For every Jameson 2 Eco shoe sold, etnies will plant a tree along Costa Rica’s Rio Sol biological corridor in what will become the etnies Rainforest.
They’re constructed from worn-out bike tires and used rubber gloves to create the shoes’ outsole and recycled plastic bottles for their PET shoelaces.
etnies is fighting for our planet. We skate, surf, snowboard and ride BMX all on our ONE planet. It’s all we have and we want to keep it healthy so we can keep doing what we love. Now, etnies’ green path to a healthier planet is continuing by creating a brand new forest of more than 35,000 trees through its “Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree” project. It’s simple, for every pair of Jameson 2 Eco shoes sold, we will plant one tree in Costa Rica in what will become the etnies Rainforest. We never thought we’d have our own rainforest, but with your help, this green goal is coming true. The etnies Rainforest will absorb approximately 6,930 tons of CO2 from the Earth’s atmosphere throughout the trees’ lifetime. To put it visually, this represents 465,051,360 etnies shoe boxes worth of CO2, placed end-to-end and wrapped around the earth more than three and a half times.
We’re not planting this forest alone. etnies is teaming up with one of the native tribes in Costa Rica called the Maleku and a reforestation organization, La Reserva Forest Foundation, to make it happen. It all started when Pierre-André Senizergues, etnies’ CEO and visionary behind etnies’ eco initiatives, met with government leaders in Costa Rica in 2007 and learned about their commitment to making the country carbon neutral by 2021—one of the first developing countries to make this pledge. Pierre had an instant connection as his company is the first in the action sports industry to make the commitment to be carbon neutral by 2020.The wheels were set in motion and fast-forward to today, etnies, the Maleku and La Reserva are working hand in hand to reach one goal.
With La Reserva Forest Foundation in Costa Rica, etnies’ “Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree” project will help the Maleku (known as “guardians of the forest”) reforest their land that was depleted due to cattle farming and a vicious rubber-tree war, while helping Costa Rica reach its carbon neutral goal. In return, etnies is living up to Pierre’s vision. Starting in March 2011, Pierre, along with an etnies team, will travel to Costa Rica to begin planting the etnies Rainforest hand-in-hand with the Maleku and La Reserva Forest Foundation in Costa Rica. One company, one shoe, one tribe, one foundation, one planet … one step at a time. Together we can take these BIG steps to create a healthy world where we can keep on riding.
This is Roberta Ward Smiley, founder of La Reserva Forest Foundation. With her organization’s help and guidance, etnies’ “Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree” project will aid their mission in reforesting Costa Rica and recreating a hospitable environment for species that have been forced out of their natural habitat because of deforestation, like the Sloth pictured here.
Costa Rican reforestation also regenerates the natural habitat for the thousands of plant species within Costa Rica.
Costa Rica has more than 35,000 species of insects. With etnies’ “Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree” project, the Costa Rican eco system can continue on its way to being restored to its original state before deforestation obliterated the home to many thousands of plant and animal species.
La Reserva Forest Foundation’s private forest reserve is where the nonprofit conducts its oxygen farming and forest regeneration. The organization also concentrates on creating forest corridors to provide the necessary habitat for familiar species and providing the opportunities for endangered species to thrive and migrate. In partnering with etnies, La Reserva is able to expand reforestation beyond its reserve while also helping their friends, the Maleku, to restore their natural land.
Throughout the “Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree” project, La Reserva Forest Foundation will work with Maleku landowners to harvest seeds and baby trees (from the forest floor) in nurseries until they are ready for planting. The trees will then be planted on the Maleku land, aiding them in reforestation.
etnies’ “Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree” project will help save thousands of animal species, including more than 850 bird species like the toucan found in the Maleku Reserve pictured above.
Reforestation restores the natural canopy and connects the forests that were once separated when the rainforests were destroyed. By providing this forest corridor, cover and transportation is provided to wildlife while expanding the territory and gene pool of the wildlife.
Because of deforestation, many canopy dwellers were forced to travel on the ground, unnatural to them and exposing them to deadly ground predators. The etnies Rainforest will enable canopy dwelling animals like the monkey pictured above (found at La Reserva) to travel across the forests like they were meant to do.
The clearing of forests in Costa Rica causes heavy flooding during rainstorms throughout the land. With bare lands and significantly less trees to absorb rain, the water levels have risen and the natural water supply for animals has been negatively affected. Reforestation will help reverse this problem.
The Maleku are the smallest living indigenous tribe in Latin America, with a population of about 600 today. They are known for maintaining their cultural customs like tribal ceremonies, language, preservation of food and living off their land. Unfortunately, much of their land has been unfairly destroyed over the years by outsiders and they cannot afford to replant it all on their own. But with etnies’ “Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree” project, the Maleku will get to see their land flourish once again.
Many of the Maleku people are artists who create various art pieces like tribal masks. The community participates in the production and sale of souvenirs for tourists and part of the income produced by these sales is used to reforest the reserve with the trees that once maintained their community.
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