Join the Treevolution with Greenpop!

Words: Crush

As the co-founders of Greenpop, Lauren O’Donnell, Misha Teasdale, and rising global star Jeremy Loops eat, breathe, and sleep green. For four years now, they have planted trees and had fun doing it – inspiring thousands to join what they call “the treevolution!”

After a previous job travelling the world on an advertising assignment, Teasdale realised that he had racked up 365 000 air miles in the process. He did the calculations, and realised that to offset the carbon produced by his trip, he would need to plant 661 trees. In a spirit that would come to define Greenpop’s activities, Teasdale gathered friends, family, and like-minded individuals to plant those trees – and in a month, the task was done and Greenpop was born. The idea of planting trees – and more than that, making it fun, accessible, and “POP-ular” for all – took off, and four years later Greenpop has planted over 44 000 trees in southern Africa.

Founded in Cape Town, Greenpop remains firmly committed to the community where it all began, and regularly plants trees in schools, crèches, and community centres in “undergreened” areas of the city. Furthermore, Greenpop doesn’t simply plant trees – it also incorporates environmental education into each of its planting projects, reinforcing to all involved the need to care for our environment, the power of getting active, not anxious and the principles behind why trees are important.

While staying firmly rooted in Cape Town, Greenpop has expanded rapidly since its inception, and has launched several other fascinating projects around southern Africa. Perhaps most notably, Greenpop has now for three years running organised what they call a “Festival of Action” in Livingstone, Zambia, where volunteers from all over the world come together to plant trees, learn about the environmental issues experienced in Zambia, and hopefully share a bit of their own knowledge or experiences as well. Says O’Donnell of the project, which just concluded on the 6 of July this year, “We’re not trying to save Zambia at all. The issue of deforestation in Zambia is incredibly complex and we do not intend to solve it with this project. Instead, we hope to plant a seed with the people we reach that will inspire them to get active about a sustainable future for ourselves and our planet.”

Greenpop has certainly pioneered this concept of the Festival of Action, where people come together to have a good time while making a positive impact. Another fantastic example of this is Greenpop’s Reforest Fest, which takes place at the Platbos Forest Reserve May of each year. In the four years since Greenpop launched this project, Greenpop has planted over 18 000 trees in this magical forest in the Western Cape – 10 000 of them in the past year alone! The focus on the Platbos Reforest Fest is in reforesting the challenged and degraded margins of the ancient forest, whilst at the same time having a great time with friends and family in the process.

Luckily for those of us who want to join the action, Greenpop’s next Reforest Fest is just around the corner, this September 12 – 14, in the magical Hogsback Valley of the Amathole Mountains. In partnership with Terra-Khaya Eco and Family Lodge and long-time partner Reliance Compost, Greenpop is bringing the Reforest Fest to this enchanting valley for the first time. Misha Teasdale, Greenpop’s ‘tree-e-o’ says of the event, “Hogsback occupies a truly special place in my heart and in the heart of so many South Africans, and we’re honoured to have the opportunity to travel there to do what we love most: planting trees. Come and join us!”

Greenpop is on a mission to reconnect people with our planet. It’s a treevolution – get involved!

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