How To Hug A Tree
By Afterglow Founder Kristin Adams
Two summers ago, my dear friend and I went on a 500+ mile epic hike called Camino de Santiago across Spain. We started on the French side of the Pyrenees Mountains in Saint Jean Pied de Port, hiked up and over the Pyrenees mountain range, and all the way across northern Spain to the city of Santiago de Compostela in the most North West region of Galecia.
While I’ve hiked many state parks in the United States, I have never spent a full 35 days walking through and experiencing nature that intimately. We walked through mountain ranges, cities, grasslands, deserts, the wine country, and lush, mossy green woods. While the daily hikes were often difficult, the sheer beauty of the experience was worth every step and remains hard to put into words.
The Camino trail is hiked by more than 250,000 souls a year from all over the world. Along the journey, we truly met a cast of characters we won’t soon forget. One day while hiking through a particularly serene part of a forest, we came upon a group of people. One of the men in the group insisted on showing me “how to hug a tree”. He approached the lesson with such a level of seriousness it was hard not to listen to his tree hugging methodology. Did he sound a little crazy? Yes. Did I still take something away from the encounter? Definitely. Here’s what I learned…
I learned that it’s important that we take a moment to stand in awe and gratitude for all that nature is; what it gives us and how it shapes our experience here on this planet. It’s undeniable that we need to take the opportunities we have to honor and restore nature.
While awe and gratitude are important, nothing changes without action. When I got back from my hike, I decided to take action and support The Conservation Fund’s ‘Go Zero’ program by donating money to plant trees in wild life refuges and parks in an effort to off-set Afterglow’s environmental impact and make a positive contribution to restoring nature.
At Afterglow, we try to find as many ways as possible to make our products safe for your body and the environment. We take to heart Gandhi’s famous line, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” We wish to see world filled with beauty products that honor your body and the earth. I find the most balanced way to do this is to manufacture products that tread lightly and give back where possible.
We do this by choosing environmentally safe ingredient sourcing and manufacturing practices. However, the dirty issue of carbon-emissions is one aspect of the product life-cycle that goes unaddressed by many companies. I personally wanted to close the loop on this missed opportunity to create as much harmony with my company as possible.
Last year, we were able to donate enough to plant 122 trees through The Conservation Fund’s ‘Go Zero’ campaign! On average, each new tree planted by the Fund can absorb more than one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. That’s enough to offset the emissions resulting from shipping a 200-pound package from Los Angeles to New York.
Please join us! Next time you place your order, donate $2 to offset your carbon emissions. 100% of your donation goes directly to The Conservation Fund — the nation’s top-rated environmental charity for low administrative costs — to restore habitat for wildlife and address climate change.
What’s more? Your donation will be matched! Afterglow Cosmetics promises to match all donations made on our website by Afterglow Cosmetics customers.
And next time you’re hiking, take a moment and hug a tree. You’ll be in good company!