Before we get stuck into this post properly, I'd like to let you know that I was pretty blown away by the discovery I made when I got towards the end of this post and was calculating the impact our tree planting has had. This post isn't too long a read, but if you are short on time, I won't mind if you skip to the end. :)
It feels like only last week I was writing this post. As I said then, protecting the planet is so important to me, and I want to do everything I can to make my business as eco friendly and sustainable as possible.
There are small things that have always been natural to me in my business, such as reusing the packaging I receive rather than throwing it away. I want to talk about packaging a little bit, because I've only ever briefly touched on it, and I think it is important.
As much as I wish I could, I can't change the fact that others do still use plastic packaging, so I feel that the most environmentally friendly thing I can do with it when I do receive it is to reuse it. I could recycle it and use something else more eco friendly, but then twice the amount of materials are being used. The plastic has already been made at this point, and if I reuse it, the person receiving it might then reuse it instead of having to purchase some themselves. If we all did this, the amount of plastic packaging being produced would decrease enormously.
But all of that being said, I am noticing packaging I'm receiving is becoming a lot more eco friendly, with more businesses using biodegradable packaging, honeycomb paper instead of bubblewrap, dissolvable peanuts, and so on. It is encouraging to see that standards are changing.
I will never purchase plastic packaging, so if you receive any in your order you can be safe in the knowledge that I have obtained it through means out of my control, and taken the most sustainable action I can with it. I encourage you to reuse it, or pass it on to someone who might need it, or as a last resort, to recycle it correctly.
If you know me, you may know that when I feel strongly about something, I will do all I can to change it, or at least make some sort of small difference. An example of this is the fact that I love animals, and as I learned more about how they are treated across various industries, I made changes in my life that removed my involvement in it. I started by avoiding brands that test on animals, and going vegetarian, and as I learned more I started cutting out eggs and dairy too. Almost 3 years ago now I went completely vegan, and because of what I've learned, I could never go back.
And of course this ties in with wanting to do all I can to help our planet. Being vegan for the animals was my main motivator to begin with, but now that is shared with the knowledge that it is one of the most effective ways we can help the earth.
I won't go any deeper on veganism because honestly I would be typing for hours, but what I will say is that this book lays out the facts and truths in a really approachable way, so if you would like to know more I definitely recommend giving it a read.
This is quite a strong example that might seem like a big change (although honestly it didn't and still doesn't feel that way to me), but I like to think it shows the kind of person I am. I can't bury my head in the sand and pretend things don't exist once I know that they do, and I'm not scared of changing my ways. There are of course a lot of injustices in the world that I feel strongly about, that I can't do much about at all. But where I can make a small difference, I will.
But getting back to the reason I am writing this post. I wanted my business to be helping the planet in as many ways as possible, and when I discovered One Tree Planted, I just knew it was right.
It has now been just over a year since I pledged to plant a tree for every product sold*, and I have never looked back. Some months, when I have struggled with sales, it gives me that reminder that even though it might be only 4 trees, that is 4 trees in the world now that weren't there before. Every single one of them makes a difference.
As well as planting a tree for each product sold, I have also added the option to my website to plant extra trees, which you can find here. Every tree makes a huge difference, so whether you can donate one tree, or 10, or 100, it all adds up.
Trees are integral to our survival on earth. Aside from the obvious reason (oxygen), they also help to clean our air and water, they create habitats for wildlife, and create jobs. They are useful for many reasons, and they are beautiful too.
One Tree Planted is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to global reforestation. They plant trees to restore nature and biodiversity. They also raise awareness about the importance of trees, offer businesses like ours a simple sustainability solution, and motivate younger generations to do something positive for the environment.
I thought the one year mark would be a good time to go deeper on this, and I want to thank you for reading. Whether you already knew everything I've mentioned above or you've learned something new, bringing attention to these issues is important to me and I am so grateful to you for coming along on this journey, and helping me to make a difference.
And I would love to share with you that, as of today, we have planted 243 trees! One tree can store up to 20kg of carbon per year, so even if we stopped right now, that's 4860kg of carbon per year taken out of atmosphere. Over the average lifetime of those trees (only counting the years that they are mature and at peak productivity), that's 194400kg, or194.4 tonnes, of carbon. That's the equivalent of flying from London to New York 329 times!
All of that is thanks to your purchases from my business. Quite honestly I am astounded by these figures as I am writing this, because this is the first time I have properly calculated the difference we are making. I am so honoured and so grateful.
We are only just getting started with this. My aim for the next year is to at least double this figure! So please stick around, follow me on socials, sign up to the mailing list, and tell your friends, because every single order makes a huge difference. Not only to me personally but to every single living creature on this planet.
Remember to keep an eye on my Instagram @caraejdesigns to see where this month's trees will be planted.
*As much as I would love to plant a tree for absolutely every single product, not all of them financially allow for this. My choices are to up the price of everything by £1 (which prices me out of the market on a lot of the smaller items), or to keep the price the same and offer you the option to plant a tree in addition to your purchase. Therefore One Tree Planted automatically applies only to products worth over £5.