Posts Tagged ‘sustainable planting’

Tree People–Help Nature Heal Our Cities

Photo: Tree People

Based in Los Angeles, Tree People is an environmental non-profit working to green up our urban landscapes. In addition to planting trees throughout L.A. they also run educational programs for school kids to foster better eco-understanding, offer sustainable solutions for urban ecosystem problems, work with government agencies on critical water issues, and run a beautiful park in the hills. Tree People has coined a phrase I’m fond of: Functional Community Forest, intending that every neighborhood in the city create an environment and green spaces that function like a healthy forest, using local residents and businesspeople to spearhead the transformation. Citizen foresters will revitalize areas with plantings, mulch, water catchments, gardens and green trenches, permeable paving so rainwater can soak in instead of coursing over streets and walkways, and drought-tolerant planting. It’s a pretty lofty ideal, and I’m completely buying in on the concept!

Tree People runs with the help of legions of volunteers: dive in and get your hands pleasantly grubby as you help plant trees, care for existing plantings, help in the headquarters, inspire the community and schools, photograph and document projects, or distribute fruit trees around town. When they first started pumping water into this desert to make a city, they may not have imagined it could ever grow beyond an arid state…but it certainly has (notice this season’s purple Jacaranda blossoms–one of my very favorite LA details), and greening it up more and more only makes it better…and more hospitable.

Tees for Change

I could, of course, focus many many blog posts a day between now and the end of the holiday season exclusively on gift ideas. There are so many socially and environmentally conscious products out there—more every day—and I can’t even begin to scratch the surface. Don’t worry–I won’t make this a conscious living Home Shopping Club–but every now and again, a product comes to my attention that I want to share.

This is not just a great gift idea, but a product you can feel good about buying for yourself too. You deserve a little something, now, when you are focused on giving to others based on a holiday—or later, when you are focused on giving to others just because that’s what you do. Tees for Change is a t-shirt company that gives back while inspiring. The messages and graphics are simple: “Laugh Often” (the one I got that I could wear every day–it is so much softer than most tees, if I had more, I’d don them every day and cycle through until laundry day each week), “Choose Happiness” “Live Fully” “Today Matters” “Practice Kindness” “Seek Balance” and more. The colors are vivid, the fabrics are organic cotton or bamboo, and purchasing them is also a way to give back. In addition to being earth-friendly in their manufacture, and mind-friendly in their message, Tees for Change are also planet-friendly in their practice–for every shirt you buy, they plant a tree in their partnership with Trees for the Future, an organization committed to restoring degraded land to vital and sustainable productivity.

Get a gift, and give a gift to the world–not a bad equation for this, or any season.