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Celebrating Earth Month 2024:

How We Turned Trash into Trees

April was a month of impact here at Leaving a Legacy! 

Members from every corner of our change-making community came together, from the historic pathways of the El Camino in Portugal to the vibrant city of Nairobi in Kenya, to celebrate our planet.

 

Trash for Trees Challenge 

 

As this year’s theme for Earth Day was ‘Planet vs Plastic’ it felt fitting that we spring into action to tackle the plastic pollution crisis so many of our community spaces are grappling with.

So, we kicked off our “Trash for Trees Challenge”!  An initiative aimed at inspiring individuals to take everyday action! 

The goal was simple yet impactful: encourage people to clean up their communities, and for every bag of trash collected, we would plant a tree, thereby doubling the environmental impact and restoring our shared spaces!

Rather than focusing on a specific day or place, this challenge was about making time to care for our planet part of your daily routine! 

We encouraged participants to keep a bag with them over two weeks and collect litter as they went.

 

trash for trees earth day  

We Planted Over 500 Trees! 

 

Through our ‘Trash for Trees Challenge’ and a planting day with Latewa Arts, one of our grassroots partners in Kenya, we planted over 500 trees on Earth Day! 

Latewa Arts is on a mission to champion sustainable development and promote safe, environmentally friendly and dignified livelihoods for young people in Kenya. 

Led by our East African Project Coordinator and Latewa Arts, over 100 volunteers from Nairobi City county led by Nairobi West Councillor officer, Green Army, Madaraka Resident Association, Strathmore University, TARDA, joined us to plant trees in an urban community space. 

The trees planted included a mix of native trees and fruit trees that will help sustain the community members in the area. Latewa Arts will be managing the ongoing care of the newly planted trees alongside local community members to ensure they continue to thrive! 

The impact of these trees is two-fold. Not only does every tree planted play an important role in greening an urban area; creating urban habitats to support wildlife and enhancing biodiversity in the area, but they also provide a host of benefits for the community. Planting trees in urban areas helps improve air quality, reduces the risk of flooding, improves temperature control, improves mental well-being, and as some of these trees are fruit-bearing, they also help support local food production and security! 

In addition to tree planting, this event had a focus on environmental education, where local groups talked about forest conservation and reforestation. They also had the opportunity to present their work about environmental protection through an art show, poetry and spoken word. 

Beyond planting trees, the event emphasized environmental education, featuring local groups who shared insights on forest conservation and reforestation. The event also offered a creative platform where participants could express their dedication to environmental protection through an art exhibition and dynamic poetry and spoken word sessions.

An Urban Cleanup

While our Legacy Leavers around the world spent the month collecting trash, we joined forces with Latewa Arts, to clean up a local river in the city.

Removing trash from city rivers not only revitalizes the natural waterways, enhancing the scenic beauty and biodiversity, but also improves water quality, boosts public health, and fosters community pride through the restoration of pristine, accessible riverfronts.

trash for trees clean up

Our Impact Isn’t Limited to Earth Month

While we’re always excited to see the world come together to celebrate our planet over Earth Month, at Leaving a Legacy, our dedication to creating a sustainable future is a year-round pursuit.

This is why we’re excited to share that following the success of our Trash for Trees challenge this Earth Month, we’ve decided that as with all action for our planet, it shouldn’t be reserved for just Earth Month!

This means that throughout the year, we’ll be turning today’s waste into tomorrow’s forests! 

You’ll be able to sign up for the Trash for Trees Challenge here year round! If you’re thinking of running a big community cleanup, you can also reach out to us about planting trees for your event! 

Thank you to every volunteer, participant, and supporter who made this Earth Month a resounding success. Your actions remind us that when we come together, the impact can be monumental! 

earth month activities