EcoMatcher

Posted on 2020-01-22

EcoMatcher Scales New Heights

January 22, 2020 -EcoMatcher is proud to announce a partnership with New Growth, a foundation with Irish roots planting trees in the Himalayas in Nepal.

After the devastating earthquake in Nepal in April 2015, Simthali, a valley east of Kathmandu and close to the epicenter of the earthquake, was severely damaged in multiple ways. Not only houses were damaged, but also complete forests.

New Growth’s objective is rebuilding Simthali, and reforesting the valley. This massive valley has massive potential indeed.

I was privileged to meet New Growth’s local leader Sitaram and to meet one of the participating farmers named Urmila. Please see below the interviews with both amazing individuals (each video ~ 2 min each).

EcoMatcher will start selling complete forests in Nepal, captured tree-by-tree, starting in February, so stay tuned!

 

 

https://youtu.be/T8-SXicm9hQ
https://youtu.be/TLwL_HNmC0I
Posted on 2020-01-21

What is Agroforestry?

The increasing impact of climate change is a serious problem that cannot be waved away with the swift flick of a magic wand. Melting ice caps, growing deforestation, scarcity of fresh drinking water, increasing temperatures at a global level, ozone layer depletion; the list is endless.  

The road to the final solution is multifold and can be often achieved in more than one way, which is where agroforestry comes in.

What is Agroforestry?

Agroforestry is an economically and ecologically sound practice that incorporates cultivation, conservation and tree planting alongside crops or livestock farming. It is an efficient method of land utilisation by integrating unique relationships within a given ecosystem that embraces the benefits provided by trees into agriculturally productive landscapes, which can be adapted by both small as well as large-sized land-holders. The intentional combination of agriculture with forestry increases biodiversity and reduces erosion. Agroforestry also emphasises on the utilisation of various indigenous shrubs and trees to multiply output while protecting the resource base. 

Benefits of Agroforestry

Agroforestry is a highly advantageous land management model that goes in line with sustainable and developmental goals of every nation aiming for holistic development. Under this model, all community members generate income from crops while keeping forests alive and healthy, which is a win-win for both the farmers and the organisations implementing environmentally sustainable projects. 

Agroforestry, therefore, offers benefits to its stakeholders on various fronts such as- environmental, economic, and social. The aim of sustainable development is imbibed in the goals of agroforestry as it thrives to strike a balance among the socio-economic and environmental needs allowing the present and future generations to live in prosperity.

Environmental Benefits

  • Agroforestry works towards the protection and conservation of land through effective protection of stock, control of soil erosion, salinity, and higher quality control of water tables. 
  • Agroforestry also controls water and soil runoff, thereby holding on to organic matter and essential nutrients present in the soil due to the deep-rooted trees on the site.
  • As a solution to climate change, carbon sequestration is employed by combining livestock maintenance and overlying net fixing wooden layer, which significantly reduces the greenhouse effect. It also aids in reducing global warming. 
  • This method improves the soil structure by constantly adding organic matter through decomposed litter, increasing the nutrients present in the soil.
  • Solar energy is more efficiently used by this procedure when compared to monoculture systems leading to reduced insect pests and associated diseases. 
  • Another benefit of agroforestry is the improvement of microclimate as a step to mitigate environmental change, such as reducing the temperature at the soil surface and evaporation of moisture present in the soil, through a combination of shading and mulching.
  • Most importantly, agroforestry can reclaim degraded or eroded land and regain its lost soil fertility through conserving and replenishing the resources available. It also contributes to the restoration of natural capital.

Economic Benefits 

  • Farmers all around vouch for agroforestry as they are able to reap the benefits that tree planting yields. Farmers are benefited by the extra income generated by selling the tree products. 
  • Trees provide the farmers with fertilizers, timber, livestock fodder, and more, which the farmer would otherwise have to buy, consequently reducing the farmers’ overhead expenses.
  • Enterprise diversity is boosted by agroforestry, thereby reducing the risk farmers bare on the labour costs. 
  • Farmers are also entitled to earning income throughout the year, depending on the crop variety and rotation. 
  • Trees used in this procedure are of good value to the farmers, as they do not demand high maintenance, yet they can be a source of income when cash is required to the farmers. They also help overcome the hunger risk by producing fruits, nuts, and oils.
  • There are relatively fewer chances of failure of the entire crop as when compared to the traditional farming methods of single cropping. This, in a way, guarantees the farmers of some monetary returns for every crop cycle. 
  • Due to the sustainable environmental practices of productivity followed in agroforestry, the income generated on the farm increases on a regular basis. 

Social benefits

  • Due to the stability in employment and higher income generation, the standard of living of the farmers in rural areas is advanced.
  • Health conditions are refined as they consume crops that are not exposed to harmful pesticides. Their quality of life, in turn, is improved simultaneously with the improvement of crop quality. 
  • Agroforestry provides the farmers with regular income eliminating their need to migrate to urban areas in search of employment, thus ensuring stabilisation and improvement of communities. 
  • This procedure also enables the farmers who have nil or limited access to modern medicine to cultivate medicinal plants by providing space. 

Key Traits of Agroforestry Practices

What makes agroforestry stand apart from other farming practices are four key traits that it possesses, categorised as the “four I’s” of farming. Namely – intentional, intensive, interactive, and integrated, as explained below:

Intentional

The three components of agroforestry – trees, crops, and/or animals are intentionally chosen and collectively managed as a whole and never merely as individual components. However, the intention is to employ an effective and efficient method to retain nutrients, prevent soil erosion, and protect the crop against strong winds by incorporating all the member elements. 

Intensive

Agroforestry is an intensive mechanism of cultivation which aims at yielding its farmers regular and periodic benefits. The production is planned in accordance with the season, availability, and other determining factors that contribute to the monetary benefits of the farmers in the short, and long term.

Interactive

Agroforestry is a scientific technique that optimally utilises the interaction between the three components. Agroforestry targets to reap benefits from more than one component at any given point of time, while subtly practicing reforestation to combat climate change. 

Integrated

The integration of the three components could be of spatial arrangement or temporal sequence as long as they complement each other in using the available resources. The structural and functional integration of the components aims at the judicious utilisation of natural resources.

Conclusion

Agroforestry is economically, environmentally, socially, and culturally a viable option towards environmental sustainability. Reforestation, as agroforestry promotes is a major step in adapting towards climate change. Climate change is a grave threat, and it is high time to act now. In this regard, EcoMatcher comes as a sigh of relief in this distressful situation. EcoMatcher enables businesses to plant/gift/adopt trees or even complete forest in an initiative to give back to society and nature. By incorporating tree plantation as a business component through employee rewards or loyalty programs and customer engagement, we are not only promoting responsibility amongst people but also setting examples for others to follow. 

Posted on 2019-12-12

EcoMatcher goes South America!

December 12, 2019 – EcoMatcher is proud to announce a partnership with Plant Your Future, an amazing nonprofit specialized in tree-planting in Peru.

Plant Your Future empowers smallholder farmers in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest to restore their deforested and degraded land with productive agroforestry — planting a mixture of native fruit and timber trees. Improving the income and livelihoods of those at the grassroots increases our chances of fighting climate change effectively, as well as protecting habitats for the incredible biodiversity that calls the Amazon Rainforest home.

“We are excited to partner with EcoMatcher, helping us to scale and get more trees in the ground in Peru “, says Jenny Henman, Founder of Plant Your Future. 

“With Plant Your Future, EcoMatcher is now able to offer its clients trees from South America”, says Bas Fransen, CEO of EcoMatcher. “With our technology, we are making tree planting in Peru transparent and meaningful for companies from around the world.”

The first forests are being planted and can be ordered from EcoMatcher here.

Posted on 2019-12-03

Book: Ideas to Fight the Climate Crisis; Sustainable Resolutions for a Business

Dear Reader,

I am proud to present to you my book with ideas to fight the climate crisis and with sustainable resolutions for a business. This book is dedicated to Planet Earth. I do hope you find the book inspiring and interesting and see opportunities in your company to take action. Please reach out if you see opportunities for collaboration.

This book is a free download. If you would like to get the next release of the book and monthly updates on EcoMatcher, please subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of this page. We will handle your email address with care.

Feel free to share the book.

Regards,

Bas Fransen

CEO EcoMatcher


“Sustainability is the next big thing for all companies but many struggle what to do with this important topic. “Ideas to Fight the Climate Crisis” provides practical insights and processes on how to implement sustainability both on a strategic and operational level into your business. The tools provided are both applicable to large corporations and to SMEs.”

– Tom Uiterwaal, Chairman Environment and Energy Business European Council (EEBC) of the European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, CEO Reconergy (Hong Kong) Ltd.

 

Bas offers with “Ideas to Fight the Climate Crisis” a wealth of great and practical climate solutions while supporting companies upgrade their brand image.

– Mike Mastroyiannis, Former CEO in multinationals and start-ups, Founder TenX2


 
 

#globalwarming #climatechange #climatecrisis #climateaction #EmployeeEngagement #gifts #gifting #CorporateGifts #rewards #businessplan #strategy #sustainability #ideas #sdgs #regeneration #PlantATree #treeplanting #trees #forests #reforestation #deforestation #gretathunberg #sme #smes #carbonfootprint #csr #zerowaste #ThereIsNoPlanetB #ParisAgreement #leadership #HR #loyalty #innovation #marketing

 

Posted on 2019-11-21

Festival Gifts That are Good for the Planet

With the festive season just around the corner, choosing eco-friendly corporate gifts for your employees not only act as a gesture of goodwill but also help towards achieving sustainable development goals and targets for your business. Additionally, making a valuable contribution towards protecting the environment, regardless of how small or large the gesture is, is also equally valued and leads to a kind of a win-win situation for everyone! More and more corporate houses and businesses understand the need for environmentally sustainable business practices. This changing mindset has gradually let to a substantial increase in various environmental practices in the workplace and opened the doorway to eco-friendly gift options. 

Here is a list of some innovative and interesting festival gift options for employees that are not only good for the planet but also go a long way as a gesture of goodwill!

Jute Bags

Whether it is about getting groceries from the store, veggies from the market, or simply carrying lunch to office, a jute bag can come handy anywhere and anytime. Gift your employees personalised jute bags to make them more aware of climate change solutions. You can also initiate a drive that bans the use of poly bags by distributing or gifting jute bags to your employees this festive season. These bags come in trendy designs in a variety of shapes and colours and can be procured online from many websites that sell corporate gifts online. 

Bamboo Toothbrushes

A pack of bamboo toothbrushes are an excellent option for employee gifting. Not only does it give out a strong message against the use of plastics but also the fact that they are renewable and biodegradable tells us that switching to a more recyclable way of life is the need of the hour.  

Solar Lamps and Lights

With no batteries or plugs required for charging these devices, solar lamps and lights are the next big things that are super safe for the environment. With the help of some sunlight, these lamps can shine bright and light up any personal corner or workspace. For a little personal touch and to cherish the association with the employees, you can also get your company logo imprinted on the lights. A unique and futuristic option, solar lights are the kind of creative corporate gifts that will definitely make a good gesture. 

Reusable Drinking Straws

To tackle the present scenario of environment conservation, looking for alternatives to anything and everything plastic has become the need of the hour. As an organisation, you can shun the usage of excessive plastic but providing alternatives to plastic straws. Gift your employees a set of metal, bamboo or glass straws. Reusable, environment-friendly, and free from any kind of chemicals, these are durable, easy to use and make for an impressive gift option while also sending out a strong message.  

Gift a tree

When we say green, well, the first thing that pops in our minds is plants and trees. Gifting a tree or a plant is goes a long way in promoting sustainability and is perhaps one of the best employee engagement initiatives you can promote. Get a potted plant to grace the work desks of your employees; you can get online and offline stores to cater to the bulk orders for plants and saplings. 

Plant a tree gift

Among other successful employee engagement strategies, you can also gift a tree to your employees. EcoMatcher is an online platform that caters to large-scale corporate tree planting needs. This online platform offers innovative ways that lead to ecological sustainability solutions. EcoMatcher offers solutions to various companies and organisations to improve their businesses by initiating corporate tree planting or gifting trees to their employees and even customers as a gesture of goodwill. So, if you wish to plant a tree gift for employees this festive season, try EcoMatcher. 

Conclusion

With global concerns regarding the ecological conversation, climate change and promoting a sustainable way of living, what is better than eco-friendly gifting options this festive season! Not only do you get to give something worthwhile and meaningful when it comes to buying gifts but also contribute to sustainability and securing the environment to have a better future. The biggest takeaway here is eco-friendly products can be easily disposed of. These are all biodegradable options that do not pollute the environment in any way and are absolutely safe to use. The resources that go into manufacturing eco-friendly gifts are recycled, recyclable or chemical-free. Additionally, eco-friendly gift options can help you send a loud and clear message regarding your stance for environment conservation. 

Posted on 2019-11-13

The Basics of a Carbon Footprint

With climate change issues taking over government agendas, and sustainable development goals being given the topmost priority by individuals and corporates alike, the term “carbon footprint” has gained incredible traction over the past couple of years. Carbon footprints are essentially used to denote the full extent of direct or indirect carbon emissions (along with other supplemental greenhouse gases) released into the environment, which is relevant to climate change and is a result of human production and consumption activities. A carbon footprint can be calculated or estimated for an individual, an organisation, or even an entire nation. The climate change impact resulting from each activity is estimated by calculating the carbon footprint, which includes not just carbon dioxide but also methane and nitrous oxide. 

Understanding carbon footprint and its impact

Though the term may be a colloquial way of understanding the impact human beings have had on environmental change, carbon footprints are a vital part of our comprehensive and encompassing ecological footprint. 

According to eminent scientists and environmental advocates seeking climate change solutions, carbon footprint can be divided broadly into two categories:

Direct Emissions or Primary Footprint

This category of carbon footprint results from activities that lead to the emission of Carbon Dioxide and other supplemental greenhouse gases, through direct combustion of fossil fuels. Consequently, all activities resulting in direct emissions have an immediate impact on the environment, also adversely affecting natural resources therein. For example, CO2 emissions from driving a car, flying an airplane, or even using electronic devices fall under this category. 

Indirect Emissions or Secondary Footprint 

This category of carbon footprint is used to denote emissions that are a consequence of an indirect relation with certain activities pertaining to human consumption, such as purchasing an internationally manufactured T-shirt. When an individual purchases an item, all emissions released into the environment due to manufacturing and transportation of that item would fall under the ambit of indirection emissions, also known as a secondary footprint. Additionally, this kind of emission also takes into account what happens after the said product is used, including the amount taken by the material of the product to degrade naturally, and the consequences of the breakdown process on the environmental health.

How do carbon footprints work?

A technical definition of what carbon footprint is can be described as a measurement of tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, in relation to the emission of other greenhouse gases relative to one unit of carbon dioxide. A lot of factors are taken into consideration while calculating a carbon footprint. For example, driving to the mall burns a given amount of fuel, which emits greenhouse gases. This might be your carbon footprint at a given time. However, the mall you’ve driven to also has its own contribution to carbon footprint as a whole business. This includes electricity, equipment used, items that were shipped for selling, emissions during manufacturing processes, individual employee contribution among other reasons. All of these elements combine to lend a better understanding of carbon footprint from a certain activity. 

Individuals and organisations advocating for the overall health of the environment try and reduce their carbon footprint by reducing activities that lead to greenhouse gas emission. Alternatively, some people come up with sustainable lifestyle choices like switching to renewable energy sources, conservation of water, tree planting to promote global goals for sustainable development. 

You may calculate your carbon footprint by taking into account the total sum of carbon dioxide emissions induced by your activities in a given time frame. There are various charts, online calculators which may assist you in personally understanding what your carbon footprint is, thereby enabling you to re-evaluate which activities you need to refrain from, to reduce your carbon footprint while aiming for sustainable development. 

Why calculate your organisation’s carbon footprint?

Climate change brings untoward risks to businesses as well as economies; therefore, it is paramount to not only understand what your organisation’s carbon footprint is but also to reduce it in a timely manner. The reduction of the carbon footprints is essentially an optimisation process for your organisation, which would mean that reduction in the carbon footprint of an organisation or company would streamline business and production operations to an optimal point. Additionally, it also implies cost savings for the organisation as many factors leading to an increased carbon footprint involve excessive and non-optimised energy usage. Therefore, not only does your business engage in its corporate social responsibility and foster global sustainability goals while incorporating environmental sustainability projects, but also save up on costs for the organisation, thereby increasing their profit as well. Other than minimising energy usage, organisations may also bolster their company’s and provide a feasible solution to the reduction of the carbon footprint by engaging in projects such as corporate tree planting for sustainability, spreading awareness of how cutting down trees affect the climate, and implementing recycling of waste. Partnerships with reforestation companies like EcoMatcher can help your organisation to promote a more sustainable way of living. Gift or adopt a tree or walk the extra mile and plant a forest!   

Why is combatting carbon footprints essential?

In order to achieve a world where our posterity can enjoy the fruits of our labour, we need to understand that minimising our carbon footprint is the way forward, or at least, the first step forward to achieving true sustainable development. Some measures that can be taken by individuals, governments or organisations to eliminate carbon dioxide are to encourage reforestation and to inform their fellow peers of how reforestation will combat climate change as well as aid humans in preserving this planet. It stands to reason that since humans are responsible for the emission of most greenhouse gases and the adverse effect they have on the environment, they should be the ones who strive to effectively reduce, if not eliminate, their carbon footprint from the planet and preserve the environment.

Conclusion

Each and every individual is an active contributor to the carbon footprint that they leave behind on this planet, whether directly, or indirectly. Organisations and companies leave behind an even bigger carbon footprint on the planet, adversely affecting the environment we live in. The need of the hour is to actively reduce and eventually work towards completely eliminating all carbon footprint in the coming few years so as to preserve the sanctity of our environment and the world that we live in. 

Posted on 2019-11-07

What is Sustainable Tourism?

An ever-evolving and rapidly growing industry, there seems to be no place in the world that remains untouched as far as tourism is concerned. Where tourism helps in generating local revenue and also acts as a catalyst in the growth of the local economy, it also prompts concerns that can adversely affect the ecological balance of a destination. This means that if not appropriately managed, tourism may sometimes cause problems that may lead to environmental issues, and that may, in turn, negatively impact the local communities. With global sustainability goals in mind and analyzing the impacts of climate change on the environment, substantial changes are being brought about in the way the whole tourism industry functions. Bringing about sustainability has become one of the major defining factors of tourism in the present times. Various measures are taken to conserve the biodiversity of a tourist destination, which includes establishing a proper balance between environmental, social and economic factors of any destination.

We all are aware of how does cutting down trees affect the climate. The aim of sustainable development is achieved by increasing the green cover of the planet and undertaking tree planting initiatives. Many corporate organizations and smaller businesses are also actively working towards promoting sustainable tourism to combat the effects of climate change and promote environmental sustainability. 

What is sustainable tourism?

Tourism, an out-and-out people-oriented industry, helps in generating revenues and booming the local economy of a given destination. However, the loss of heritage, social dislocation, ecological degradation, and other such factors can impact the ecology and economy of a place. Sustainable tourism walks along the same path in being an industry that aims to generate employment opportunities for local people while ensuring that adverse impacts on the environment and local communities are negligible. In simple words, sustainable tourism involves taking into account any probable or possible impacts of tourism on the present and future social, environmental and economic structure of a place and it includes taking measures to conserve the biodiversity and cultural heritage of that place. The whole idea of sustainable tourism is that it aims to ensure sustainable development goals that have a positive impact on locals, tourists and tourism companies. 

Aims and objectives of sustainable tourism

Sustainable tourism is not only about implementing sustainability practices in place but also aiming to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction.  In lieu of global goals for sustainable development, sustainable tourism has a considerable role to play. Here is a lowdown of certain goals that can be achieved: 

Preserve and conserve the sanctity of a place

This involves appreciating the sanctity and purity of the environment and making efforts in reducing any kind of pollution, including air, water, and sound amongst others.

Preserve the biodiversity

Efforts must be taken to reduce the impact on the ecological balance of the place that may directly or indirectly affect the wildlife or natural surroundings. 

Optimally utilize the available resources

Both renewable and non-renewable resources should be utilised in the most efficient and effective manner. Also, measures must be taken to encourage the locals and tourists to also optimally reduce misuse and prevent waste.  

Increase employment

The tourism industry is on the boom, and this leads to a considerable increase in the scope of employment. One of the aims of sustainable tourism is to generate ample avenues and opportunities for people to get employed. 

To create awareness

It is important to educate people and create awareness about the positive impacts of sustainable tourism in protecting our cultural and natural heritage. It is also essential to initiate and pledge personal commitment by adopting various methods of sustainable tourism practices.

Sustainable tourism and its contribution to maintaining ecological balance

Tourism is one of the significant contributors to GDP around the world, and it would be imperative to say that many countries depend on tourism for their economic growth. However, it is also important to essential to understand that this is a complex industry. If managed properly, tourism can get the economy booming, and if not, then it may damage the social systems, damage natural resources, cause pollution and lead to large scale environment destruction. Therefore, to maintain proper harmony between all the above factors, sustainable tourism is the way out! 

How to measure the impact of sustainable tourism

Sustainable tourism can help in achieving environmental sustainability while offering climate change solutions. Now, the question arises as to what can be done to establish the impact of sustainable tourism towards managing environmental change? Well, the simplest way of measuring the impact is through setting certain benchmarks. A benchmarking system can not only help in establishing the progress in a specific sector but also acts as a great parameter is comparing performances with other competitors. Some examples include consumption of water per guest per day, energy and electricity usage and various other such benchmarks. With such kinds of parameters in place, sustainable tourism is no longer a rhetorical aim. Businesses can also benefit greatly in setting benchmarks towards contributing to environmental sustainability projects. A few examples of sustainable tourism initiatives from across the world include a solar-powered resort in Fiji, which runs completely on solar power and is also equipped with rainwater harvesting. Another example is Bhutan, also called the “land of controlled tourism”. The country charges high daily tariffs and maintains strict entry to keep the principle of ‘high value, low impact’ intact.

Conclusion

The tourism industry has exploded in the last couple of decades, thanks to the increasing interest in travel and easy access to disposable incomes. However, this sudden expansion is causing a considerable strain on the tourism industry as well as disrupting the ecological balance of a destination. Sustainable tourism is a boon that can help in controlling and minimizing the ill-effects of tourism on the social, economic and environmental aspects. Also, brownie points for you, if you have a business or own a corporate house since sustainable tourism might work in your favor to help you contribute towards sustainability. Joining hands with an organization like EcoMatcher that promotes corporate tree planting for sustainability can only work as a boon. A platform like this that can not only help in reforestation to combat climate change but can also offer various avenues in initiating both employee and customer interest towards global goals for sustainable development. 

Posted on 2019-11-03

Restoration Ecology and Ecological Restoration

You might be wondering: what is restoration ecology? The term itself might sound simplistic, but restoration ecology is a nuanced, layered topic – and a field of study! It is the scientific study of ecological restoration, how it is carried out and what it entails. It studies in great detail how science, and practitioners of ecological practices, can help an ecosystem recover from the impacts of climate change, promoting environmentally sustainable work practices.

The impact of this is such that the UN has declared the coming decade to be the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, aimed exclusively at restoring degraded and ravaged ecosystems. In doing so, an understanding has been established of the inter-related nature of ecosystems and society– the mission is also geared towards improving food and water supply and replenishing biodiversity.

As climate change and environmental change rightfully dominate our headlines, an understanding how to combat it the most crucial topic at hand.

What is restoration ecology?

With rising sea levels across the globe and unparalleled yet expected heatwaves in every part of the world, the impacts of climate change are plain to see – and that is why understanding restoration ecology is so important.

Ecological restoration involves taking care of the environment in ways that will reduce the significant long-term impacts climate change has had on all life worldwide, not to mention on the planet itself. The science also deals with finding ecosystems that have been ravaged or damaged, especially by human activity.

The excessive, unprecedented use of fossil fuel, coupled with the significant worldwide destruction of forest cover, has meant that the direct impact of climate change on day-to day-life is being felt now more than ever. Many countries also have very lax regulations on environmental policy, something that has now been consistently highlighted in the news thanks to young activists around the world. Much ink has been spilled over ecological restoration and management in academia and the press – all for good reason.

Why is restoration ecology critical?

Within restoration ecology, scientists and experts study an environment from its inception to where it is today. Primarily and fundamentally, they first study what exactly is impacting, or disturbing, the natural balance of a specific ecosystem. Some environmental changes occur in ecosystems in a natural way, each to varying degrees. In the modern world, however, the most significant, indeed the quickest impact of climate change, has been anthropogenic– caused by human action. Part of the reason the field of restoration ecology is so important is because it enables and furthers understanding of the differentiation between human impact on the environment and those that naturally occur. It is here that the knowledge of how to reverse, or at the very least, mitigate those effects would occur.

Part of the field of study is understanding how different ecosystems and their parts affect and involve the larger system as a whole. Today, these same ecosystems are broken up into smaller fragments as a result of human activity, increasing the likelihood of these fragments becoming extinct– in turn, answering the question of why restoration ecology is important.

Ecological restoration and management are very needed, in terms of awareness but also of tangible, real action to reduce the ill-effects humans have and continue to have on the environment today. It is in applying the field of study to practical action that several ecological restoration projects are being undertaken today, across countries and geographies. This field of study is even more crucial than it was two decades ago, to which end several individuals and corporates have taken on restoration ecology projects that will help the planet combat climate change and its ill-effects.

How do individuals, governments and corporates fit in?

Ecological restoration is a many-pronged entity. It involves action at many levels, ideally on a simultaneous timeline, for the most significant environmental improvement.

Individual efforts involve even seemingly ‘small’ actions, such as not littering, moving to reusable material, and making changes in our everyday lives that, together and multiplied across the billions inhabiting the earth, will definitively impact the environment. On a governmental level, it involves working closely with those studying and working in the field of restoration ecology. This is to enable and turbo-charge changing laws and making new legislations, outlawing practices that have an ill-effect on the environment.

One such example of restoration ecology is in tree planting undertaken en masse, either by an individual or a group of individuals, or by corporates as part of their extensive CSR initiatives. Corporate tree planting, because it is on a more extensive level, provides a broader positive impact on the environment.

EcoMatcher and companies of the like are enabling individuals and corporations to step up their restoration game by indulging in corporate tree planting as part of successful employee engagement programs or in a bid to promote environmentally sustainable practices in the workplace.

The final word

Rising temperatures and mediocre air quality are not the only reasons for the need for restoration ecology– intergenerational justice and the mere existence of the planet is also a high-stakes reason to get involved. The younger generation is promoting the understanding of the effect humans are having in an accelerated way on the environment today– however, it doesn’t need to be left in their hands to fend for their future. Ahead of the United Nations’ Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, it is crucial, now more than ever, that we understand ecological restoration, implement its principles in practice and look forward to reducing the impacts of climate change.

Posted on 2019-10-31

Tree and Tree Planting: Busting Myths

Trees are vital to our existence.

Now that we’ve stated the obvious– the biggest plants on the planet help in preventing soil erosion support wildlife, store carbon and give us oxygen. Trees are the longest surviving species on our planet. They have been around for almost 370 million years. According to an independent study, it has been estimated that there are approximately 3 trillion mature trees in the world today1.

For the planet to function in a balanced manner without drastic changes in weather and climate, to prevent natural disasters and for the wellness of all living beings on earth, we must look after our existing forests and plant more trees. It is also of critical importance that we preserve the woodlands, rainforests, and trees in our urban settings, for example, the parks and lakes that are the lung spaces in our congested urban jungles.

Some of the more popular myths when it comes to trees and tree planting are:

#1: Anyone can plant a tree

One of the most common myths is that anyone can plant a tree, even a child. Just planting a tree or rather a sapling as it is called when we plant one is easy but for that sapling to grow into a healthy tree that will provide you with optimal benefits requires thoughtful care and consideration. It is essential to select the right tree for the right place. Proper planting techniques should be used and provide the sapling all the nourishment it needs so that it grows into a healthy tree. For example, if a tree is pruned consistently for the first 3-5 years, it will result in a stronger, more robust tree with lower maintenance costs in the later years as the tree ages.

There’s a way about this, though– EcoMatcher allows you to be that ‘anyone’ actually capable of planting a tree. Through partnerships with vetted organisations, EcoMatcher enables individuals to plant a tree in their name in different parts of the world. Corporates looking to make a change can indulge in corporate tree planting as part of sustainable environmental practices in the workplace.

#2: Trees drink up a lot of water

That trees require a lot of water is another popular myth. Trees do require water but probably not as much as you think. The thumb rule generally is that no matter how drought-tolerant a species of tree is, younger trees (1-3 years) do need consistent watering throughout the summer months to survive. Generally, mature established trees require less care and don’t need much looking after. If drought conditions occur, then all trees need to be watered and looked after as per requirement.

Proper planting techniques of the tree saplings are also essential for healthy growth. It is a well-propagated myth that if you plant the trees deep, it encourages strong, deep roots. Trees should not be planted deeper than the top of its root ball. Improper planting is one of the greatest causes of tree and shrub fall.

#3: Trees need to be staked

Another popular myth about tree planting is that the trees should be staked after planting. There is only partial truth to this myth, as a young sapling might need protection against strong winds to survive, it is necessary to remove the stakes after the first year so that the growth of the tree is neither hindered nor restricted.

It is a widespread belief that providing lots of mulch is good for trees. Mulch is quite important as it suppresses weeds, retains moisture and protects the roots against extreme temperatures. However, around 2 to 3 inches of mulch is more than sufficient for a tree to thrive. Excess amounts of mulch can prevent soil aeration and moisture.

#4: Trees can heal themselves

The popular belief is that trees can heal itself or the wounds inflicted on them very fast. This is a fallacy. The trees cannot repair damaged tissues2. They use a mechanism called compartmentalization, where trees isolate the damaged areas from the healthy areas. These damaged tissues will remain so within the tree during their entire lifetime. So, it’s a false concept to think it’s okay to harm trees as they will heal themselves. This is why it’s crucial to exercise caution while using equipment like lawnmowers around trees so as not to harm them.

#5: All trees are the same

A tree growing in an urban environment is different from one that thrives in a forest. The myth is that since trees in the forest do not require any looking after, the tree growing in my front yard does not require any either. There are a lot of challenges facing the tree in the urban area as pollution, confined spaces, asphalt, concrete and limited area for rooting. Trees in urban areas need special care whereas forests are not in need of regular intervention and are interconnected in an ecosystem. 

#6: There’s no harm in tree topping

Tree topping is one of the most harmful practices to do to a tree. It’s the practice of removing entire treetops, branches or trunks from the top half of the tree, leaving lateral branches that aren’t mature enough to take on the role of a ‘terminal leader’. Topping is one of the major causes of tree decline and death and should strictly not be practiced. This practice often creates weak, stressed trees that are expensive to maintain in the long run.

#7: Trees crack sidewalks

Most often trees are held responsible for the cracking of sidewalks and paths in most urban areas. This is a popular misconception as, more often, the sidewalks and pathways are designed without keeping in mind the nature and kind of soil it’s built on. Construction design of sidewalks needs to vary according to the nature of the land corresponding to the area. It is often poor design and soil conditions that allow the roots to follow the gaps created and not the trees by themselves.

The final word

Arming oneself with information and knowledge about growing and looking after the trees that are already there and planting new ones will go a long way in spurring environmental change. It’s a core facet of safeguarding our environment and reducing the impacts of climate change, but also encouraging both flora and fauna to flourish, as they should, naturally. With EcoMatcher, proper tree planting and tracking is one click away.

Posted on 2019-10-24

A Zero-Waste Gifting Idea that is Out of the Box

Zero waste lifestyles are more than a passing trend – they are the need of the hour. 

With most people, especially corporates, understanding the impacts of climate change, the demand for climate change solutions in almost every market – much like global warming itself – has gone from non-existent to red hot. 

Of course, the journey to a completely sustainable lifestyle is a challenge that most find overwhelming. Businesses asked to integrate environmentally sustainable work practices are thrown off by the sheer investment they imagine it would take even to begin. However, taking the first step is actually more straightforward than it seems. 

As is with anything, it is the smallest steps that make the most significant impact, and one way to start is gifting. Zero-waste gifting ideas are the groundbreaking avenue corporates never knew they needed to make their way into more environmentally conscious business practices. 

For unique corporate gifts to employee engagement initiatives, eco-friendly practices like tree planting and adopting a tree are the gifts that keep giving, quite literally. 

Imagine a world where every coffee mug, desk calendar or other generic corporate gift is replaced with a tree- one that you can adopt, own, and be sure is contributing to the restoration of forests around the globe. That future is well within reach when you partner with tree-planting firms such as EcoMatcher.

If you’re thinking about how tree planting can benefit your company, here’s how: 

Offsetting Your Carbon Footprint By Planting A Forest 

Corporates on the path to eco-consciousness are increasingly trying new ways to offset their carbon footprint. CSR is one way to go, but the ratio of expense to impact is a concern for businesses big and small. So how do you make a lasting impact without bearing unaffordable costs? Corporate tree planting for sustainability.

Tree planting is the transplantation of tree seedlings and the best way to contribute to the global reforestation movement. Not only is tree planting more economical, but it is also a tangible way to fulfil sustainability goals as a company. 

While tree planting seems like such an impactful cause, you’re probably wondering how these trees are planted in the first place- do you do it yourself? Where do you even begin? It is simple- when you partner with certified tree-planting firms like EcoMatcher, you contribute to vetted, established foundations that plant the trees for you. The app allowsyou to track your tree’s location, progress and even see the professional farmer who planted it so that you know exactly where your contribution is going and the impact it is making. 

Whether you are celebrating a milestone, rewarding your employees, giving back to your community, or joining hands with your consumers to create environmental change, corporate tree planting or adopting a tree is the perfect starting point towards a more conscious business and a more sustainable future. 

For instance, if every milestone your company reached was celebrated with the planting of trees, your success directly affects the increase in your environmental impact, making that success that much more meaningful. A company forest with EcoMatcher is a minimum of 1000 trees and the more milestones your company reaches, the more your company forest can grow! 

Growing With Your Employees 

Of course, adopting sustainability on a corporate scale is only a success when it is integrated at every level down to the roots. As a company, you want every part of your business to now participate in this cause and that starts with your employees. Getting your employees on board with eco-friendly practices opens up a host of new ways to engage with them.

Taking up sustainability as a responsibility shows your employees you care about a future beyond your business’, and giving them an opportunity to be part of the initiative helps them contribute to and feel part of a larger cause that they may have wanted to already, but didn’t know how to or have the means to be a part of before. 

Tree planting is a fun, easy and exciting new way to celebrate an internal event, amp up an employee engagement initiative, or to reward employees and show them appreciation. Gone are the days of template gifts – employees these days want to feel like they are a part of the company, and expect meaning and intent behind every corporate interaction. 

With EcoMatcher, you can give your employees the opportunity to not only be a part of your cause but to also have their own story of contributing to environmental sustainability. Each tree they plant allows them to have a tangible token of the good they are doing for the planet and it aligns them more closely to a cause they already believe in. 

Championing Gifts That Keep Giving 

When it comes to appreciating your employees, stakeholders or peers, coming up with unique corporate gifts that outdo the last one is always a challenge. Switching to zero-waste gifts shows that you, as a company, are not only keeping up with trends and being creative but also that your gifts go beyond superficial pleasantries and actually have meaning. 

In the gifting space, there’s always an answer to the problem “I can’t decide what to get” – the gift card. Gift cards allow the receiver to have some autonomy over their gift and choose what they like. If you have spent days searching for corporate gifts online and gift cards from unique sustainable brands and come up short, the TreeCard is a gift card that might just do the trick for you. TreeCards come with no storage, packaging or wastage issues.

The best part about the TreeCard, other than the trees, is that they can be designed according to your brand guidelines to make them more personal! All EcoMatcher does is add their own QR code to help track and manage your tree. 

Eco-friendly corporate gifts are great, but when they are personal and tailor-made, they are even better. 

Corporate tree-planting is a great way to show that your company cares about the environment and that this ideology is not just for the press or a passing phase- it trickles down to everything, even gifting. 

With more companies steering towards eco-gifting, choosing trees is a present for the present and a gift for the future.