Arbor Month
01 Apr
  • By Camilla Marsh
  • Cause in

Dig in This Arbor Month

Arbor Day is traditionally celebrated on the last Friday of April each year, but this needn’t mean we can’t get our fingers green ‘til then. As age-old forests continue to be mutilated and massacred and Earth’s once harmonious ecosystem severely compromised, planting a tree is one of the best means to making our planet a more habitable space.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but the second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb


The History of Arbor Day

It’s never too late to start reversing the ill-effect we are having on the only home we have ever known. And this was exactly J. Sterling Morton’s thinking when he initiated the first ever Arbor Day in Nebraska territory in 1872. Little did he know then how necessary his movement would be 147 years into the future in the bare and barren wasteland of the 21st century. On 10 April 1872 there were 1 million trees planted in Nebrakska, today this movement has spread worldwide, laying roots in over 30 nations, with each celebrating this auspicious occasion in its own unique way.

And South Africa is proud to be a part of this flourishing movement!


Arbor Day South Africa

The official day will be celebrated on 26 April so look out for volunteering opportunities to be loaded on the Brownie Points site!

But, as South Africa is located in the Southern Hemisphere, some nature lovers have taken to planting their trees in the first week of September. The only difference this choice will make is selecting which season is best for planting the trees of your picking. There’s no need to wait until the end of the year, or even the end of the month, to allow yourself to nurture nature. Whether you plant a tree or branch out in a different means, there are lots of simple (and creative!) ways to celebrate Arbor Month. Here’s a few to get you thinking.


Creative Ways to Celebrate Arbor Month

  • Take the family on an outing to one of South Africa’s many exquisite National Parks.
  • Have a picnic at KirstenBosch or Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens.
  • Organise a clean up in one of your local parks or forests
  • Rather than pick flowers as table decorations for weddings or other events, plant mini succulents in pots and give these to guests as courtesy gifts.
  • Sponsor a tree to be planted in one of our country’s reforestation projects.
  • Green your company with GreenPop’s corporate partnership offerings.


Get Involved Before It is Too Late

Never before has it been more prevalent than it is now how drastic and fast sweeping the devastating effect climate change is having on our planet. And extreme deforestation of our rainforests is one of the root causes of this.

Did you know that palm oil plantations currently cover over 27 million hectares of the Earth’s surface?

And that plans are underway by the Indonesian government to convert approximately 18 million more hectares of rainforests, an area the size of Missouri, into palm oil plantations by 2020? Not to mention more similar, and even more threatening,  such destructive strategies across the globe.

Palm oil is being snuck in to about 50% of all consumer goods from beauty products and biofuel to frozen pizza, and yes, even Nutella. It is our duty to become conscious consumers. Arbor Day is not about raising our awareness on a solitary day a year to dig a hole and stick in a tree. Arbor Day is asking us to live EVERYDAY in harmony with nature. In each moment you have the choice of who you want to be in relation to our environment, knowing that each time we hurt the Earth we in fact are hurting ourselves. You have a choice of what tomorrow we are creating for future generations. Who will you choose to be?

“The cultivation of flowers and trees is the cultivation of the good, the beautiful,   and the ennobling in man, and for one, I wish to see this culture become universal.” – J. Sterling Morton


Get in touch to find out more about the volunteering opportunities we have available this Arbor Month.


Related reading

Camilla Marsh
Camilla is a curator of good cause content, nomadic writer and connoisseur of life, on a journey to help others live the best life they can. She specialises in self-development and all things happiness.

Leave a Reply