In case you weren't already aware, Gilbert Henry plants one tree with every order placed on our website through our partnership with One Tree Planted. There is no shortage of worthy causes or charitable organizations that we'd love to help, but this is where we've decided to start. As stated on their website:
"One Tree Planted is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. As an environmental charity, we're on a mission to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees!
Started in 2014, we have more than doubled the number of trees planted year over year. Fast-forward to today, we now work with awesome reforestations partners in North America, South America, Asia, and Africa who help us get trees in the ground to restore forests after fires and floods, create jobs, build communities, and protect habitat for biodiversity."
This mission is well aligned with the identity of our brand. The goal of Gilbert Henry is to create products with ingredients sourced from nature, including our photo-realistic fragrances. The use of sustainable/renewable ingredient sources is essential to limit our environmental impact and to ensure the long term availability of our product lines.
Beyond our responsibilities and goals as a business, I feel a personal connection to the purpose of One Tree Planted. Specifically because of my love for wildlife, and birds in particular. My fondness for feathered friends probably started with my mother's stories of the parakeets her grandfather raised. I was amazed that such a small creature could learn to mimic phrases and songs. My intrigue continued with the variety of backyard birds that would visit our feeder at my childhood home in Michigan.
Then there was one event I will never forget. It was a Friday in July, and it happened to be my older brother's birthday. We went outside to play catch in the front yard, and I noticed something in the middle of the street. I went in for a closer look and as I suspected, it was a little sparrow looking uninjured but sitting motionless with its eyes closed. I was sure my mom would know what to do. Sure enough, she carefully scooped up the exhausted bird and we housed her in a shoebox shelter. Since it was the middle of summer, we assumed she was dehydrated and probably hungry. My mom made a mixture of warm water and Grape-Nuts cereal, and began feeding it to "Tweeter" (believe me - this is long before the micro-blogging platform existed). Our new friend quickly began to revive, and grew surprisingly trusting for a wild bird. By the afternoon of the next day, we had her outside for some exercise. My mom had her in her hands, quickly but carefully dropping them to force her to flap her wings. Overnight we kept her shoebox next to my open bedroom window. On Sunday morning I woke up to find her climbing up my screen, clearly eager to be outside. When we released her that morning, she flew to a nearby tree in our yard. I followed her there and she let me get close enough that I knew she wasn't afraid of us, but with one step closer she flew away to prove she was ready to be on her own. Thanks to small yet distinctive dark patch on her chest, we were able to spot her in our yard a few more times after we released her. While I was sad to see her go, I knew we couldn't keep her and I will be forever grateful for the experience.
My curiosity about and affection for avian life has continued through today, and even as I write this article I am glancing at the feeder in our back yard. The area where we live is experiencing rapid growth and housing development, and unfortunately that means many wooded areas are being leveled. Of course this means the destruction of natural habitats and the displacement of wildlife. While these sprawls seem inevitable, I am glad to have found a tangible way to make an impact through our contributions to One Tree Planted. I hope that together we'll be able to provide refuge for birds in our state, country, and around the globe for many years to come.