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Arush designed and coded the free app ReuseKitab Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: An Indian student in Dubai has showcased his app at the COP28 climate conference of the UN to help save trees globally.

Arush Nagpal, 16, studying in Grade 11 said his app Reusekitab – a platform to reuse books – has seen 3,000 downloads from students and parents in the UAE.

“This means 3,000 people have bought or taken used books thereby saving on purchasing new books. This further means in a small but sure way they have contributed to saving books from going into landfill and from trees being cut down to produce new books,” he added.

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Arush's presentation about the app at COP28 in Expo City Dubai Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

In a chat with Gulf News at the Voice of Action hub at COP28, Arush said around 320 million books reach landfill every year. “This translates to 32 million trees being cut down to produce these books. If people reused books it would save so many books from reaching landfill and in turn save trees from being cut down.”

He said the cutting of trees leads to a loss in bio-diversity, increased greenhouse gas emission and pollution. “Beside all this leads to large amounts of transport emissions, as books have to be driven or shipped from production facilities to warehouses and shops,” Arush added.

“Not just that, 80 per cent of all animals call the jungle their home. And deforestation means that these animals lose access to food and shelter that they need for survival, leading to large amounts of animals being added to endangered species list by the United Nations.

“Trees are the lungs of the planet, they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. But when the trees are cut the planet will die gradually. It is time to make a difference and make it now,” said Arush.

About the app

The Reusekitab has been designed and coded by Arush and his mother Manju, a software engineer by profession. “Three years ago he said he wanted to build an app to save trees. He did most part of the coding and design. I helped him upload it on cloud. So the app has been built completely inhouse. The purpose of the app is to save our planet. It is a non-profit, because we are not trying to make any sort of financial income from the app,” said Manju.

“The sole purpose is to save trees and to save our planet.”

How it works

The user has to list the school name, class and books – whether it is a full set – or individual books they are giving away. “Some sell their books, while some give it away for free. Both options are available.”

“I hope to add more schools and more students list their names onto the app so we can do our bit to save the planet.”