The city geared up to contribute its mite to nature as it celebrated World Environment Day on Wednesday with several organisations launching projects to make Coimbatore a greener place.

Isha’s Project Green Hands began an initiative to plant 40 lakh saplings this year across the State. R. Doraiswamy, MLA, kicked off the project by planting the first sapling. Coimbatore Mayor S. M. Veluswamy presided over the function. The organisation distributed the saplings free of cost to people.

“Through this initiative, Isha aims to increase plant cover by giving away the saplings that require little special maintenance. They need to be watered just twice a day, after sunrise and sunset, and were predominantly shade-bearing trees, which are the need of the hour in urban areas,” said R. Vinod, a volunteer of the Foundation.

The Confederation of Indian Industry and Environmental Conservation Group launched a ‘greening of highways’ project.

P. Chandramohan, Assistant Police Commissioner; G. Manuneethi, Divisional Engineer, National Highways Authority of India; Nalla G. Palaniswamy, chairman and managing director, Kovai Medical Center and Hospital (KMCH); S.K. Sundararaman, chairman, CII Coimbatore Zone; and K. Ilango, CII vice-chairman, took part in the drive.

Earlier, the hospital distributed 8,500 saplings free of cost to its patients and staff.

Gamesa Wind Turbines observed the day at Tangedco’s Pedapampaddi Substation by planting saplings and distributing pamphlets to villagers.

A cycle rally was flagged off and the importance of harnessing green power, especially wind energy was highlighted. A similar programme was staged at Rasipalayam Substation to instil the importance of recycling and carbon reduction.

C.R.I. Pumps would send a van containing messages of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to all its 29 branch officers and dealer outlets across the country. Saplings will be distributed.

The UNEP has adopted the theme ‘Think, Eat, Save,’ as its theme for the year to highlight the problem of 1.3 billion tonnes of food getting wasted even as one in seven persons went to bed hungry. This would be explained to the people, according to a pressnote.