The following is a letter from our Creative Director, Philippe Lazaro, on what happens when a global pandemic runs into Easter- a day where we celebrate resurrection.
What a month it’s been. To echo a Tweet by Andy Crouch I read, “Honestly, I hadn’t planned on giving up this much
A divisive social climate contributes to an unsustainable global climate
It’s a presidential election year in the United States, and unsurprisingly political tensions and anxieties run high. There has been no shortage of words about the way our world is extremely polarized and divided. Spend more than a small amount
“The faithful have a long tradition of ministering to and seeking justice for the most vulnerable and providing the action we need to achieve a just and healthy world. As such, the faithful are leading on climate solutions today.”
–Kara Ball, Blessed Tomorrow
Plant With Purpose is a Christian environmental
“Do you want to know the most exciting thing about regenerative agriculture? It’s the word “regenerative.” It means we actually have the ability to bring seemingly dead, practically infertile soil back to life!”
–Sheryl Karas, Center for Regenerative Agriculture Systems at CSU Chico
Excitement around regenerative agriculture, sometimes called regenerative
We often overlook the way nature teaches us about God
It’s not uncommon to hear people explain how a little time in nature helps people feel closer to God. But the idea of spending time in nature as a spiritual discipline can still be startling for many people.
Environmental storytelling has often failed to focus on the communities that are most impacted
The people most vulnerable to climate change are those living in the poorest areas.
This has been a consistent area of focus for Plant With Purpose. It is the reason why we work in the places
The most important command about how we treat each other is clear: Love
“This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two.”
Christians widely recognize that Love is central
What moves people to actually care for the environment at a local level?
Duang Dee lives in Thailand, though he himself is Karen. The Karen are an ethinic group in Southeast Asia that do not have their own formal country. Instead, they live between Thailand and Myanmar. Historically, the areas
Dirty water is one of the biggest hazards to humans around the world
Every year, about 3.5 million people around the world will die from unclean water. About two thirds of them will be children. This is the equivalent of a large commercial airplane crashing every single hour.
So why does it often feel like family values are a different set of interests than environmental values?
More likely than not, this is based only on outward appearances. The thought of family values might make one think of a warm home, and the thought of environmental values might make
Their past was riddled with conflict. Their future is about security and abundance.
Nobody would consider Kakumba an easy place to live. Simply getting to it takes extensive climbing up steep hills and mountain sides, on trails that are often inaccessible due to rain… or worse.
It wasn’t long ago
Environmental concern is urgent. It is also timeless.
Have you ever caught yourself thinking, wow, this sustainability trend sure is taking off, isn’t it?
You’d have good reason for thinking that. Fidelity, the investment giant declared last year as the year “sustainability went mainstream” declaring that “professional and private investors
We hear a lot about the importance of preserving the Earth’s major rainforests. What about forested areas that aren’t as vast?
The Amazon. The Australian brush. The Indonesian palm rainforests. The Congo Rainforest and Basin. A lot of these major rainforests are familiar names to people concerned about the fight
Perhaps you’re familiar with the Enneagram? If not, then the rest of this article might not make much sense, and it might be worth getting familiar with the personality profile system that has seen a resurgence in popularity over the past few years. With origins that go back to the
First Nations communities lose the most during climate change but often have the most insight on how to respond.
“These fires have obliterated entire forests, and, with it, they’re obliterating the cultural memory of our Aboriginal groups,” declared Bhiamie Eckford-Williamson, a Euahlayi indigenous research associate in Australia. “The burning of
Is that even the right question to ask?
“The world was just issued a 12 year ultimatum on climate change”
“A terrifying look at the consequences of climate change”
“Climate crisis: 11,000 scientists warn of ‘untold suffering’”
The above headlines ran on The Smithsonian, The Economist, and The Guardian, respectively.
Recent reports outline the extreme vulnerability of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to climate change.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) can be one of the hardest places to live. Widespread hunger, the outbreak of epidemics, and political instability have led the UNDP to rank the central African
Our work over the past year is a testament to your contribution.
Plant With Purpose has just unveiled the fiscal year 2019 edition of its Annual Report. The report is a summary of program results, successes, and outputs over the past fiscal year. As a publication, it serves as a
We’re celebrating a successful first season of Plant With Purpose’s Grassroots Podcast! While we’re on a little break right now, feel free to go back and listen to any of our past episodes here! And if you’re not totally sure where to start, here are a few quotes from our
Part of living a more sustainable lifestyle includes rethinking our relationship with the physical world. Sometimes that means reconsidering the importance of the forests in Ethiopia, or the trees in our own neighborhood. Other times, it means reconsidering the physical objects in front of us- our drinkware, the clothes on
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
What happens when the line gets blurry between sustainability and marketing?
Over the past decade, clothing giant H&M has received much criticism for the company’s environmental impact and the working conditions of its manufacturers. After the fatal collapse of a factory in Bangladesh killed 1138 workers in 2013, H&M became
In many ways, the effects that the environment has on human health seem a little obvious. Still, there is a variety of different ways to think about their relationship that all underscore its importance. Here are some of those ways.
Biodiversity helps support resilience and nutrition.
A lack of biodiversity
Downstream problems have upstream solutions.
Plant With Purpose’s model of international development evolved from a series of discoveries.
First: We discovered that if we wanted to help people improve their lives, we needed to improve their environment, because both were so deeply connected. Second: We saw that helping people out
One principle of sustainability is doing things with benefits that go beyond your lifetime.
In one of his most famous poems, “Manifesto”, Wendell Berry suggests doing things that we will not live to see the benefit of:
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the
July 11 marks World Population Day, a day marked to raise awareness of issues related to world population. Though this is not the most well known commemoration, its relationship to the environment makes it worth exploring further.
So, what is World Population Day and where did it come from?
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
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
The Grassroots Podcast is officially live!
As of July 2, Plant With Purpose’s premiere podcast is finally live.
Whether you get your podcasts on Spotify, Apple, Google, Overcast, Breaker, Anchor, Pocket Casts, or RadioPublic, you’ll be able to listen to our new show for free!
We are committed
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
The impact of climate change and degradation is not felt evenly.
Environmental degradation is a cruel phenomenon. It has the harshest effect on people who already suffer a great deal: the world’s poor. Especially the rural poor. While most common images of poverty depict something urban, poverty is mostly rural.
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
There’s no shortage of problems in the world to solve.
As a student, Philippe Lazaro knew he wanted to apply his international interests to help solve some of these problems, but getting started was a journey in and of itself.
A slew of internships and volunteer opportunities took him around
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
Here’s fun news- we’re launching a podcast!
Over the past few months, our team has been arranging interviews, talking to fascinating individuals, and reflecting on our own experiences on the journey of environmental restoration all for the purpose of putting together a moving and informative podcast experience.
The show will
Rio Garza once suffered from the environmental conditions that plague many rural communities around the world.
Problems like deforestation, poverty, and soil erosion create difficult lives for people living in rural areas around the world. This is the reason why rural poverty remains a challenge to eradicate, even though the
Humility is an increasingly underappreciated value in today’s culture. In a world where personal branding, hyperbole, and debate are highly visible, humility seems to be a forgotten art. In spite of this, there is something truly refreshing about being in the presence of somebody who is sincerely and genuinely humble.
Solidarity is an act of hope.
Solidarity means moving in the direction of pain in the world, standing with those who are suffering and taking up their cause as if it were your own. Doing so is both an act of hope and an imitation of Christ.
Vitor Westhelle once
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
What changes when you invest in mothers?
Mothers are a major part of any family. Whether it be a working mother of two or a stay at home mom, the mothers in our lives have helped shape us. The title of ‘mother’ is not a light load. Mothers are some
Why is saving small amounts of money impactful?
Although saving a couple dozen cents a week does not sound like much, it is significant. The impact of 20-30 women saving thirty cents a week is catalytic. It causes a chain reaction of change which results in benefits for both the individual
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
First of all, what is a biodiversity hotspot?
You might guess by the name that it’s a place on earth where biodiversity is either abundant or threatened. In fact, both are correct. To be a biodiversity hotspot, a location must meet two criteria:
You cannot find half a percent
Restoration happens through everyday decisions
At a glance, environmental restoration looks like a very large undertaking—and that’s true, in part. Threats to the health of the planet have reached an urgent, global scale. But the magnitude of the challenge should not distract us from this simple reality:
Plant With Purpose is deeply committed to environmental restoration. This dream is shared among our partners in eight different countries. Jah Cho envisions future generations being able to reap the benefit of a restored forests. Isaias imagines that his community of Ojo de Agua as a rejuvenated, green landscape.
Purpose Partners are more than just donors. They’re believers.
If you want to know what keeps our work going, look no further than our Purpose Partner community. Our support from these monthly donors means that every month, rural communities plant forests. Mothers in Tanzania, Burundi, and the DRC open small
The 2018 Annual Report is Here
We’re excited to announce that we’ve completed the 2018 Annual Report! We can’t wait to share it with you.
The Annual Report includes updates on our program activities, finances, and impact across our eight partnering countries.
But that’s not all.
Our Annual Report is just
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
Integrating sustainability and development provides many benefits to female farmers
Plant With Purpose is deeply committed to addressing the root causes behind poverty and environmental degradation. An amazing thing about addressing root causes is discovering how they affect so many issues.
Take, for example, women’s empowerment. Gender based inequality may
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
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.
How one Plant With Purpose supporter is using her love of running to plant more trees
Jenny Gruber is an engineer, a Plant With Purpose supporter and a marathon runner. While she had already ran 29 marathons going into the month, she wanted to do something a little bit more
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
You probably already know more about these kinds of trees than you realize.
The idea of staple foods is probably a familiar one. Staple crops like corn, wheat, rice, and potatoes are an important part of many diets. Most world cuisines eat one or two of these staples almost every
In 2019, Plant With Purpose will begin program work in Ethiopia
We are extremely excited to announce that this year we will begin working with families and communities in rural Ethiopia.
In mid-2018, we were approved to begin working. We have appointed Getnet Takere to serve as the Pilot Project Manager,
Meet Ross Boone AKA Raw Spoon
This month we’re teaming up with Ross Boone, an Atlanta-based artist and illustrator. We’re also featuring him as our Supporter of the Month!
Raw Spoon is Ross Boone’s artist name- and if you’re not sure why, then try reading that sentence out loud. His
The opposite of poverty isn’t wealth. It’s justice.
This quote comes from Bryan Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy. In that book, Stevenson recounts his experiences as a lawyer, working to exonerate people who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes. His work to get people off of death row and out of
If you planted a tree for every tree mentioned between Genesis and Revelation, you would easily end up planting quite a large forest.
You’ll find a bush that burns without burning up, a court held underneath palm trees. You’ll find Jesus in a garden hours before his death and mistaken
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
When you pay attention to the news about the environment, the stories you come across are often grim. Many of them are alarming, warning about how we can’t continue our demanding lifestyles without irreversible damage to the planet.
Those stories are important, and it’s important to heed their warnings, but
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,
The following post has been adapted from an article by Matthew Sleeth for Christianity Today. You may read the full version here.
Trees are found all throughout Scripture
Every major character and every major theological event in the Bible has an associated tree. The only exception to this pattern is
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
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
A couple weeks ago, our team had the opportunity to go to STORY Gathering in Nashville, Tennessee. As far as the conference goes, it’s so unlike other conferences that it’s a bit hard to describe. In short, it’s a place for people who believe that a well-told story can change
Purpose Partners make our world go around
If you don’t know what it means to be a Purpose Partner, well, hopefully you’re new to Plant With Purpose because we like to talk about our Purpose Partners a lot. We celebrate them.
Purpose Partners are the reason:
John Mark McMillan: Creation care is an act of love
John Mark McMillan is a widely-respected music artist. He is also passionate about how the environment impacts people. This fall, Plant With Purpose has had the privilege of teaming up with John Mark McMillan on his seventeen city tour. The
People need trees, and trees need people.
What would happen without trees? In many parts of the world, people would suffer greatly.
Trees fix soil with vital nutrients. Trees fix beneficial nutrients in the earth which enables other plants to grow, including vegetables and crops needed to feed people and
It started with a different vision.
About twenty years ago, a visit to the community of Ojo de Agua, “the eye of water” in Mexico’s Mixteca region would have looked quite different. The steep hillside would have been brown and dry.
For years, the people of Ojo de Agua relied
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
Noticing is a spiritual act
Fred Rogers once said that “appreciation is a spiritual thing,” and that’s an idea that has a profound impact on what we believe and how we live.
All throughout scripture, we’re encouraged to engage the world with a profound set of gratitude and wonder at
This summer, Plant With Purpose has had the treat of having a team of highly skilled and mindful interns around our San Diego office. These interns bring with them unique perspectives and rich experiences.
Our Communications Intern, Caillie, was drawn to Plant With Purpose by her concern for some of
Living sustainably is living the way God intended. It takes grace.
Sustainable living is a good thing. You already knew we wholeheartedly believe that.
But living in a way that protects creation and honors its Creator isn’t just a good thing to do. It’s so much more than that. Living
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
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
Sustainability isn’t a chore, it’s a calling
Future generations will be living the world we shape through our actions. Today, there are many reasons to be concerned.
People all around the world are consume resources that are disproportionate to their population size. A recent study done by Washington State University,
Earth Day is Sunday, April 22, 2018
What better way to celebrate creation than to spend some time deeply immersed in it?
Our desire to worship swells whenever we find ourselves in awe of something beautiful.
After all, God took time to admire the world after creation.
You may have noticed we’ve got a new look.
If you’re reading this post, you are most likely on the new plantwithpurpose.org.
This month, we re-launched our digital home. Our new look is meant to bring you closer to our programs all around the world. We believe strongly in the