So how did this awesome project begin?
We got inspired to start this online for bloggers after reading a study by Dr. Alexander Wissner-Gross, who calculated the average amount of CO2 emitted when anyone visits a website. Our corporate sponsor, Retale, is a digital platform for shopping, so the company is already paperless. Retale wanted to address the emissions that come from the internet in efforts to be a truly green company. Not only is planting trees vital to maintaining our environment, but it also actively fights carbon emissions. We figured the simplest way to combat carbon emissions was to try and replant America’s forests together with bloggers.
What has been the most exciting support you’ve received for this project?
The most excited support or situation we’ve had because of this project I think is yet to come. We have only just started collecting participants, although we have done this project in 5 other countries with exciting results. If I count our sister projects, I’d say the most exciting event was the replanting of the Gévezé forest in Brittany, France. With the Arbor Day Foundation, we plant species of trees that are carefully selected according to the location in which they will be planted. We will have more information on the species of trees planted after we send our first round of trees for fulfillment. This is something we’d like to include in the planting update when we get the information from the Arbor Day Foundation.
How can we bloggers get involved?
Bloggers can get involved by writing about our project, spreading the word via social media, and reducing the carbon footprint of their blog by letting us plant a tree for them. The reason why spreading the word is so important is because the more bloggers who agree to participate in the project, the more trees we will plant and the bigger the impact on the environment will be. We need great blogs like Miseducated who have a strong following to set an example for the blogosphere by proactively helping the environment. I think taking a stand to reduce the carbon emissions of Miseducated is absolutely an example of doing what you think is right no matter what others say! Many people don’t realize that CO2 is emitted by websites. They assume because it’s paperless, that there are no adverse effects to the environment, but this is not true. We need to work together to show the blogosphere that a) their blogs are emitting carbon too, and b) they can do something about it.
Where are these trees located?
We make quarterly donations to the Arbor Day Foundation for all the trees we plant to Green Gestures. Right now we are collecting our first 1,000 blogger participants to plant a big batch of 1,000 trees. We plan to update the Green Gestures website with information (and hopefully photos) about where the trees were planted. It depends on where the Arbor Day Foundation has the most need for reforestation. If you’re interested to see which forests they are focusing on this year, you can see a list of national forests on their website here.
Do you have any other environmentally friendly projects we should know about?
The use of paper is related to two major environmental problems: loss of biodiversity and damage to the environment. Paper production contributes to the loss of biodiversity through the destruction of native forests, the expansion of monoculture eucalyptus and pine trees, and high levels of water and energy usage. Paper consumption also generates an enormous amount of trash – much of it is not recycled and ends up in landfills, incinerators, or littering our nation’s landscape. Through our Green Gestures campaign, Retale™ aims to reduce paper consumption (and paper waste) by creating a more sustainable way to shop. With our website and mobile apps, you have instant access to thousands of diverse offers and catalogs from stores near you. Using our digital service means that you can reduce your paper waste by opting out of the weekly ads and catalogs you currently receive in favor of viewing them online.
In addition to providing a digital solution for consumer shopping needs, Retale™ also engages in efforts to help the environment with two initiatives: our “Make a Green Gesture” campaign (described above) and our Sustainable Careers portal. Retale™ also supports the green economy with our Sustainable Careers portal, a virtual service providing specialized listings for environmental and sustainable employment. Through this portal, we aim to help professionals in environmental fields find meaningful employment, and thus contribute to building a society that lives in harmony with the environment.