Earth Day raises awareness of the need to protect Earth’s natural resources for future generations.
We help businesses like yours take meaningful climate action from planting trees to protecting forests.
Our projects not only help our planet but the people on it.
Protecting Vital Forests
Forests provide a vital habitat for animals and support people by purifying the air we breathe and regulating local temperatures. They also act as carbon sinks.
We protect 340 sq.km of forest with 1,830 Forest Conservation Committee members in Malawi and one way this is achieved is by planting trees. Planting trees not only captures more CO2 but prevents soil erosion too.
We work with farmers and communities who are planting millions of trees each year, and these provide a sustainable source of timber and firewood for local people.
If communities have a sustainable source of timber, it means they will be able to conserve existing forests with indigenous trees and allow natural regeneration to take place.
Growing fruit trees
We work with families and communities to plant thousands of fruit trees. They are trained in how to care for their tree orchards so that, in time, they produce enough fruit to eat and sell.
Fruit improves the health of vulnerable rural families as many people are severely lacking many of the important vitamins and minerals, and they are able to sell any surplus fruit to generate an income.
Make an impact this Earth Day by planting and protecting trees for your employees
We can help your company achieve its objectives and make an impact this Earth Day by planting trees on behalf of your employees. With tree planting starting at as little as 25p a tree, you really can make a huge impact without stretching the budget.
At Ripple Africa we believe that it is just as important to protect existing trees as it is to plant new ones so for every tree planted, we protect three in a forest.
Here’s how to buy:
1. Select the number of trees you’d like to gift from the selection below and add to cart.
2. Once in the cart, you can edit the quantity to the number of people in your team/company.
3. Once you have purchased your trees, we will email a certificate to you.*
Plant 1 tree per person
Plant 10 trees per person
Plant 20 trees per person
Plant 1 fruit tree per person
Plant 5 fruit trees per person
Plant 10 fruit trees per person
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What is Earth Day
Our planet is an amazing place, but it needs our help to thrive! That’s why each year on 22nd April, more than a billion people celebrate Earth Day to protect the planet from things like pollution and deforestation. By taking part in activities like picking up litter and planting trees, we’re making our world a happier, healthier place to live.
What you can do
Tree planting is one of the most effective ways to help our planet. Trees not only provide a home for wildlife, food and income for communities, but also help to absorb carbon too.
Our tree planting project is not only about planting trees in Malawi, but also about changing the way people think about their natural environment and the destructive and unsustainable actions which are causing deforestation. By involving farmers, community groups and schools, Ripple Africa aims not only to encourage more tree planting in Africa, but also to slowly change how people value and use all their natural resources.
For every tree that is planted we are protecting, on average, three indigenous trees through our Forest Conservation project.
About our Tree Planting Project
Ripple Africa’s tree planting project is one of the largest and most successful tree planting projects in the north of Malawi. We provide a long-term solution to fighting deforestation in Africa caused by the destruction of indigenous forests.
The tree planting project directly fights this by planting thousands of quick-growing trees with farmers, schools and community groups, and these provide a sustainable source of firewood and timber for local people.
High population growth has been the prime cause of deforestation across Malawi and has led to soil degradation, landslides, perennial rivers drying up, rain shortages and depletion of wildlife. Wood is taken from indigenous forests for building and to use for cooking. Increasing numbers of people have become involved in the production and sale of charcoal, particularly in areas near towns, further decimating the remaining forests. Trees are also cut down for firewood and timber used for housebuilding or are burned to make space for growing crops.
Our tree planting project is not only about planting trees in Malawi, but also about changing the way people think about their natural environment and the destructive and unsustainable actions which are causing deforestation. By involving farmers, community groups and schools, Ripple Africa aims not only to encourage more tree planting in Africa, but to slowly change how people value and use all their natural resources.
Ripple Africa first started to address this issue in the area around its base in Nkhata Bay District, providing local communities with quick-growing trees which provide an immediate benefit to the community. The trees can be used like a crop by coppicing them (cutting off the branches for firewood without felling the whole tree), and then they grow back quickly to provide more wood year on year.
However, we are now increasingly working in Mzimba District where deforestation is much more severe. Here we are working more with farmers who are prepared to invest a considerable amount of time (it takes up to 15 years to grow a tree large enough to sell for timber) and their own money to ensure that larger numbers of trees can be grown successfully.
About our Forest Conservation Project
High population growth has been the prime cause of deforestation across Malawi and has led to soil degradation, landslides, perennial rivers drying up, rain shortages and depletion of wildlife and biodiversity. Wood is taken from indigenous forests for building and to use for cooking. Increasing numbers of people have become involved in the production and sale of charcoal, particularly in areas near towns, further decimating the remaining forests.
What we are doing is:
- empowering local communities to take ownership of their forests and set up local forest conservation committees
- working in partnership with communities and district government staff to introduce bylaws to protect the forests
- reducing illegal activity by supporting the forest conservation committees and Forestry Department to patrol the forested hills
- educating local communities on the importance of forest conservation
- promoting sustainable environmental projects such as Ripple Africa’s Tree Planting project and the Changu Changu Moto fuel-efficient cookstove project.
For years, we have worked to fight deforestation in Malawi through tree planting and fuel-efficient cookstove projects. However, while we have been tackling deforestation in populated lowland areas, the charity has watched in sadness as the mature indigenous forests in the hills of Malawi’s Nkhata Bay and Mzimba Districts continue to disappear.
These forested hills are a primary factor in regulating the annual rainfall in the area and, frustratingly, deforestation here is pointless:
- The land is too steep and stony for farming.
- The hills are too remote for extracting firewood.
- Erosion caused by deforestation washes away the top soil
Just a handful of farmers are responsible for all this destruction through the practice of shifting cultivation. The Government has struggled to control this so it continues unabated. The farmers:
- clear acres of forest
- burn the trees where they fall (as they are too remote to transport the wood)
- temporarily cultivate the land for just one to three years until crops fail – often they grow sorghum for beer
- render the soil infertile, and then
- move on and do it all again in another forested area.
Ripple Africa is doing everything it can to combat deforestation in Malawi on all fronts. However, our Forest Conservation project is special as it is saving the forested hills responsible for regulating much of the rainfall in the District. With 90% of the population in Malawi getting their food from subsistence farming, rainfall and climate stability are not just issues for environmentalists, they are inextricably linked to poverty, health, and survival for local people.
The aim of the Forest Conservation project is to preserve the forested hills of Nkhata Bay and Mzimba Districts before they are lost forever.
About our Fruit Tree Project
We started our fruit tree project in 2007 and we work with community groups to grow improved citrus, mango, guava, papaya and avocado trees in Nkhata Bay District, Malawi. While some fruit trees grow naturally in Africa, trees are often poorly managed, and some fruit trees (banana trees in particular) suffer from viruses which mean they do not produce fruit. We have established improved fruit trees which:
- produce a greater crop yield
- have a stronger resistance to viruses
- are of a much better quality
All fruit trees are for the benefit of the community and each group shares trees with local schools and vulnerable people. They also receive training so they can care for the trees. In time and with proper care, the fruit trees will produce enough fruit for community members to eat and sell any surplus to raise an income.
Our fruit tree planting project is also an important way of improving nutrition. In Malawi, malnutrition is a large cause of death among children, and poor diet can lead to general ill health and disease. Many people in Malawi go hungry and survive only on a staple carbohydrate called nsima (a porridge made from either maize or cassava), severely lacking many of the important vitamins and minerals which fruit can provide. Free access to a variety of fruit at household level improves the health of vulnerable rural families.
Any kind of tree planting project is hugely important to the environment; however, fruit tree planting in particular creates a natural incentive for people to protect their trees. Because our improved fruit tree project produces fruit of a higher quality, fruit from one of Ripple Africa’s fruit trees is highly competitive at market, especially some varieties such as oranges and tangerines which are rarely grown in the area. The value of access to a sustainable income stream for a poor rural family cannot be underestimated!