Once I pieced together what was going on, I went back to crowd-funding while searching for a fiscal sponsor that could help to support this network of small organic growers, who were bootstrapping their operations in the expensive state of Sao Paulo.
To prepare for this update, I researched which partners are doing the tree planting associated with The Lorax book and new movie. It’s Conservation International, which works in partnership with Monsanto. They’re even working in our Atlantic rainforest. Go figure…
Meanwhile, my nurserymen thought I didn’t understand what they faced as organic tree growers in cattle country. They are surrounded by subsistence farmers and ranchers who want trees but can’t afford them, and are now being challenged by international NGOs who won’t support their efforts to create self-sustaining systems for reforestation.
So I came up with an entirely different approach: green affiliate marketing.
In December, 2011, one year after the first article was posted on Care2, I set up a new website and invited organizations like the US Permaculture Guild to become green business partners with us. They make a commission on each tree sponsored through their iGiveTrees affiliate link (using any of the iGive links in this article will benefit them) and are helping us to plant hundreds of thousands of organically grown, native species rainforest trees.
This system helps a global supply chain of people to stay in their family businesses of harvesting seeds sustainably, growing trees without the use of chemicals, and paying local labor to transport them to a small Brazilian non-profit who distributes them to farmers.
Our Brazilian partner organization, Instituto OIKOS de Agroecologia, teaches subsistence farm families who have deforested land they want to replant, but can’t afford the trees. This organization is the best agroforestry methods to restore the land to sustainability. Our goal for 2012 is 250 acres replanted with 100 species of native trees. In the end, those farmers become stewards of the forest for the benefit of all of us.
If you think this is an idea worth supporting, please sponsor some trees and share this call to action to your friends:
“Be a real life Lorax with me. Speak up for the trees and the people who grow them organically so we can re-green the rainforest together, without chemicals. Help people plant trees in a place where they can bring back more wildlife than any other place on earth!
www.iGiveTrees.com gives you the chance to support small people doing big things.
And, if you want to love the earth all year round with us, please become a monthly tree sponsor for any amount. Even $10 a month would provide a giant step toward sustainability for a lot of little people.”
That will definitely make you a Lorax too!
*Originally published at Rainforest ECO Blog.
Edited by: Jill Barth & Brianna Bemel