…But is A Million People Enough?


 Alas, the truth is no. Getting people into trees - even if we manage to get a million – is only really part of the story. Because we’re not just about getting people in the trees; we’re also about making sure there are enough trees for people to get into. For us, trees are what it’s all about – all of them, any of them – whether it be the Giant Redwood or the Mighty Oak, the European Larch or the African Baobab, the Australian Gum or the Humble Apple, we don’t discriminate; we want them all – they all provide homes for a myriad of species and habitats for complex eco systems; they all filter our air; they are all worthy and beautiful.

And so, part of our 2017 #BecomeOneOfTheMillion New Year’s Resolution pledge is to continue the work we do supporting tree-planting projects and tree-protection schemes. But not just continue – the pledge is to upsize! Make it biggerer, betterer and morerer!

As you will know, we already plant 3 trees for every tent we sell anywhere around the world. That’s right, THREE trees - no tent gets sold without a small thicket of trees being planted in its honour, either with WeForest, combatting desertification in Ethiopia, or with The Eden Projects, replanting forests that have been destroyed in Madagascar. And so far, we have planted around 46,500 trees. But this is just the start. Because 46,500 trees doesn’t even touch the sides. We want to plant tens of thousands, scores of thousands. Hundreds of thousands. Maybe even millions! And so now we scale up…

Starting from January 2017, we will aim to support at least one tree-planting project on every continent in the world – except for Antarctica, which for obvious reasons has no trees (we looked it up just to double check!). One on each continent. Maybe even two! That’s the challenge.

“What’s so difficult about that?” I hear you say. “Simply pick up the phone and press the sponsor button.”

As if. No, it’s not that easy. You see, planting trees is one thing. Anyone can do that. My children did that last year in my back garden. Making sure they survive is another thing altogether (my children didn’t manage it!). We need to check and double check that these projects are real – that they are bona fide, genuine tree-planting and tree-protection projects, not just some pretend-to-be-green-do-gooder-gimmick-take-your-money-and-let-the-trees-die operations, as can be the case if not monitored and validated. No, we’re in for the real deal. And so we will aim to work with these charities, ensuring these sampling forests are maintained and sustained. We will watch and monitor the progress, with monthly reports and updates, photos and trips out if need be. We will seek to work with governments - both nationally and locally - to ensure that the regulatory infrastructure is there to support these projects. We will ensure that only native species are planted, sourced from the local area, naturally dispersed, and local communities are involved. We will do what we can to make this work. Because we mean business. We’re serious. We’re in it for the long haul. And with your help, we believe we can do it. We’re going to plant trees. And you can plant trees too. Go out there and have a go. And tell us about it! Add to our count! Or if you can’t be bothered or don’t know how, help us do it. Help us create homes and habitats for species around the world. Help us help the world breathe freely again. Simply follow our story, and you will be helping to #BecomeOneOfTheMillion.

Jethro Shirley-Smith