At the very beginning of the decade, Plant With Purpose was in the process of a major rebrand. While our team was contemplating our identity as an organization moving forward, world events reminded us of the urgency of our work. One of the strongest natural disasters of the decade struck
It’s been a great year for adventurers seeking to restore the planet while challenging themselves. From paddle boards to bikes to running trails, we saw so many of you in the Plant With Purpose family embark on creative fundraising adventures. All funds raised went towards supporting our mission of restoration.
What does Advent have to do with sustainability?
The season of advent and the anticipation of Christmas allow us to think about our lives and our world in the framework of hope, waiting, and redemption. When it comes to the conversation surrounding the environment, these themes are definitely at play.
How do you move forward when the worst has happened?
At some point in our lives, we’ll all experience something not going to plan. For some of us, these disruptions may be especially devastating. And unfortunately, in certain parts of the world, these are unfortunately more commonplace.
In many parts
Wilner’s community used to be extremely barren
It seems like not long ago when Fonds-Verrettes was a very barren place. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago. About ten years before many community members joined Plant With Purpose groups and learned the value of reforestation, they lived on unproductive soil.
There’s a surprisingly strong link between these two major issues
There are more slaves living right now than at any other point in human history. Around 30 million people are caught up by exploitation that values profit over human life. Human trafficking and exploitation comprise a multi-billion dollar industry.
Glacial retreat represents a variety of ecological concerns
Glacial retreat is a term that describes what happens when a glacier’s furthest point doesn’t reach as far down valley as it used to at the same time of year. It can be used as a shorthand to describe the shrinking of
Do trees matter as much in an urban setting?
Our planet’s villages need more trees! This simple realization, decades ago, led to Plant With Purpose’s existence and work since. Eight countries and 30 million trees later, we believe in that statement even more. We’ve seen what trees can do!
We believe in looking at root causes- including spiritual roots
As an organization, we’ve long held the belief that in order to solve big problems, you need to look at root causes. A lot of energy is spent treating the symptoms of problems rather than the actual problems themselves. If
Paying attention to God’s involvement in the environment gives us a more encouraging way forward.
“Jesus said my yoke is easy and my burden is light,” explained Phileena Heurtz. “When I consider the state of our world and the concern of the future for our planet, it feels very heavy.
This Giving Tuesday, we’re loving God by loving Creation
One thing we hold in high value at Plant With Purpose is our identity as a Christian environmental organization. We believe that our environmental care truly is an act of worship. By being caretakers of creation, we are brought back to
Imagine what gratitude looks like at its most intense level
There’s no real way to measure who the most grateful person in the world must be, but can you imagine what life must look like for that person? A deep appreciation for practically everything and an overflow of joy towards
Empowerment groups help both people and the planet
Wherever Plant With Purpose works, participants join empowerment groups. These groups support environmental restoration efforts with economic development through loans and savings. As community members save their extra income in shares and lend money to each other to generate further income, poverty
Children are the most affected by our environmental choices
People widely recognize the fact that children have the most to gain or lose based on how we treat our environment. In fact, providing a better life for children and grandchildren was the most frequently cited answer in a survey of
What motivates Christians to care about climate?
This is a question many have asked, from both within and outside the faith. While people in general may have all kinds of reasons for concern- from uncertainty towards the future to concern for the poor, how this is influenced by people’s spiritual
Bok Chee radiates joy and contentment
In his village of Huay Lu Luang, Bok Chee stands out for his easygoing nature and warm smile. It isn’t uncommon to find him joking with his neighbors or playing with his granddaughter in between taking care of the family farm.
For most people
Our survival depends on a new story
When it comes to the environment, it appears more and more obvious that we need new ways of doing familiar things. The behaviors and habits that have gotten us to where we are will not sustain us for where we want to be.
We’ve made significant amounts of progress against poverty in recent times
When we look at things going wrong in the world, things like poverty and injustice, we must remember that it doesn’t have to be this way. God did not create the world intending for poverty and human suffering, and
What happens when the line gets blurry between sustainability and marketing?
Some of our planet’s most needed solutions are ready to be unearthed. They aren’t waiting to be discovered in the labs of our top research institutions. They aren’t waiting for tech entrepreneurs to figure things out. They’re in the
It can be easy to only notice the bad things going on in the world, especially when it comes to environmental issues. While it’s important to stay concerned and connected to the planet’s challenges, it’s equally important to stay tuned in to the stories of hope. These stories remind us
Haiti has faced challenges year after year.
Haiti is no stranger to the hopelessness that comes from generations of government changes and promises, with little to show for it. Even when big changes are made to better the country, small farmers like Messoyel often are the last people to be
One extremely high value at Plant With Purpose is the empowerment of locals. We are simply partners. Doing so requires a spirit of collaboration that goes against many norms in the world of international charity. Here are a few of the shifts we seek to further local empowerment.
At Plant With Purpose, we aim to equip rural farmers with sustainable agriculture skills. These skills help them become resilient against hunger and environmental problems. One challenge in Tanzania is the lack of space for farming activities on many people’s property. A solution is the creation of sack gardens. Here’s
Empowerment often takes the form of learning
When it comes to community development, you can give away food. You can give clothing. You can give scholarships, or water, or trees. These are all things that are all deeply needed in many parts of the world, and there are many times
Attention to our environmental condition often fades in and out. Things like news coverage or public concern may come and go, which sometimes makes it easy to forget that our ecological story is constantly unfolding. Here are some things that are happening right now.
Families are feeling the burden of
Imagine something that wastes seeds, water, nutrients, financial resources, working hours, soil, and land space, all while generating a large amount of methane. Are you thinking of food waste? If so, you’d be accurate.
In fact, the resource exhaustion generated by food waste is responsible for close to ten percent
The two go hand-in-hand
“I’m so happy I discovered your organization. I’m a Christian and I’ve been wondering where my love for the environment fits in with my faith!”
This isn’t an unusual comment for us to hear sometimes. There are many people with a deep Christian faith who hold
For over 30 years, Plant With Purpose has advocated for planting trees as a simple but powerful response to the environmental challenges that our planet faces.
Swiss researcher Tom Crowther speaks about planting trees urgently. As far as climate solutions go, “it is available now,” he says. “It is the
An investment in the environment is a promise to future generations
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
You might see that quote attributed to Les Brown or to Warren Buffett. While the author of the phrase is unclear, its significance is
Sometimes it’s the hardest moments of life that produce the most growth
If we were to list out the most meaningful things we’ve done throughout our life and then make a second list featuring the most difficult things we’ve ever done, I suspect we’d find a good amount of overlap.
How hopeful do you feel when it comes to the environment
“I’ll be honest, sometimes it can feel like there are many reasons why finding hope is difficult,” explained Plant With Purpose executive director Scott Sabin.
Scott’s assessment feels very relatable. Between the rampant threats to places like the
Displacement affects about 10.7 Million people in Africa
Displacement refers to somebody who has left their home due to force or a lack of safety, in most cases, conflict. This term differs from refugee status, since refugees are technically defined by crossing a national border.
When regional conflicts came to
Terence Lester says that “to really understand something, we often need to experience it for ourselves or at least hear the story of someone who has experienced it.”
This captures the importance of empathy when it comes to problem solving.
And when it comes to understanding our environment and
Perhaps you’ve been with us on the journey of environmental restoration for some time. You care deeply. You often look at the big picture of what environmental challenges look like across the globe. But for those wanting to get more involved, the big picture can sometimes look too broad.
Following Jesus and taking care of the planet go hand-in-hand. While today’s churches might easily overlook our role as stewards and caretakers of the planet, this hasn’t always been the case. Throughout church and Biblical history, our relationship with the natural world has often been seen as a reflection of
22 miles on a paddleboard is no easy feat!
Will Allen and Emily Bark will be paddling 22 miles from Catalina to Palos Verdes to support Plant With Purpose this month! They have chosen to raise money to plant trees in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of Plant With
Horseshoe Bend. Havasupai Falls. The Happy Boulders in Bishop, California. It seems like not long ago, these places were under-the-radar beauties for outdoor adventurers. A visit would’ve been a chance to escape into solitude while admiring these natural spectacles.
Actually, it wasn’t that long ago. A decade, give-or-take. Today, however,
There are times when it’s hard to feel strong.
Think of a time in your life when it seems like one challenge after another kept rising up, and it started to take an emotional toll. Sometimes, it’s not just a calamity that can leave you discouraged, but a constant stream
You reap what you sow, right?
You’ve heard the expression, I’m sure. It comes right out of Scripture– several times.
Galatians 6:7 reads, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
2 Corinthians explains that the point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also
Haiti’s challenges are deep and complex.
One of the most famous images of Haiti contrasts its lack of vegetation with a neighboring National Park in the Dominican Republic. The difference is so stark that nature follows the political border.
A flight into Haiti might provide another example of its environmental
Climate change has already threatened people’s livelihoods and traditions.
The Gabra people live in one of the harshest environments in Africa, perhaps on Earth. However, they’ve been resilient against famine and other hardships. In the 1970s, the major famine that took a toll on most of Eastern Africa had the
In some ways it still feels like we just celebrated a new year, but then you realize: it’s halfway over. Time goes by like that sometimes, especially when you’re engaged in deep and immersive work. Right now is a good time to celebrate the work you’ve made possible for Plant
It’s the end of a fiscal year for Plant With Purpose, and this one leaves us with a lot to celebrate.
This year saw the 30 millionth tree planted by Plant With Purpose, and that is a very big cause for celebration.
Each tree plays a major role in environmental
For Jing, the road to a better life seemed daunting.
Jing lived with her husband, Tan, in the hills of Northern Thailand. They endured much together, and cared for one another, even at times when this was very difficult.
“Our family had no money in savings,” she said to describe
A few weeks ago, Plant With Purpose Creative Director Philippe Lazaro took a trip to Colombia with Latin America Program Officer Milmer Martinez. While Colombia is not an active Plant With Purpose program, the trip was a valuable learning opportunity and a chance to explore how environmental restoration intersects with
Summer is just around the corner, which means longer daylight, more time outside, and warmer weather. For some of us, that means much warmer weather, prompting a habitual air-conditioning crank during the day to come home to a nice, cool house after hours of soaking up the sun. Anyone who’s
If you are anything like me, gardening might sound expensive and like a lot of work. However, backyard gardening is something Plant with Purpose encourages to all of our partners. These partners often are struggling with a lack of capital, and gardening is actually a way to generate income. Here
Four important things to remember
Living sustainably does not have to happen over night. There is no need to overhaul your whole life in one big sweep.
Start small and work up. You do not need to phase out plastics completely, if that does not suit your lifestyle
Finding Hope and a Future
In a country long ridden with war and conflict, people are looking for change and hope. Due to this, communities in Burundi have come together to promote peace, growth, and empowerment. Many of these communities have partnered with Plant With Purpose. Now one of our
Plant With Purpose and EarthX were Earth Week partners.
EarthX is an environmental forum where citizens, educators, business leaders, students, nonprofits, and leaders can take action towards a more sustainable future by exploring a variety of solutions. Plant With Purpose came for the second year in a row, connecting with
One of our greatest purposes is to love our neighbor as ourselves
Many of us are familiar with the two greatest commandments, as found in Matthew 22:
To love God with all our hearts, minds, and strength, and,
To love our neighbor as ourselves
While each of us
We’re constantly in the process of encouraging people to serve our global neighbors by caring for the environment. We’ll be honest, however. Sometimes it can be difficult to see where to get started. There are so many possible choices, but how do you get started? Perhaps you’ve gone from never
The Wonder of Creation is still good.
The Story of Creation goes something like this:
God made beautiful things. He appreciated and admired them, and called them good.
We messed up. We invited sin, degradation, death, and disease to enter the picture.
Out of Love, Christ came. His death and
Sayumi’s story started with her farm and a single cow.
Sayumi’s life wasn’t easy. It was simple, but she had to work exceedingly hard just to survive.
She tended her family’s farm every single day, which provided them just enough to get by. Still, her family’s life was full of uncertainty.
What is a savings group?
Sometimes called savings groups, sometimes called Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), these are savings-led microfinance groups that work to combat poverty. For those unable to benefit from a formal financial institution, these groups offer participants an opportunity to save, grow their money, and take
God created the earth and declared it good.
And it truly is good.
If you’ve ever found yourself amazed by the beauty of a National Forest, reenergized by a weekend spent hiking, or surprised by how intricately the human body is designed, it’s hard to disagree.
That’s not to say
This spring marks the three year anniversary of Plant With Purpose hubs in Northern California and Texas.
After seeing lots of enthusiasm from supporters and donors in that region, Plant With Purpose decided to open two fundraising hubs. The goal was to work more closely with these supporting donors, churches,
For Isaya, poverty took many forms
Isaya lives in Tanzania, where he and his neighbors once lived in poverty. They didn’t just lack money, however. They also lacked trees, enthusiasm, and the awareness of how to improve their situation.
The barrenness of the land around him left Isaya concerned about
Plant With Purpose is eagerly looking forward to the upcoming book release from our friend Matthew Sleeth. Matthew is a medical doctor who came to faith partly through noticing how trees constantly resurfaced in Scripture and in our world. His book Reforesting Faith will arrive in bookstores later next month. Enjoy an
A changed heart is the first step towards renewal
One of the biggest things that determines what we can accomplish is the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. A big part of Plant With Purpose’s program is to replace false narratives that our participants have come to believe with the
Rombo isn’t an easy place to get to. You’ll need to drive for quite some time on the remote roads of Tanzania. In terms of distance, it isn’t too far from Mt. Kilimanjaro, a frequently visited and easily accessible spot. But getting from the city areas to the village of
You’ve probably already heard about the impact transportation has on the environment. You’ve probably also heard suggestions of ways you can reduce your own ecological footprint. We’re going to revisit a few of those options, while also looking at some of the other benefits you might not have considered.
In order to help people, Plant With Purpose plants trees!
That’s the short version of why we exist. The longer version of that is, well, much more nuanced. The way we plant trees is just as important as the fact that we plant them. We encourage and empower locals to
If you’re a Purpose Partner, if you’ve started a fundraiser for Plant With Purpose, or if you’ve ever donated towards our mission of reversing poverty and deforestation, you should know that your donations weren’t a hand-out. It’s more accurate to think of your gift as an investment. The financial growth
Twelve years ago, the village of San Isidro Trementina was devastated
The small, rural community in Mexico was made up of farmers. When the land was well, the crops grew and the people were well. When the land suffered, so did the crops and the people in the village.
Jah Cho’s smile is contagious
If you catch Jah Cho among his neighbors in Northern Thailand, you won’t have to wait very long before he offers up some jokes. His many stories, told in his Lahu dialect, are always accompanied with a big smile and belly laugh. Jah Cho is
It’s a new year and a perfect time to take on some new habits. Habits that help us live more sustainably don’t just help us, in the long run, they help everybody. A complete overhaul of your lifestyle isn’t easy- and usually isn’t lasting. Taking a few key steps towards
As Plant With Purpose prepares to begin its work in Ethiopia, our international team has spent time learning from local leaders and experts about its environment. The East African nation has seen a number of changes over the past year, including a new prime minister, its first female president, as
Welcome to 2019! It’s an excellent time to both look back and look ahead at the many things worth celebrating and anticipating. Last year was one of our strongest yet- we are planting more trees, working in more communities, and putting more of your generosity to good use than ever
Christina knows the challenges of rural living
Christina lives in the village of Siha, on the western slope of Mount Kilimanjaro. Though she is close to the mountain, it can be difficult to get to her village. The steep slopes and unpaved roads demand a cautious drive away from the
Plant With Purpose has had the privilege of collaborating with many unique corporate partners over the years. The wide variety of corporate partners has reminded us that sustainability is for everybody. This month, we’re happy to feature one of our long-time, creative corporate partners as our Supporter of the Month. If
Christmas fast approaches! If you’ve got plans to put up a tree this year but haven’t done so already, it might be just the right time to get a plan in place. Figuring out how to sustainably select a Christmas tree can be a little confusing at first. After all,
Poverty is a serious threat to many families
Millions of families around the world live in poverty, but their hopes are pretty similar to the hopes of most other families. Parents want to be able to put their kids through school to get a strong education. Children hope to grow
At the end of each year, many of us try to turn our focus towards gratitude. We reflect on what really matters in our lives. We take inventory of blessings. We go around the table at Thanksgiving to share what we are thankful for, then reinforce our gratitude in family
That is the amount of families currently working directly with Plant With Purpose across eight countries. As we seek to grow and expand, its important to look at what families experience on an individual level.
A typical family in Tanzania is a good representation of the hopes and worries
Many people associate Thanksgiving with consuming large amounts of meat, the heaviest travel days of the year, and spending most of the day recovering from overeating by watching sports or TV shows.
Nothing about that is very sustainable, yet gratitude and sustainability go hand-in-hand. Being a wise steward of our
Trying to make an impact on the world isn’t an easy task. While change is possible, the process isn’t linear. There are ups and downs, setbacks, and moments of discouragement that every person who tries to make an impact faces.
That’s why a key trait of people who make a
Eating every part of produce items is a valuable habit to help reduce food waste.
Just about every person is guilty of it in some way or another; we waste a lot of food. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average household in the United States tosses out about
What is silvopasture?
Silvopasture is a farming method that has the potential to relieve some of the planet’s biggest environmental problems. Estimates suggest that has the capacity to reduce carbon dioxide by 31.19 gigatons of and the potential for over $650 billion in economic savings.
Millions of rural farmers around
The communities where Plant With Purpose works are some of the most difficult places on the Earth to live.
As much as our stories focus on change and how a better world is possible, they are also incomplete without a reminder that our group members live very difficult lives.
A little devil is in danger.
By “little devil,” we mean the Black-capped Petrel, a charming bird species that boasts sleek black wings and a white underbelly. The seabird lives off of seafood, spending most of the day soaring over the ocean in search of fish to feast on. At
Recently, some members of our team paid a visit to Haiti to meet participants from our program. The trip was meaningful and brought to life many aspects of Plant With Purpose’s program. Our Creative Director, Philippe, shares about an encounter meeting our friend Gernita.
The community of Fonds Verrettes is
Where is the most difficult place on the planet to survive?
You could certainly make a case for a few of the countries where Plant With Purpose works.
Experts frequently mention the Democratic Republic of the Congo among the most difficult countries for someone to live. Frequent episodes of
We don’t do anything alone. Plant With Purpose has been blessed by the generosity of so many different kinds of supporters, from churches across different denominations to innovative companies and startups to passionate individuals. Each month, we love to feature a new partner who has made our work possible. This
A typical decision made by rural families:
Imagine this scenario: You are a parent living in rural Burundi. For years you’ve struggled to earn an income of about 80 cents a day. With five children to feed, things have never been easy.
Lately, however, things have started to look a
Haitians are forced to deal with the reality of natural threats.
Haiti is not only a country with many political and economic struggles, but it also has to deal with the fact that it is located in one of the most vulnerable locations when it comes to natural disasters.
When we live sustainably, we live compassionately.
Sustainability is both and act of selflessness and humility. When we choose to practice sustainability, we do so realizing that the things we do affect far more people than ourselves. It invites us to consider our own interests less than the interests of
Can it be done?
Using planet-friendly products is a great way to live sustainably. From reusable straws to alternative hygiene products, there are so many opportunities to swap out some of your daily use items to ones that do less harm to the environment.
There’s just once concern that comes
Statelessness is a serious issue for many populations in Northern Thailand.
Last month, the world’s attention turned to Northern Thailand, as a difficult and bold rescue operation sought to free a boy’s soccer team that had been trapped in the Tham Luang Cave for over two weeks. After surviving for
A team from Plant With Purpose recently climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
About a month ago, a group from Plant With Purpose took on the challenge of climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. The group included Executive Director Scott Sabin and Board Chair Cindy Outlaw, along
Environmental degradation rids farming families of their ability to make choices
The connection between people’s freedom and the environment isn’t one made very often. For an overwhelming part of the world’s population, however, the ability to make decisions hinges on the health of their ecosystems.
Freedom is the ability to
Does tourism help or harm local populations? That answer is as varied as the list of places to go and things to do.
Do a couple of quick searches on Google, and you’ll find lots of examples of locals bemoaning instances where tourists have trashed nearby natural spots or
Conflict drove her family from Myanmar into Thailand.
“We walked from our village into a border area, then into Thailand,” Na Kuh recounted to us. “There were two or three families together, with our children. It took us about a week to enter into that border area. While we were
Our homes are no mere coincidence.
How often do you think about the reasons God has placed us in the physical locations where we live? Some of us might think about this quite a bit, especially if we’ve undergone a major transition or if we felt led to our current
What does it look like to come together as one?
Picture a stone church on the top of a small mountain. In front of the church are garden beds, and just outside its entryway is a large patio.
On the patio are a couple dozen chairs arranged in a circle.
Fatherhood is extremely important.
This Father’s Day, we’re taking the time to remember the importance of dads.
Studies make it pretty clear that the presence of a father or father figure plays a big role in a child’s eventual success. Children with involved fathers, stepfathers, or father figures are far
Julius’ farm is one of the most vibrant sites in his village.
The village of Rombo sits high atop of its Tanzanian watershed. In one of the highest parts of Rombo, you’ll find a large farm growing bananas, sugar, cabbage, amongst a variety of other crops. The area surrounding the
In Northern Thailand, ethnic minorities are creating much needed sustainable change by starting right at home.
Life isn’t easy for the hilltribes in Northern Thailand. As ethnic minorities, many of them are subject to various forms of persecution and discrimination. Many of them are refugees and can remember a time
When working with teams that cross different cultures and other boundaries, it’s important to value results, processes, and people.
Plant With Purpose values constant learning and continual improvement. With the goal of learning and improving our internal processes, we recently conducted a staff retreat in Southern California.
One of the
Summer gives us an opportunity to develop and strengthen sustainable habits.
For many of us, this has been a long awaited moment. I’m talking, of course, about the beginning of summer. Whether that means freedom from the demands of a school year, more opportunities to leave your jacket behind at