Sowing the Seeds of Change: How Eco-activism is Changing the World & What We're Doing to Help
Photo credit: Eden Reforestation Projects
Thomas Fuller once said: "He that plant trees loves someone over than himself." We fervently believe this. In fact, it underlies everything we do. We've grown from a treehouse architect's seed of an idea and passion for trees into a flourishing global team that strives for social change to protect the world's forests.
If you've followed our journey over the years you probably already know about our reforestation efforts. We plant 20 trees with our planting partners: We Forest, Eden Reforestation Projects and the Arbor Day Foundation for every Tree Tent and hammock we sell. To date, we've planted over 435,000 trees. This is all part of our larger #BecomeOneOfTheMillion campaign to plant 1 million trees by 2021.
However, what you may not know is that our drive to stop deforestation has branched out into supporting many varied eco-initiatives, as well as individual green activists. In this blog, we'll be sharing the inspirational stories from ambitious projects and on-the-ground eco-warriors that we've supported over the past year, as well as looking ahead to our plans in 2019.
A Green Coalition- Working Together to Give back to the Environment.
We appreciate that planting trees alone will not be enough to stem the tide of climate change. As a global company in the outdoor industry, we have a responsibility to preserve the beautiful landscapes, precious water sources and wildlife that make up the diverse eco-systems all around us. To achieve this, we've joined a global network of businesses who're working together for a healthy planet
We're proud members of the Leave No Trace Centre for Outdoor Ethics who protect the outdoors by inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly and the European Outdoor Conservation Association, who actively champion the conservation of wild places. We're also a One Percent for the Planet partner, which means we donate 1% of all our annual sales towards environmental causes.
We're thrilled to say that we recently joined The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA). This organisation empowers outdoor businesses to address the threat of climate change through advocacy on climate policy at multiple levels of government, to date they have protected over 1.8 million acres of public lands in the USA!
But that’s not all… read on to find out about some of the specific projects and activations we support around the world….
Hambach Forest, Anti-Coal Protest
The Hambach forest in Germany is an ancient woodland near the city of Cologne and has been the site of a coal mine since 1984. Today, less than a tenth of this 12,000-year-old forest remains. Since 2012, dozens of protesters have occupied 60 treehouses to protect the ancient Hambach forest from being felled to make way for the expansion of the open-pit coal mine.
In September, last year an already fraught situation was pushed to breaking point as riot police were called in to forcibly remove these peaceful protesters and destroy their canopy camps.
Video credit: DW documentary
Around this time, an activist reached out to us asking whether they could use our Tree Tents to form the frontline of the protest. We were thrilled to be able to help. We caught up with our covert contact to discover what this forest means to the local people and whether it's now safe from future threats. They told us that "the woodland itself is one of the last original forests of Germany" and "is home for endangered species of Bechstein's bat, but for me, it's more a symbolic place for a change in climate policy in Germany and Europe."
"We built up a new tree hut village while sleeping in your beautiful Tree Tents. They've been a big help during the clearing operation to be out of reach from the police. The activists had a safe place to sleep."
We're delighted that our portable treehouses enabled the activists to keep fighting for the forest and it's clear their efforts paid off since the German government has since halted any further coalmine expansion. It's amazing to see the impact that a small group of committed citizens can have in the face of a German coal giant. As our Hambach forest friend says: "It's not just about climate change, it's about living together in a non-hierarchical way."
Preserving the Sumatran Rainforest and the wildlife who make it their home
Photo credit: A Walmsley
We were thrilled to support SOS Orangutans during our Green Friday campaign last year by donating 2% of all our sale proceeds to their Rainforest Home Appeal. This conservation project aimed to reclaim and reforest 890 acres of ex-palm oil plantation to save the habitat of many critically endangered Orangutans. We’ll be working closely with SOS Orangutans in this upcoming year to organise a rainforest occupation in Indonesia. More details to follow very soon, so make sure you stay tuned!
We feel privileged to be able to support these kinds of projects and thank you for your continued support in our fight to protect the world's trees. We wouldn't be able to do it without you- the Tentsile Tribe, our partner organisations, and the incredibly brave individuals, whose unfailing commitment to make this world a better place is a constant source of inspiration!