Fill Me In
We have to admit, 2020 has been tough. What a tumultuous year it has been, huh! However, as the year comes to a close, we’re still holding onto hope that 2021 will be the light at the end of the tunnel. And with news of multiple COVID-19 vaccines being approved and mass-distributed by 2021, there’s reason for us to celebrate!
And with that encouraging green light on the pandemic front, New Zealand is taking on another green direction of its own to welcome the new year – by injecting some positivity with its ‘Forest of Hope’ initiative. In collaboration with Trees That Count, a conservation charity, Tourism New Zealand has extended an invitation to the world – yes, the whole wide world! – to come together and plant a ‘Forest of Hope’.
How does this work?
It’s simple! Visit the official website, and share your disappointments you experienced during the year of 2020. There’s probably plenty to share – be it cancelled travel plans, suffocation from the periods of lockdown, postponed weddings, missed opportunities to be with family and friends… the list goes on and on. In a surprising turn of events, Tourism New Zealand will then transform each and every disappointment into a ray of hope – by planting a native tree on their soil.
Yes, you’ll get to turn each disappointment on its back, and watch it blossom into branches of positivity. The best part? Each tree only costs NZ10 (~SGD9.40)!
What exactly does the ‘Forest of Hope’ signify?
Wisely put by Steve Dixon, Regional Trade Marketing Manager of Asia – “In New Zealand, the Te Reo Maori values of manaaki and tiaki have become incredibly relevant today. They speak to the importance of having empathy and inspire us to care for people and place… With trees as a natural symbol of life and growth, the Forest of Hope is a way for people to say goodbye to this year’s disappointments and plant a seed of hope to look forward to better times in 2021.”.
Indeed, this isn’t only good for the environment, but it also makes for a great gift idea. Let’s face it, we all have that one friend that’s impossible to buy a gift for. What do you buy someone who already has everything? Well, giving him or her a piece of the ‘Forest of Hope’ might be a really good place to start.
When travel resumes and New Zealand’s borders re-open to the world, you – or whoever you gifted the tree to! – can even visit the tree that you planted. The tree will be planted in either Northland or Queenstown, giving you the golden opportunity to plan a trip.
CEO Adele Fitzpatrick also sees this initiative as a way for visitors to “become connected to New Zealand itself”, to know that they’ve personally contributed to a piece of the land. This initiative fits in perfectly with Trees That Count’s vision, which is to plant a whopping total of 200 million native trees across the country. Since 2016, they’ve already planted over 32.4 million trees!
So, say goodbye to everything that went wrong with 2020, and turn 2021 into a year that’s brimming with positivity and hope. Now, that’s something that we all desperately need during these unprecedented times. There is good out there, and we can all help to grow it – one little tree at a time!