Little difference reaches big goal, planting 100,000 trees and more
When Pete and Sophie Oswald set up their company in 2016, the Blenheim couple had a goal to help plant 100,000 trees. Four years later, they’ve managed to exceed that.
Professional skier Pete and Sophie founded the gift card company, Little Difference in 2016.
For every greeting card or other product sold, a tree is planted in Madagascar – contributing towards permanent reforestation, and creating jobs for locals in the process.
Pete said to reach 100,000 trees planted through Little Difference sales was a “crazy thing”.
“The goal of 100,000 trees planted was a goal set ages ago, years ago even, so that’s really exciting,” he said.
Sophie said they wanted to start a business that was not only low-impact on the environment, but also beneficial to the world we live in.
“When you borrow someone else’s stuff, we think you should try to return it better than you found it. Well, this goes for Earth too, and we are only borrowing it from our children,” she said.
Most of the trees planted were native mangrove species, which were known for their high carbon sequestration, which meant they stored carbon dioxide or other forms of carbon to either mitigate or defer global warming.
Winter this year had also been busy for Pete, following the launch of a fundraiser in June where he vowed to plant one tree for every metre he climbed on the slopes as a free skier.
By August, he had already planted about 41,000 trees, having climbed 20,000 metres.
Donations had exceeded the amount of metres he had climbed, which was 30,668 metres.
Pete said with the ski season over, the final tree count for the fundraiser was 100,241 – which meant together with Little Difference, they had nearly planted 200,000 trees. This had created 1002 work days for locals.
“It was amazing that people were willing to make donations and plant trees in a place that’s a world away, this couldn’t have been done without others help,” he said.
“So thank you massively to people that have supported it.”
The focus now was on Christmas, and selling as many gift cards as possible in order to plant more trees.
“It’s business as usual over there [Madagascar], they’re planting millions of trees each a month, and they’ve planted all our trees too.”
Pete said the pair had a new goal of one million trees.
By Maria Hart