Each year on June 5th, millions of citizens from across all corners of the globe come together to mark World Environment Day – a global platform for inspiring positive change in an effort to protect and restore the Earth. Since it’s inception in 1973, people from over 150 counties participate in this United Nations international day – one that celebrates environmental action and the power of governments, businesses and individuals to create a more sustainable world.

The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is 'land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience'. 

Humanity depends on land. Yet, all over the world, a toxic cocktail of pollution, climate chaos, and biodiversity decimation are turning healthy lands into deserts, and thriving ecosystems into dead zones. They are annihilating forests and grasslands, and sapping the strength of land to support ecosystems, agriculture, and communities.” UN Secretary-General António Guterres 

Land degradation and desertification affects over 3 billion people - and as ever, it is the smallholder farmers and rural poor that are disproportionately affected. Our lifestyle choices, consumption habits, and growing population all play into this catastrophic climate change – and increasingly we begin to see areas closer to home being affected. Flooding, drought, and wildfires are growing in frequency and severity, with an estimated 150,000 people losing their lives to these natural disasters each year, and many billions more seeing the long term impact on their daily lives, whether that’s from resulting food insecurity or degraded land and biodiversity.

It is fitting then, that this year’s theme is #GenerationRestoration, and here at Tentsile that is precisely what we focus on as part of our unwavering commitment to environmental protection.  As many of you will know by now, tree planting has long been a core tenet of our business’ philosophy – from our very inception, in fact. The reason we invented Tree Tents in the first place was because our Founder Alex knew that the best way to protect trees, was to encourage people to enjoy them; spending time with them - amongst them – so that we could each take time to reflect on their unrivalled splendour, their age old wisdom, and the central role they play in the purification and preservation of our global habitat.

In 2024 we decided it was time to branch out into new planting territories. For a decade now we have been planting trees in regions across Africa, in India, and Nepal. We are now supporting a new project with our partners Veritree, this time in Oregon, USA.  At first glance one might wonder why this particular state, abundant as it is with vast forests. Having explored this wonderful part of North America ourselves, we can testify to the seemingly endless winding Forest paths, with trees spanning to the horizon in every direction. But although this region is graced with some of the most spectacular woodland on the planet, it is also plagued by Wildfires – and they’re getting worse. 

In 2020, the Labor Day windstorms resulted in five simultaneous megafires in Oregon and 12 other smaller scale fires. Megafires are fires that span greater than 40,500 hectares (100,000 acres) in size.  Local communities were displaced, critical habitats for wildlife were destroyed, and tragically a number of people lost their lives.

Given the nature and extent of the Labor Day fires, restoration efforts will be a long, multi-year process. For this project, we will be partnering with American Forests and the Oregon Department of Forestry. With your support, we will be restoring the burned forest land in Oregon. A diverse range of species will be planted, including seeds that are adapted to withstand the changing climate. The trees being planted are carefully selected to represent the local ecosystem and assist with natural regeneration. They include Douglas-fir, Noble-fir and Western Red Cedar.  The goal of this project is to restore the wildlife habitat for species such as Deer, Elk, Cougar, Bear, Trout and Spotted Owl.” - Veritree

When we started out as a business, we had very limited knowledge about the different approaches to tree planting – the why, where, how and what. But over the course of a decade, and with the help of our planting partners along the way – we have learned that it’s not just the volume of trees planted that counts… it’s far more complex than that. Many big brands will just aim to plant as many saplings as possible, so that the figures seem impressive to external observers. The truth is though, that is little more than greenwashing. In reality, the species that are planted matters immensely, as does the location, season, and surrounding ecosystem – and a holistic approach that takes into account all of these things has a much greater and more genuine impact than numbers of shrubs in the ground. In order for the trees to thrive they need to be nurtured and monitored, mapped and accounted for, both because this ensures truly effective restoration, and also allows for measurable impact assessment.

This World Environment Day, we stand proud of our achievements so far in restoring habitats through tree planting, and so should our customers.  For every Tree Tent and Hammock sold, they have in effect themselves planted 20 trees, and made a profound and lasting contribution to the environment in doing so.

Kirstie Grego