Since 2016, Laundromat has partnered with community conservation organization Clean Up Nepal. Our Plant A Seed initiative is just one of the ways Laundromat is helping to create a cleaner, greener future for Nepal.
Here’s a bit more information about the program and how it all got started.
Back in 2016, in a small cafe in Kathmandu, Laundromat Founder, Francis, met with our suppliers and the founding members of Clean Up Nepal. Over breakfast, we were presented with the opportunity to fund a tree plantation on the riverbanks of the Bishnumati River, which runs through the Kathmandu Valley where many of Laundromat’s artisans live and work. Our plan was to plant the trees in celebration of Earth Day.
The project was simple and inspiring: A section of the riverbank would be cleared of garbage and debris, holes would be dug, and trees planted. Each tree would be funded by an individual donor and planted in their name. The planting teams would be comprised of NGO staff and community participants from youth and women’s groups. In this way, the project’s success would be ensured through local participation, education and direct involvement.
Francis presented his friends and family with the opportunity to get involved from abroad by funding a tree. The response was immediate and overwhelming. Within 48 hours, each available tree had found a benefactor.
What made this project so appealing? For Francis’ father, it was planting a tree for each member of our family: A living representation of our family tree. For some of Francis’ friends, it would act as a reminder of a past trip or the promise of a future one. For others, it was simply a way to feel a connection to a life growing at the foothills of the Himalayas.
Inspired by our initial success, Francis and the Laundromat Team wanted the project to branch out even further. What better way than to plant a tree for each of our loyal customers?
So, in the summer of 2016, Francis returned to Nepal to help plant a new site in Sunakoti, Lalitpur.
One of Laundromat’s customers, Jessica Pisano, is an award-winning artist, renowned for her depiction of trees. When she agreed to provide us with an image to promote Plant A Seed, we were overjoyed.
“As an artist, I have always been inspired by nature; it is my muse, specifically trees and the ocean,” Jessica told Laundromat. Her work is widely collected in both private and public collections all over the world. She paints surrounded by the natural beauty of her hometown of Martha's Vineyard.
The piece is called Bīja, a Sanskrit meaning ‘Truth as the seed or cause of being. The seed of trees, plants’.
Bīja is also the common name for the Pterocarpus Marsupium, a deciduous tree that’s native to India and Nepal and can grow up to 30 metres tall.
The title of Jessica’s painting represents everything we hope Plant A Seed will encompass. A seed is a future generation. To care for our future generations, we must remember the Native American saying: ‘We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.’
Laundromat’s Plant A Seed initiative saw a tree was planted in Nepal for each of our customers in 2017. We will continue planting trees every year—each one helping to reduce our carbon footprint, bring communities closer together, and creating a healthier, greener future for generations to come.
About Clean Up Nepal
Clean Up Nepal is a non-government organisation that works to provide an enabling environment to improve waste management and promote greenery in Nepal. Clean Up Nepal works closely with local communities to connect, educate and empower individuals through a people-centred, strength-based approach to improve community health, well-being and opportunity.
Featured image: David Vig/Unsplash