BY ERIC HENDRIKX
Look around you this morning, or this afternoon, and think about the things that surround you. Think about the painted walls that surround you made of chalky drywall, screws, and wooden two-by-fours. Think about the concrete skin beneath your feet that now shelters an earth that once breathed trees and foliage and bore home to a plethora of lively critters. Contemplate the chair you’re sitting on, this paper in your hands, or the screen you are staring at, the paper bags you carry, toilet paper, coffee cups, paper towels, notebooks, newspapers, consumption, consumption and more consumption. It all looks so different and unique once we’ve melted it, bent it, baked it and flattened it, but it’s all coming from the same place – Resources. Millions of and billions of tons of resources are being depleted to feed our fattening needy hands with a hunger that exponentially proves its bottomless stomach. And as you think about the black hole of the belly of the beast, you might share my disenchanted feeling that there is no hope, that all is already lost. The apocalypse has already occurred and we are just too stupid to realize it. The harsh truth may be that our society of human locusts has devoured the mother’s hand that gave it birth and fed it.
All is not lost. Good efforts are being made by humans with green hearts that are vastly larger than their ever-wanting stomachs. Humans like you and me. Skaters, surfers, bikers, and boarders united by actions and inspired by the landscapes of the earth. Inspirations that drive our spirits to protect that which we love so that our legends carry meaning, so that they might be shared many years from now with those whose birthright should come with the freedom of riding clean waves, breathing fresh air, and shredding the gnarly earthscapes as we know them today. We are warriors when we want to believe in something. When it’s time to stand. When it’s time to fight. Well, it’s time.
etnies is fighting. The eco-loving company founded by skater Pierre-André Senizergues, etnies’ CEO and visionary is carving a green path to a healthier planet 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, etnies will plant one tree in Costa Rica in what will become the etnies Rainforest. This grandiose gesture of green heart 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 shoe boxes worth of CO2, placed end-to-end and wrapped around the earth more than three and a half times.
The battle won’t be fought alone. A call to action has been made for all action sports athletes, all fans, all greenhearts, here and inhabitant of Costa Rica. etnies is teaming up with one of the native tribes called the Maleku and a reforestation organization, La Reserva Forest Foundation, to make it happen.
After meeting with government leaders in Costa Rica in 2007 and learning 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. His own company was 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, have begun to travel to Costa Rica to plant 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.
One Tribe, One Country, One Company
with One Goal – Creating a Rainforest
The Maleku are an indigenous tribe with a way of life that revolves around the forest, and they are rightfully known as the guardians of the forest. For more than 150 years, the Maleku have had to fight for their trees that were depleted due to cattle farming and a horrible rubber-tree war, which led to a massacre, and nearly wiped out their tribe. The United Nations has sanctioned their land as a biological corridor to be restored and the international organization has officially marked 2011 as the “Year of the Forest” globally. The Maleku just need help obtaining the trees to reach their goal of reforesting the lands they live off of.
As etnies describes it, “One” may seem like a small lonely number, but when one brand (etnies), teams up with one tribe (the Maleku), and one foundation (La Reserva) in Costa Rica, a country committed to sustainability, the results can be staggering. And as we look further at the number “One” we can look past it’s lonely mask and see it’s magnitude as we watch one person, becomes one family, becomes one neighborhood, becomes one town, becomes one city, one state, one nation, one world, united by its core nature to survive.
You don’t have to go to Costa Rica to help. You don’t even have to look up from your computer screen. Anyone who buys a pair of etnies Jameson 2 Eco shoes will help reforest Costa Rica one tree at a time. And they aren’t your ordinary consumable shoes. Bike tires and used rubber gloves are recycled to create the shoe’s outsole and plastic bottles are used in the making of their laces.
Rainforests help curb global climate change by providing more than a quarter of the oxygen to the world, and are home to thousands of species of animals. Buying a pair of shoes seems so trivial, but when we unite and buy the right shoes we are together planting a Rainforest.
Questions about our earth’s survival can be formed a millions different ways: How long will earth last? How much clean air is left? How can I help? But the most fundamental question at hand right now is: How green is your heart?