The Gift Box That Restores the Rainforest – Alter Eco
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The Gift Box That Restores the Rainforest Article
Nov 12, 2019

The Gift Box That Restores the Rainforest

This holiday season, Alter Eco is working to put more trees back in the ground than in living rooms.

Alter Eco is expanding on our reforestation programs through our gift boxes this year. With each gift box sold, a tree will be planted in the Amazon in partnership with our partner fair trade and organic cacao farmers in Peru. Because we believe the holidays should be about more than just giving to our loved ones.



A History of Reforestation

This is not new territory for Alter Eco. We have been breaking ground with 27,484 trees planted since 2008 as part of our carbon neutral initiative. Each year Alter Eco calculates its own carbon emissions – from employee commutes to global transportation costs. Based on those calculations, we plant trees with partner cacao farmers of the ACOPAGRO Cooperative in the San Martin region of Peru. Through these projects we offset more carbon than it produces, and be part of the undoubtable change needed to address existing changing climate issues. This gift box program will expand upon these efforts and allow our consumers to take part in these reforestation efforts. 


This work is done in partnership with PUR Projet, a company focused on regenerating the earth with the private sector by working with companies to add integrative sustainability practices to their supply chains. They have coined this process ‘carbon insetting,’ meaning it is performed directly within the supply chain of the companies they work with. PUR Projet was founded in 2008 by one Alter Eco France’s founder, Tristan Lecomte.


The Importance of Agroforestry

The trees from the program are also integrated into the cacao fields to support agroforestry practices. Agroforestry is a more dynamic and integrated way of farming that plants native trees throughout the farms, providing much needed shade and protection for the cacao trees. This type of integrated system allows for improved soil quality, pest and disease reduction, and long term crop sustainability through a higher diversity of plants. 


The agroforestry projects that PUR Projet and Alter Eco have been leading have been particularly life changing for the people of the Acopagro Cooperative in Peru. The San Martin region saw severe deforestation in the 1980s when it became a red zone for coca leaf production. Since then, the area has transitioned from coca to cocoa, and has been slowly rebuilding both land and local communities. Many of the trees in the carbon insetting program are used to restore what was once degraded forest, and are used for timber income by the farmers after a few decades.



Adding More Green To The Holidays

While agroforestry and restoring the Amazon are regular projects for us each year, we wanted to take our efforts up a notch for the holidays when consumerism and waste is at a high. This season, every gift box sold will also add another tree to support reforestation and agroforestry projects with these farmers. From a carbon perspective, three trees offset one ton of carbon emissions. That would offset about three months of driving, your meat eating habits for a year, or a one way cross country flight.


Alter Eco hopes to add a couple hundred additional trees back to the earth this holiday season! The gift boxes are available for $25 and $45 and are filled with a range of our best selling chocolate bars and truffles. At a time of year filled with gifts and other consumption, these holiday boxes allow people to give back while also indulging their sweet tooth.

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