From the beginning, we’ve set out to build a company that would support nature—our namesake as well as the inspiration for all of our products—on every level. Fundamentally, our games are designed to equip children with a working knowledge of the Tree of Life, as well as to inspire respect for the vast beauty and diversity therein. In a way, though, that’s the easy part. To actually practice what one preaches, especially when it comes to production, is far harder, and frankly, a goal that most companies don’t meet.
One step we’ve taken is to produce our games locally—a huge decision for a small, family-run business. There’s a reason why most wares are produced overseas: it’s far cheaper, and consumers are used to paying very little. However, this method ends up being far more costly on an environmental, social, and quality level, and we decided it wasn’t worth it. More and more, consumers also agree that investing in a healthy planet with healthy communities is more important.
Another decision we made was to work with Trees for the Future, which commits to plant a tree for every game that we sell. We’ve received some questions about how Trees for the Future works, and so I wanted to take the opportunity to share some information about this remarkable nonprofit.
Trees of the Future was founded in the 1970s in response to human suffering caused by illegal logging and unsustainable land management systems in the Phillippines. A program was born by a pair of volunteers, Dave and Grace Deppner, who partnered with community leaders to provide farmers with tree seed, technical training, and on-site planning assistance.
Since gaining non-profit status 1989, Trees of the Future has planted 65 million trees in 19 countries (you can scroll through by country to see their progress here). However, Trees for the Future does much more than just providing seedlings and planting trees. Donations support the work of specialists who educate communities on agroforestry, sustainable agriculture, land use, livestock management and community development, so that farmers and villagers can keep their land and neighbors healthy for years to come.
Seeing the work Trees is accomplishing also makes me think of a beautiful documentary, viewable on Youtube, called "Green Gold", which offers some stunning examples of how degraded land can be revitalized through the planting of trees and plants. To me, this is that mission in action.
Becoming the 100% eco-friendly company we want to be is a work in progress, and the production of our first run has shown us the ways we can improve. We’ll be keeping you up to date on our progress! In the meantime, we are so happy to work with Trees of the Future, and will even we reach that 100% mark.