About 288 years ago the first tree huggers started something they could not have realized would still exist today. They were Bishnois (a branch of Hinduism) men and women who died trying to protect trees in their village. There was a need for raw material to build a palace, but these pioneering tree huggers clung to the trees as they died along with the trees.
Fortunately, their efforts were not in vain. Their courageous action led to a royal decree prohibiting the cutting of trees in any Bishnoi village. Today those villages are a wooded wonderland in the middle of what would otherwise be nothing but desert. As the concept spread across India, reforms in forestry were implemented, preserving the life of trees throughout the Himalayan regions.
If you happen to be a modern day tree hugger, defined by Webster as -- an environmentalist, especially one concerned with preserving forests -- then you probably feel empathy and appreciation for the brave, Bishnoi people.
Yet, today many still consider the term ‘tree hugger’ disparaging, even though forest protection and reforestation has seen great strides in many countries. Brazil has reduced its deforestation by nearly 80 percent since 2004. In Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have instituted conservation organizations to protect natural habitats and animals.
[About half of the world’s tropical forests* have been cleared, according to the FAO**.]
American Forests was established in 1875 and has been protecting and restoring forests for more than 140 years. And, while they may be the oldest conservation organization in the U.S., their work today is more important than ever. Since 1990 alone, American Forests have planted more than 50 million trees, helping to restore forests in all 50 states and nearly 50 countries.
Island Slumber is proud to be affiliated with American Forests in our "Plant a Tree with Each Purchase" program. If “Living Green” is important to you, you’ll feel good knowing that you are not only buying exceptional quality bamboo bedding products, but you are also planting a new tree with each purchase and helping restore Earth’s forests.