With the launch of R+Co BLEU, a focus on sustainability informed all of the packaging choices. From jars and bottles made from 100-percent post-consumer recycled plastic to tubes constructed from sugarcane bio-resins to boxes made of 100-percent recycled papers that can be traced back to sustainably forested tree farming, every aspect of R+Co BLEU packaging mirrors the green blueprint core to the brand’s ethos. One such aspect, R+Co BLEU’s partnership with One Tree Planted, ensures that a portion of every R+Co BLEU product purchased goes to the non-profit organization’s global reforestation efforts. Here, R+Co President Dan Langer chats with One Tree Planted Chief Environmental Evangelist Matt Hill about how reforestation makes a world-changing impact.
DL: Why did you start One Tree Planted?
MH: I started it because I know a lot of people want to help the environment but kind of feel paralyzed—maybe this problem is too big or they can't really help. And I wanted to make something that was really easy for people to understand and easy to get involved in and make an impact. When people donate $1, $2 or $10, I tell them, “Together we're planting a forest.” The money goes to these phenomenal projects that are around the world that are really hard to find on your own.
DL: What does reforestation do?
MH: Trees help with air quality and water quality; they create jobs; they help with biodiversity; they sequester carbon; and they provide health. Each project has so many different impacts. We're doing projects in British Columbia, where it's helping with the moose and the caribou; and a project in Oregon and Washington where we're planting trees that are helping cool the water temperatures to bring back the Chinook salmon, which then goes to the resident orca whale, which is the icon to the Pacific Northwest. We have another project in Africa, where we gave $50,000 to build a nursery that fosters fruit-bearing, nut-bearing types of trees, that in turn is empowering women to go into the workforce.
DL: I love that One Tree Planted isn’t simply global, it's also local. That means R+Co BLEU is able to work with you to create tree-planting events around the country—as well as around the globe—where stylists can come together and get their hands dirty.
MH: Yes. I think it's very important for people to experience getting their hands in the dirt, and then they feel inspired and realize the importance of what they're doing. So, if they do that locally, they're like, "Wow, and what else can I do?" When you can get people out there, and it inspires them, then it opens them up to a bigger picture where they begin looking at it from a global perspective.
DL: What would you say to the salon owner that's decided to partner with a brand like R+Co BLEU—a brand that focuses on sustainability and the environment?
MH: I think what R+Co BLEU is doing in terms of sustainability and the One Tree Planted partnership creates this momentum that's a catalyst for people to be more aware of small little things that they can be doing. By simply creating this awareness as a salon owner, that in and of itself will help the environment.
DL: What are some of the baby steps that individuals or salons can take in order to start their contribution to reforestation?
MH: Google and look for tree-planting events, and just find something locally that you can participate in; these events really need people to come out and help with a lot of the hard work. Change to brands that are making a conscious effort to do things better, like R+Co BLEU.
DL: Can one person, one salon, one beauty brand really make a difference?
MH: A hundred percent. Just one extra tree in the ground makes a difference. It's not just about trees; it's about small little actions that collectively add up.