August 29, 2010

One Basket = One Tree

Another positive aspect of the recycled Bolga basket project is that for every basket sold the producers plant a tree in the community. Currently they are planting mango trees, the most popularly requested, since mangos provide excellent shade during the extremely hot season and have a natural cooling effect. They are the coolest places to be when outdoors during the hot season.

A basket maker in the cool of dusk. You can see how barren the Upper East is. We need trees! 

Of course, they also provide fruit and nutrition which are much needed in the Upper East where the average diet consists of cornmeal porridge and soup—not at all meeting daily nutrition requirements.

For the record, the price of the Ghana guide will increase as we also have a campaign to plant one tree for every guide sold—increasing the tree-planting scope so that thousands of trees will begin to grow across deforested parts of Ghana where they are badly needed.

Trees are valued and precious in Bolga because of the need for shade and wish for fruit to supplement the very bland diet. The basket makers and producers are very excited about this.

This is a long term vision, inspired by Wangari Maathai’s Greenbelt movement.

So, when you buy a recycled Bolga basket, you’re not only providing livelihoods to Ghana’s poorest men, women and youth, but also providing shade, shelter and sources of food for many years to come and greening Ghana too.

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