So a bunch of folks here took off yesterday for the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore. It’s a humongous trade show where people who make natural products show said products to the retailers and others who buy them. Think of it as a big giant schmooze-fest in a room roughly size of the Astrodome that’s filled with display booth after display booth of each manufacturer’s goodies.
Except for our booth. This year we decided to forgo the usual hey-look-at-our-stuff-isn’t-it-great route because there’s just too much at stake in the world these days. Instead we're building a forest. And here's our first tree:
We’re using our wooded wonderland to raise money for and awareness of reforestation initiatives. When you visit our booth, you’ll dial a number on your cell phone and we'll use wireless technology to give you a virtual “seed” to grow. Punch your keypad and pick the type of tree you want to plant. Then punch it some more and watch your tree’s texture and color change as it grows on the giant display. As more people plant more virtual seeds and grow more virtual trees, the virtual forest that results from all this interactivity gets thicker and thicker. It’s very cool to watch this work of natural art unfolding before your eyes. But the real action happens later when we actually go out and plant real trees around Maryland in 2007, one for each virtual tree planted during the Expo.
We’re partnering with SEED and Tree-mendous Maryland to make it all happen, and we’re psyched to plant a zillion trees to absorb carbon dioxide, cool the local environment, prevent flooding, absorb noise, and provide beautiful places for people to sit. Here’s some more information about our project. In the meantime, if you’re at the Expo, drop by and plant a few on us.