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    Initiative to plant hundreds of trees

    As an office, we are consistently working to rethink how we interact with the world, building upon our values of stewardship, direct action, and design as a platform for change. Starting in 2022, Envelope chose to start each new year creating a positive vision for the future, initiating a campaign to plant hundreds of trees across the world as a gift to the Earth and to us all. There are so many compelling reasons to plant trees; they sequester carbon and provide oxygen, provide both food and habitat for communities of species, and secure and replenish the soil. Increased tree canopies are linked to environmental equity, providing an increase in mental health quality, physical activity levels and stress reduction. In a warming world, they work to mitigate the climate, providing cooling shade in urban and non-urban environments. Simply, trees are beautiful.

    To create the biggest impact, in 2023 we expanded our initiative to a three pronged approach; starting with direct action within our office, expanding the invitation for stewardship to our larger community, and finally to supporting reforestation efforts around the world.
    With many of our community driven projects in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, we have witnessed firsthand the importance of and desire for street trees and increased vegetation in the urban environment. As longtime stewards of in Hayes Valley, and our time at this interim use project drawing to an end, we saw an opportunity to directly impact our community for decades to come through restoring street trees that have been damaged or removed in the area. Our office has committed to planting and maintaining four street trees along Octavia Boulevard and supporting with larger greening efforts through The Octavia Project
    That first year, we invited our community to take part in planting and nurturing their own tree seedlings, offering a choice of fruit tree, oak tree, or a conifer based on individuals climate and preference. Through a partnership with Planting Justice, we also were able to support a local grassroots organization, empowering people impacted by mass incarceration and other social inequities with the skills and resources to cultivate food sovereignty, economic justice, and community healing. We were amazed by the feedback. In the first year, we supported in the planting of 26 new trees, from the Bay Area to New York. We have loved seeing the little seedlings grow and thrive over the past year, and are looking forward to opening up the offer again in 2023!
    Not everyone has the space or capacity to plant and nurture a tree. Recognizing that and also wanting to have a larger impact in reforestation efforts, Envelope partnered with One Tree Planted, donating a portion of our annual revenue to plant trees in areas impacted by wildfires, toward urban forestry efforts across the United States, and to counteract deforestation from cattle ranching. We also opened a call to our larger community to join in the donation effort, enabling people to make a personal impact.

    When we take time to act as a steward of our home, our planet, this kind of loving gesture returns its own gift, which transforms both place and people, givers and receivers. Moreover, our stewardship practice has taught us how applied action toward visionary goals can build vital pathways to a better future.