Our Journey to a Million Trees

Tentsile’s love of Nature is at the very core of everything we do. Every tent we design, make, and sell is destined for a lifetime of adventures in the Forest. In truth, that’s why Tree Tents exist in the first place – our Founder Alex wanted to create a new way to hang out in the trees, immersed in their beauty and tranquility – and he wanted to make sure these precious resources were protected for generations to come. That’s why we proudly plant 20 trees for each Tree Tent or Hammock sold and give back a portion of our revenue to 1% for the Planet each year, as well as supporting the European Outdoors Conservation Association to fund environmental initiatives around the globe.

But what impact are we really having, you might ask? Are we just jumping on the greenwashing bandwagon, with planting trees being a cheap and convenient way for Brands to offset carbon emissions? Simply, no.

We work closely with our Tree planting partners to make sure that the reforestation projects we fund are having a genuine and lasting impact. Over the past 10 years we’ve helped plant over 1,000,000 trees with grass roots projects – from community led initiatives in Zambia, to the forests of Madagascar, Nepal and the USA.  And we don’t plan to stop anytime soon. This year we are on track to hit our target of planting 1 million trees worldwide, and we couldn’t have done it without each and every one of our customers. 

As we look towards another Green year ahead, we wanted to share some stories from the ground, so you can find out what we do, and why.  In 2023 we will continue to fund some amazing projects with the guidance of our tree planting partners, Eden Reforestation Projects. Let’s take a look at some of the work they’re doing on the ground, and learn more about their Madagascar projects. 

Eden Reforestation Projects in Madagascar

More than 90% of primary Forests in Madagascar have been destroyed, and as ever it is those who are in poverty who are affected the most. The destruction of Mangrove estuaries along the coastline has increased the vulnerability of coastal communities to hurricanes, tsunamis and floods, whilst further inland in the dry deciduous woodlands, deforestation threatens one of the world’s rarest and most diverse forest ecosystems.

Eden Project oversee 93 different project sites in Madagascar, and since they began work here in 2007 an unbelievable 776 million trees have been produced, planted, and protected. But it’s not just the number of trees that matters – it’s the infrastructure around them that is crucial too. Much of the degradation that was occurring in Madagascar arose from slash and burn practices. People needed fuel for their fires – to cook food for their families, to boil water to make it more hygienic, and for materials to build their homes. This is where livelihoods and conservation become intertwined. It’s only through supporting local people to lift themselves out of poverty, by providing an alternative source of income and access to more sustainable resources, that behaviours can start to change. As well as overseeing reforestation sites, Eden Project work in partnership with local people to train them as seedling nursery managers.  So far they have employed over 11,700 community members in Madagascar alone, offering people a fair wage for their hard work and training them up to gain the hands on experience and skills that it takes to manage and lead these initiatives.

16 years after the inception of their first project in Madagascar, the once threatened coastal Mahajanga district has had its estuaries cleared and is now a thriving mangrove forest once again, resulting in the return of a healthy aquatic system. Now each month, over two million mangrove trees are planted across the Northwest region, and some of these are funded by Tentsile.

So what next? Well, it’s not just about planting the trees – the seedlings and shrubs need to be protected as they grow to maturity. In 2021 a devastating wildfire tore through the Ankarafantsika region, burning over 1500 hectares (6 square miles). The Eden Project teams joined the firefighters to successfully extinguish the fires, and in doing so protected the new Forests growing there.

Just like Eden Project, and the Madagascan communities working to replenish their environment, at Tentsile we will never stop working towards a greener future for us all. We will campaign, we will be advocates for positive change, and we will keep restoring Forests a little at a time with every single Tree Tent and Hammock we sell.

Next month we’ll take a look at some of the amazing work being achieved by our other environmental partners, so keep checking back for more! 

January 27, 2023 — Kirstie Grego

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