Tree planting and ocean cleanup
We have partnered up with the organization Verdn in order to make an extra impact for the environment. We've broken down how it works, to make it easy:
- You purchase a product, and see the impact badge on each product
- We have chosen which impact the products have - either planting trees or picking up ocean plastic
- We make a donation on your behalf (it doesn't cost you anything)
- Verdn notifies their partner NGOs and organizations who actually carry out the planting and beach cleaning. For example Eden reforestation project, who employs local villagers to plant trees in Madagascar, Mozambique and Kenya
- You can track your impact through your dashboard - you'll receive it on email
When clicking any item in our shop, you will see a green badge which shows you the type of impact is connected with that exact product.
This product will, for example, plant 10 trees on your behalf. Other products will clean up 2-10 kilos of ocean plastic, and you can track this impact post-purchase.
Why are trees and forests so important?
Trees are an exceptional resource. Trees absorb carbon to grow, and store that carbon inside themselves. In return, they release oxygen, the very molecule we need to breathe. A single mangrove tree can remove over 300 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere, assuming it grows for 25 years. That is roughly 12 kg of CO2 per year. 
Since humans started cutting them down, half of the world’s forests have disappeared . In addition to mitigating climate change, forests also have other crucial functions for Earth’s biosphere. They are habitats for a vast majority of Earth’s species of plants and animals. Forests also have huge roles in water provision, soil protection and climate regulation.
Details about Mangroves
Mangroves are small trees that grow in the salty coastal waters of over 100 countries. Mangrove forests are essential ecosystems whose dense roots serve as an anchor for the soil and coastline, preventing erosion and creating a barrier between harsh ocean systems and land. They store four times as much carbon as even tropical rainforest, making them an important tool to mitigate climate change.
Verdn works together with Eden reforestation project
Eden Reforestation Projects reduces extreme poverty and restores healthy forests by employing local villagers to plant millions of trees every year.
Eden takes a holistic approach to reforestation and ecological restoration. They partner with villages committed to restoring their forest, and then hire and train locals to plant new trees. The reforestation provides the villagers with consistent income that helps them provide for their families. The villagers protect their new forests because they have a vested interest in them, and as a result, the seedling survival rate is an astounding 80%. Only native trees are ever planted.
Trees pledged through Verdn are planted in either Madagascar, Mozambique or Kenya. In the beginning, we are exclusively planting mangrove trees along coastal ecosystems.
Madagascar is an island off the East coast of Africa. It's the 4th largest island in the world. Due to its isolated geography, the nation has over 200,000 species of plants and animals that don’t exist anywhere else in the world. However, much of this biodiversity is under threat. Due to rampant deforestation, it is estimated that at least 50% of Madagascar’s original forests have been destroyed. The vanishing forests have displaced entire animal species, and robbed the ability for many Malagasy’s to farm and live on the land. Additionally, entire mangrove estuaries are gone, leaving the bare earth to wash away into the sea.
Eden Reforestation Projects launched operations in Madagascar in 2007. Eden has planted over 300 million trees in Madagascar to date.
Mozambique is a country located on the eastern coast of Africa. Its home to 20 globally threatened bird species, and over 200 endemic mammal species. With 68% of its population living rurally, and 45% living beneath the poverty line, the Mozambique people rely heavily on the country’s natural resources and forests for survival.
Historically home to vast mangrove estuaries and forests, Mozambique’s mangroves have been largely destroyed. Eden Reforestation Projects is working with local communities and villagers to restore, replant and protect these precious forest systems. To date, Eden has planted 7.5 million trees in Mozambique.
Kenya is a country located on the eastern coast of Africa. Along with its population of over 50 million, it also inhabits wildlife like lions, elephants and rhinos. However, Kenya faces high rates of deforestation that threatens both its flora and fauna. It is estimated that the country has lost 40% of its forests since achieving independence in 1963, and that 12,000 hectares are still lost annually.
In partnership with Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a local organization, Eden has established a project in Kenya that will on mangrove and coastal forest habitats. Eden is operating in Lamu County, an area with few opportunities for long-term employment and high levels of poverty. Eden’s tree nursery will provide employment, in addition to restoring key habitats that support livelihoods and cultural heritage. So far, over 500,000 trees have been planted.
The scale and scope of the plastic problem
More than 350 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year – half of which is intended for single use, and less than 10% of which is ever recycled. From this astronomic total, only about 2.3% ends up in the oceans, yet this still means that 8 million tonnes of waste are added every year; the equivalent of a garbage truck dumped every minute. The number is also growing rapidly, and it is estimated that plastic may outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050.
The easiest way to tackle ocean plastic
Our best chance against ocean plastic is to tackle it at source: as much as one quarter of all ocean plastic — 2 million tonnes a year — originates from just 10 rivers. Eight of these are in Southeast Asia, the last two in Africa. In this lies a huge opportunity. Not only do these 10 rivers make it possible to organize cost-effective plastic cleanup operations, but with the right business model, this cleanup can simultaneously provide high wages to hard-working locals.
Verdn works with Empower AS on ocean plastic
Empower is creating a solution to the plastic waste problem by giving plastic a value. They are cleaning up the world while fighting poverty by providing a wage to those in need.
Empower operates by setting up collection points around the world together with local partners (NGOs or charities). Once set up, these partners issue financial rewards in exchange for plastic deposits. All plastic is digitally registered upon collection, allowing Empower to trace the recovered plastic back up the supply chain, and keeping tabs on how it ends up being reused.
The plastic is cleaned up by underprivileged locals in poor communities. The plastic collection is a huge opportunity for these waste pickers, as they are given a stable amount of money per kilo of plastic collected. Locals that choose to be waste pickers can multiply their daily income – which for them means food, security and opportunity.
Empower has already organised cleanups in more than 15 countries, including those that see the Niger, Mekong and Ganges rivers flow through them (all of these are among the world’s top 10 most polluted).
Empower is building a global plastic waste ecosystem based on the same philosophy as the Norwegian bottle deposit system (one of the most effective recycling schemes in the world). By giving plastic waste a value, they are able to both stop leakage of plastic into the environment and cost-efficiently incentivize collection of leaked waste.
Thank you for making a difference!