Home is Where the Plants Are
Plants are more than just a fad. While there has been an uptick in plant and gardening-related sales in the past few years according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, it would be easy to dismiss the influx of burgeoning gardeners as a millennial fancy–especially since a National Garden Survey found that over 80% of Americans taking up gardening in 2016 were between the ages of 18 to 34. But even as we build personal gardens inside our homes and around our yards, we can’t forget about the plants across the rest of the world.
Trees are one of the most effective ways of combating climate change, and yet we are losing close to 18 million acres of forest a year. It might be hard to imagine, but at the current rate of deforestation the earth may lose all its trees in the next few hundred years. When plant influencer Vivien Chong (@siloliage on Instagram) found this out, it inspired her to take action. “Plants have been a big part of my life, especially in the last few years. They have given me so much—from making my home a little livelier to [being] my safe space in helping me with my mental health. The thought of losing all these plants, especially trees that take years and years to grow, is devastating.”
Vivien long used her Instagram account as a platform to advocate for causes important to her, such as raising awareness about anti-Asian American hate crimes. With Earth Day coming up, it inspired her to take action—here was the perfect opportunity to give back to the plants that provide her with so much. After finding out about the Canopy Project via EARTHDAY.ORG, an idea for a fundraiser took root.
The Canopy Project fights against environmental degradation and climate change happening all around the world by planting new trees. Trees help combat these issues in a myriad of ways—they act as carbon sinks, they provide invaluable habitats for wildlife, and they offer important ecological services and economic development to the communities nearby. In areas spanning the globe, The Canopy Project is able to plant one tree for around every dollar donated. That dollar covers the cost of the tree, the price to plant and cultivate the tree, and the program’s operating cost. In addition to planting the tree, EARTHDAY.ORG also partners with organizations and local governments near the planting site to ensure that there are local workers trained to take care of the trees and to continue the reforestation efforts.
Vivien partnered with Custom Ink Fundraising so that her seed of an idea would thrive. Her design created for the fundraiser apparel featured some of her favorite plants in and around the text ‘Home Is Where My Plants Are’. “Plants have been a big part of my life. They have made my home a home, and without plants planet Earth wouldn’t be our home,” says Vivien.
Printed in green or white ink across a range of products, the design popped. “I am so impressed by the print quality,” said Vivien. For home gardeners who want to tend to their plants in style, Vivien’s campaign offered a wide range of options.“I chose a variety of tops from sweatshirts to t-shirts because it’s the best way to showcase my love for plants,” explained Vivien. Supporters could choose from the Alternative Apparel Women’s 50/50 Crop T-Shirt, the Next Level Women’s Festival Side Slit Tank, and the Bella + Canvas Women’s Drop Shoulder Cropped Crewneck Sweatshirt if they were interested in something fitted, while the Champion Double Dry Eco Pullover Hoodie was a great Earth-friendly option. The Bella + Canvas Jersey T-Shirt and Hanes Comfort Garment Dyed Crewneck Sweatshirt rounded out the collection and provided solid shirts to showcase Vivien’s design.
Vivien’s Fundraiser ended up raising enough money to plant 220 trees! While most of the money came from sales of the shirts, supporters were able to add additional donations toward the cause. The Planting for Earth Fundraiser was a great opportunity for Vivien to create custom gear and help with a cause close to her heart. “I am so happy that I was able to create custom gear that is designed by myself to raise money for a cause that I believe in.” For anyone else interested in getting custom gear, Vivien offered these words of advice: “Don’t be afraid to try it.”