When we started Grounded People, we made the decision not to be just another shoe company. Our vision was to create high quality, ethically produced shoes from sustainable products. We wanted to make contributions that helped make the world a better place.
As part of this vision, it became clear that we had to go beyond environmental sustainability, we also had to make a positive impact within the communities we worked with along the way. It’s why we created the LACES Program. For us it was just a small gesture, but for the charities we partnered with, and the communities they support it means so much more.
Our LACES program also lets us collaborate with you. We’ve selected several organizations that align with our vision and help us achieve our goals of creating a better planet, but ultimately the LACES you choose also represents you, and what organizations align with your vision.
One of those charities is One Tree Planted. An excellent organization that helps with reforestation efforts around the world. Here is their story.
From Humble Beginnings
Founded in 2014, in Shelburne Vermont, One Tree Planted had a simple goal of planting 20,000 trees. It was an opportunity to give back to the environment and help create a more sustainable world for future generations to enjoy.
Though it initially started small, the idea quickly grew, and today has projects in more than 43 countries around the world and has helped to plant more than 40 million trees. In 2021 they more than doubled their record from 2020 and planted 23.5 million trees. One Tree Planted has become an enormous success.
Among their successes, they have worked to develop critical projects supporting reforestation in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Locations where trees have primarily been lost to clear-cutting due to commercial farming and industrialization. Additionally, they also have projects in British Columbia, Australia, and the United States to regrow forests that have been lost because of immense forest fires caused by climate change.
For One Tree Planted the process is easy. For every dollar donated, they plant one tree. This cost covers, not just the growing of the seedlings and the planting, but also the care and attention needed to ensure each tree has the best opportunity to reach maturity.
One Tree Planted also allows donors to choose which of the many projects they want to support, or even make a donation in someone’s memory, and donors will also be notified when their trees are planted.
Trees are important to our world. Not only do they help clean our air, and our water, they also help to maintain biodiversity by providing homes and food to thousands of species of insects, birds, and mammals.
Forests help maintain soil viability by preventing erosion, which in turn accelerates the loss of ecosystems through landslides and drought. Most importantly forests are essential to providing life to critical pollinators within their habitats. The role trees play is vital to all life on Earth.
Trees are also important for our health and economy. Millions of jobs are dependent on forests in the production of building materials, food, medicine, and textiles.
However, for the better part of the last century, millions of hectares of forest around the globe have been clear-cut in the name of progress. Harvesting of logs as building materials continues to be done in non-sustainable ways through many parts of the world. This is in addition to the land that is cleared for mining, industrial operations, and cattle ranching.
While countries like Canada and the United States have government support for replanting programs, the same cannot be said for other countries where lax regulations and lobbying efforts from multi-nationals ensure sustainability laws are secondary.
Their Importance to Us.
By partnering with an organization like One Tree Planted helps us guarantee we’re part of the solution and keeps us working toward creating a sustainable future for our forests. We want to ensure the goals we have for our business are also helping protect these natural resources for future generations, and future entrepreneurs around the globe.
We understand how fragile these ecosystems are, not only to the plants and animals who live within them, but the communities of people who rely on them every day. It's important that we do what we can to safeguard them.
Through our collaboration with our production partners, and the people they employ, we have come to better understand the effects of deforestation has on a local level. Trees, jungles, and forests are crucial to the lives and work of so many, and they also provide us with materials we use in our products, including organic rubbers and foams produced in Latin America, and organic cotton produced throughout the tropics.
It’s important we make the kind of ethical contributions that go beyond environmental sustainability. We need to make strong social choices and ultimately have a positive contribution to the global community.