can be achieved. However, Amma cannot force her words onto anyone. Amma can only request everyone to come together and work in unison to bring back the golden days of Bharat.


Genuine as well as hypocrites

Question: Amma, you do a lot of social work and you have a good image in public. But while working in the field of television, we come across a lot of news about some controversial babas also. This gives rise to various doubts in the hearts of the common people. Is there a way by which we can remove this gap between the real saints and the people, by removing these pretentious and hypocritical babas? (Sandeep Sonwalkar, Delhi, India TV)

A: The fact is that in every field of work, there are both the genuine ones as well as the hypocrites. People should carefully discern.


Ghats of Ganga


Everyone should feel for this cause

Question: Very frequently, various saints have been starting initiatives to clean Ganga, but it is the first time that such a substantial financial aid has been provided by a religious trust. Even saints do not have any dearth of money. And you have taken a first step. Would you like to appeal anything to the rest of saints or say something to them for coming forward for this cause? (Pawan Nara, Delhi, Zee News)

Amma: If Amma says anything to them, it will be like ordering them to act in a certain way. Everyone should feel for this cause from within and help in whatever way they can. The act of giving should be spontaneous. It cannot be forced.


We all have to come together to make the dream come true
Question: Many a times this question keeps coming up—whether Narendra Modiji is actually doing something or not. Today you have given Rs. 100 crores to the government, but do you think you have given it in the right hands? Because some political parties accuse Modiji of only talking in air. Do you really feel that this Rs. 100 crore that you have donated will be used appropriately? What is your perception? By giving this Rs. 100 crore, what is the message you are trying to give? (Reporter from North India)

Amma & India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Amma & India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Amma: People are free to say whatever they want. Why should Amma comment on that? Everyone has their own opinion. But will it be right for Amma to not act and respond to the need just because certain people have certain opinions or say something? Amma will do whatever is necessary on her part. Everyone has freedom in our country to tell their opinion. But that does not mean that we keep sitting, doing nothing. We must lend a helping hand.

Our ashram has the entire data of the list of beneficiaries who need toilets, their names, their addresses, the amenities they currently have and do not have, and this list has been verified also by our team. Our people have been on the ground and checked these details ourselves. In future also, Government will provide us the necessary records and the ashram will continue to monitor the progress of this project and ensure that the money is handled well. Amma believes that this money will reach its intended beneficiaries.

Amma prays that the Prime Minister’s plans and dreams to take this country forward come true. Just like all of us have a dream that India should rise and regain its golden era, he also has desire for India’s progress. Any of us can dream of Greater India, but if we want that dream to come true, then we all have to come together and unite. Only when we also join hands together is the dream of Greater India going to come true.


Contribute from Ashram side in every possible way
Question: For Ganga cleaning, lot of initiatives have been going on for past many years and a large amount of money has also been spent on those initiatives. But you have not donated such a big amount for this cause in past. So, what is so special about this time that you have decided to come forward and donate such a big amount? Is there anything that has increased your faith or anything else in particular that has made you come forward this time? (Nirmal Pathak, Delhi, Hindustan Newspaper)

Amma: It is not that Amma did not have faith in anybody earlier because of which Amma did not take this project in hand. In fact, Amma started Amala Bharatham Campaign (Clean India Campaign) in 2010, and since then Amma has been keeping a tab on similar such projects in India. Until then, we were not so informed about these projects. Recently, when Amma heard about Prime Minister’s project related to Namami Gange and the vision he has to take the country forward by this initiative, Amma felt that we should contribute from the ashram side in every possible way. Moreover, the financial situation of the [Mata Amritanandamayi] Math did not permit us to contribute in this initiative earlier.


All states need to come together
Question: I have two small questions. Firstly, we all know that you have donated Rs. 100 crores to Government of India for Clean Ganga project. But the state governments of the five states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal) through which the Ganga flows, also have a very big responsibility in the Clean Ganga Project. So, are you also planning to meet the chief ministers of these states in this regard and request them to take this Clean Ganga project forward, with full fervor? Secondly, my question is that in addition to the pollution problem of Ganga, there is another problem related to its flow. Many dams are being built upon Ganga River in Uttarakhand, due to which the Ganga water is being stopped. This is affecting the hallmark of Ganga River. So, would you like that the Government does not proceed further with the dam-related work on Ganga River in Uttarakhand, so that Ganga can retain its non-stop flow? (Hari Krishna, Dainik Jagran newspaper)

ganga aerial view

Satellite view of Ganga

Amma: Amma cannot order any minister to act in a certain way, but if there is any problem in their respective state, and Amma can do something about it, then Amma will surely meet them and offer whatever Amma can do to help.

Regarding the dams, it is a sensitive and complex issue because farmers also need water to grow food for the country, and these farmers are benefitting from these dams. We cannot ignore their needs either. We will need to understand the actual need of the people and then act accordingly. But one thing is for sure: All states need to come together and help in taking the Ganga-cleaning initiative forward.


It is the need of every Indian
Question: For last 30 years, Ganga is being cleaned. More than Rs. 30,000 crore has been spent on cleaning Ganga. Whenever the Government is summoned in the highest court of the country to discuss this case, the court says that, with the speed at the which the cleaning is actually happening, it is unlikely that even the current generation will be able to see clean Ganga. Amma, do you feel that the speed at which the cleaning work is happening, the current generation will ever be able to see the continuous flow of Ganga in its pure form? Is there any such hope? (North India Reporter)

burning ghats

Cremation at the Ghats

Amma: Amma would say that if this project has to become successful, then it is necessary that not just the Government, but everyone else (including industry as well as people) also should come forward and take part. This will require a lot of effort—for example, construction of treatment plants for the industrial waste rather than letting it directly into the Ganga, the right kind of sanitation facilities, some industries may even need to be relocated. So, everyone from in society needs to come together and have a single vision for cleaning Ganga. Only then will this work move forward with full speed. It will not happen if the Government alone is wishing for it. People too need to come forward and contribute in every possible way. All the state governments will need to work hand in hand. Of course, we can all put in our effort, but there are many other factors which affect the outcome of our efforts. For example, a person may be driving very carefully but the person coming from the other side may be reckless and this may lead to an accident. For all the factors to be favorable, God’s grace is necessary. The result of the efforts is not dependent on one single person.

When there were floods in Karnataka, Amma made new houses for those who lost their houses. Many other people and organizations came forward to offer their help in the relief-and-rehabilitation process. However, as soon the limelight of the media faded away, these people and organizations stepped back. But Amma’s ashram continued to construct as many houses possible for the needy, without worrying about the media limelight. However, as soon it became a news that only Amma is continuing to build houses while others have stepped back. This became a prestige issue for some, and soon it became like a competition, wherein everyone started coming forward and help.

Only if we are all ready to put our efforts together, can we conceive of cleaning Ganga becoming a reality. Some of us may feel that this is a Government project. But if we want this dream to come true, then we all need to move forward together, including the press and the media. This is not just the need of a Government or the Prime Minister. We need to realize that this is our need–it is the need of every Indian that Ganga remains clean. It is impossible with the efforts of a single individual. Everyone will have to unite and come together. Only then will this project be successful.

amma-press conference

Amma at the press confrence

Amma’s focus is on Dharma
Question: Just constructing toilets on the banks of Ganga River may not be enough to clean Ganga completely. There are lot of factories on the banks of Ganga that are releasing contaminated industrial waste into the Ganga. It is important to stop that, and this requires another major initiative. Has Amma spoken to the Government about any initiative in this direction as well? Another thing is that it looks like you are trying to get cozy with the BJP. Is it so? (Reporter, Mumbai, DNA newspaper)

Amma: Amma’s focus is only on dharma [righteousness], irrespective of any Government. Amma wants dharma to be established.

During the discussion with Prime Minister in March, this topic regarding factories releasing waste in Ganga River was also discussed. Amma had also expressed her concern about the factory waste, sewage and other wastewater, which is being released in Ganga. The factory residue that flow into the Ganga is a major concern and should be stopped. Some factories will need to be relocated, and some people will also need to be rehabilitated. All of these issues were taken up and seriously discussed during that meeting with Prime Minister.

Amma had also proposed a plan for removing the human waste like skeletons, bones etc., which need to be removed using boats that can go underwater. These boats can locate the places where these skeletons have been deposited and then remove them. In addition to the suggestions regarding the setup of various treatment plants, Amma had also suggested that the Government should take initiative to provide subsidies to the factories in order for them to be able to relocate easily. Otherwise it is like an elephant taking bath and then immediately throwing dust on its back. It will be a big waste of money and resources. Only after first stopping the corpses being thrown into the Ganga, establishing the treatment plants, building toilets etc., we should clean the Ganga of all the bones and other human waste. Otherwise, Ganga will again become contaminated.


Stop this unwanted practice
Question: There is a custom of releasing half burnt dead bodies in various places like Kashi, through which Ganga flows. Being a spiritual leader, it will be of great service if you can give a message to the people (to stop doing this). (Delhi coordinator, Janmabhoomi)


Taking deadbody off Ganga

Amma: The topic of throwing corpses into Ganga, which further contaminates the Ganga, was discussed in detail with the Prime Minister in March of this year. It was a long discussion in which the Prime Minister promised that his next efforts will be to stop this unwanted tradition of throwing dead bodies into the Ganga.

In olden days, people used to think it was a good idea to let the dead body become the food for the fish. Our ancestors and older generations believed it to be like making an offering to the Ganga. Also they believed that one would attain moksha [liberation] and higher states of consciousness by offering one’s body to Ganga River. So, there is both the actual idea rooted in compassion, as well as the belief of attaining moksha. In fact, the chemicals that ooze into the soil from decomposing bodies can be even more harmful. Anyhow, this releasing of corpses into the Ganga has become somewhat of a primitive kind of ceremony, and that should be controlled and stopped. The Government is also looking into this matter. The Prime Minister is also taking this matter very seriously. He has told Amma that he will take the necessary steps to somehow stop this unwanted practice. Prime Minister Modi is planning to construct crematoriums on the banks of the Ganga River.


Namami Gange

Sunrise at Ganga

100Cr for Clenaing Ganag

Amma donates 100 Crore for ‘Namami Gange’ cleaning Ganga project

$30 Million in Donations to Toilet-Building Project Across India

11 September 2015, Amritapuri – Amma today presented Sri. Arun Jaitley, India’s Hon. Minister of Finance, a cheque for Rs. 100 crore (US$15 million) for the construction of toilets in the poorest villages surrounding the Ganga River, as part of Prime Minister Sri. Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat (Clean India) and Namami Gange (Clean Ganges) projects – efforts to end the life-threatening diseases affecting millions of Indian citizens stemming from contaminated water sources, caused by widespread open defecation. A second Rs. 100 crore (US$15 million) phase of the project is due to be announced later in the month, during Amma’s birthday celebrations.


In giving the donation, Amma remarked: “Water, a symbol of life, is one of the five elements of nature that the Indian culture deeply reveres. Though the lives of millions of Indians today depends on the Ganga, this sacred river has only 25% of the original water left – the rest is sewage and factory waste. The unhygienic conditions prevalent in villages on the river banks cause diseases like cholera and diarrhea as people drink water from the river. Being a person born and brought up in a coastal village, I have personally seen people suffering from the scarcity of clean drinking water.”


“In my view, compassionate service to the poor is real worship,” said Amma. “A harmonious blend of selfless service, while providing the necessary awareness, is true compassion. This project will provide much-needed amenities to those who truly need them. Along with construction, education is also required. The villagers need to be taught that open defecation leads to water and soil pollution, which further contaminates food and leads to many types of parasitic infections. In our organization’s experience with toilet construction for the poor, creating this awareness is essential. Otherwise, despite having the proper facilities, they may not use them.”

Aside from the donation, Amma’s organization, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, will also be providing such education.

In accepting the donation on behalf of the Government, Sri. Arun Jaitley commented: “This 100-crore donation coming from Amma has more than the material relevance of 100 crores. 100 crores itself is a substantial amount to come from one institution. But more important than 100 crores is when a saint of the relevance of Amma takes a step in this direction, it sends a message across the world—not merely in India—that everyone who is committed to this great cause should contribute to it. … Therefore this gigantic step that Amma has taken today is both a material and also a symbolic message to everyone across the world who is concerned about the Ganga that, “This is my campaign and therefore every poor person on the banks of the Ganga must have a toilet so that we can keep the environment clean and the pollutants of the households don’t get into the Ganga itself.”

The art of giving

Sri. Jaitley also spoke about Amma’s significance for India as a nation and the world as a whole. “Amma has come to symbolize spiritualism, philanthropy, service to the poor and the art of giving. The institutions started by her blessings have changed the medical and educational landscape of many regions by rendering yeoman service, such as AIMS [Amrita Hospital] at Kochi and the world-class Amrita University with its 18,000 students. Amma’s message of love and affection have made millions of devotees from all around the world contribute towards the larger interests of society.”

Prime Minister Modi and Amma first discussed the Clean Ganges Project during Amma’s visit to Delhi in March 2015 {news}. At that time the Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to Amma for her environmental initiatives, which are in alignment with his Clean India Project, the country’s largest environmental and cleanliness drive to date, which includes the goal of providing sanitary toilets to more than 60 million homes by 2019. Present figures show nearly 600 million people in India have no access to sanitary toilets – a major cause of disease and further societal problems.

Amma’s Ashram has been directly addressing the issue of open defecation and the lack of proper sanitation facilities by training women to build their own toilets and bathrooms. Along with the sustainable technical and vocational skills, women are also being given awareness on the importance of hygiene, sanitation, proper toilet use, repair and maintenance. The initiative was successfully piloted in Odisha {news} in September 2014, and has since expanded to villages in 17 states across India.

Amma launched the all-India Amala Bharatham – Clean India, Beautiful India – Campaign in 2010. Through the programme, {news} thousands of clean-up drives in public areas across India have already been conducted. Volunteers also work to spread awareness in schools and to the general public regarding the proper way to dispose of trash and the importance of not spitting or urinating in public. These efforts have included the distribution of more than one million handkerchiefs to school children to stop spitting, as well as a massive annual cleaning of the world-famous Sabarimala pilgrimage site and Pampa River.


Organic Vegetables for Onam

27 Aug 2015, Amritapuri

For many years now, Amma has been encouraging all her followers around the world to grow their own organic vegetables, both for personal health and for a healthy planet. Today, Brahmacharis and Brahmacharinis and other residents of Amritapuri presented Amma organic vegetables they have lovingly cultivated by hand for use in tomorrow’s massive traditional ‪Onam‬ meal, which Amma will personally serve to each of the many thousands of people who have come from all over India and around the world to celebrate Onam at their spiritual home.



Green Friends Mauritius launched

21 June 2015, Mata Amritanandamayi Centre, Quatre Bornes, Mauritius

GreenFriends Mauritius planted 150 saplings, both indigenous and exotic plants to commemorate its launching and mark the first International Yoga Day.


Trees are the lungs of Mother Earth, filtering pollution and providing oxygen in return. Over the course of its life a single tree can absorb one ton of carbon dioxide. GreenFriends believe that the tree planting will help our next generation. Although our efforts may seem small or insignificant but it will certainly bring a real change.

Honourable Minister Raj Dayal – Minister of Environment accompanied by his wife planted the first tree to mark the official launching of Green Friends Mauritius.


All the devotes stood in a line by the Rose Hill/Trianon road and planted the balance 149 trees simultaneously while all were singing the chant of Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu. They received the blessings of the Almighty in the form of a drizzle too.

GreenFriends is an international environmental initiative started by Amma in 2001.


Saplings distributed for Vishuthaineettam

This year, Amma asked all those who celebrate the Kerala festival of ‪Vishu‬ to incorporate love and reverence for nature into their celebration {news}. It was Amma’s dream that this new tradition could help to imprint a deep bond with nature in the coming generations. Today, that dream is beginning to come true. Students of Amrita University planted 100,000 saplings for the occasion. Renowned artists, writers and activists helped to distribute the saplings at our ashrams and centers throughout Kerala, including celebrated actor Mohanlal and actress Seema G Nair, writer KL Mohana Varma, poet/activist Sugata Kumari, poet and environmentalist Injakkad Balachandran, Deputy Director of Kerala’s Agriculture Dept. Smt. Nandini, Kozhikode District Collector Prashant Nair, IAS, and Kerala Excise Minister Shri. K. Babu.


Film actor Mohan Lal distributing sapling to a little girl


100,000 saplings at Amrita University


100,000 saplings at Amrita University

2015 vishuthaineetam

Vrukshakkani and Vishuthaineettam instead of Vishukkani and Vishukkaineettam

Vishu is a festival specific to Kerala and to Malayalees, and it symbolizes the age-old bond with Nature. The highlights of Vishu are known as Vishukkani and Vishukkaineettam.

As part of this year’s upcoming festival of Vishu, Amma has launched two initiatives to help foster love for nature in the hearts of the younger generations, and to teach them to protect and preserve nature. These initiatives are known as Vrukshakkani and Vishuthaineettam, as they augment the existing highlights of Vishu.


Vishukkani is the first darshan (sight) the members of each household will have after waking up on the day of Vishu. A picture of Lord Sri Krishna and an abundant display of fruits and vegetables form the main part of the Vishukkani. Traditionally, the parents blindfold the children or cover their eyes and lead them in front of the Vishukkani altar, to guarantee that this is the first thing they see on Vishu. This year, Amma is asking everyone to add one more item to the Vishukkani altar: a few seedlings of any tree or vegetable—hence the name Vrukshakkani.

The tradition of Vishukkaineettam is a gift, usually money, which the elders give to the young members of the family on that day. But this year, Amma is asking the elders to gift the seedlings kept in the Vishukkani to the younger ones so that they will plant it and nurture them. This will be known as Vishuthaineettam.


This is a special moment in the history of Vishu. If enough people would incorporate these new traditions, it will allow the festival of Vishu to help imprint a deep bond with and love and concern for nature in the coming generations. This kind of fundamental shift in humanity’s attitude toward nature (from exploitation to loving protection) is essential in order to preserve nature’s harmony and a safe place for human beings to call home.


This years Vishu falls on 15th April.



italy tree

600 trees planted in Buccinasco, Milan

Inspired by Amma’s message to save the planet, Italian devotee volunteers took to planting 600 trees in a town near Milan in Northern Italy.

In one of her talks, Amma said “There is an inseparable bond between man and nature. For man, there cannot be an existence removed from nature. However, because of his thoughtless actions, the equilibrium in nature is getting disturbed; the pulse of human life is becoming erratic, too. ..We cannot delay anymore. We must make the right decisions and embark on the right course of actions.”

Taking Amma’s message to the heart, the volunteers took to action. Caring not for rain or snow on a rainy day, volunteers put into action an InDeed initiative of planting more than 600 trees in Buccinasco, a town near Milan.