March 13, 2021

Tune in for my interview with Cat DeMassi with Tree-Plenish. Hear how an idea for replacing the paper use in one high school grew to a nationwide movement!

Cat saw the start of Tree-Plenish as a classmate and friend of the founders. Now, as Cat pursues her university studies in sustainability and communications, she serves as the PR Lead for Tree-Plenish.

Schools use a lot of paper. That's what got two high-school seniors, Sethu Odayappan and Lizzy Elsner, thinking. 

They decided to take action to help replace the paper that they and their fellow classmates had used during their senior year at Mansfield, Massachusetts. That was the start of Tree-Plenish, with its first tree-planting event. The team has grown from 2 to 25 and turned a small-town project into a national one.

The Tree-Plenish team is working with 90 schools in the 2020-2021 academic year and is on track to plant over 14,000 trees across the country. The team is working with schools across 20 states from California to New Hampshire.

Tree-Plenish works with high school students to host tree-planting events in their communities that will offset their school’s paper usage during the last academic year. Students, guided by Tree-Plenish mentors, follow a 3-step process.

1) Planning - During this phase of the process, students figure out how much paper their school used during the last academic year. They then take that number and convert it into the number of trees they will need to plant. We estimate planting one tree will offset 10,000 sheets of paper.

2) Marketing - During the next phase, students reach out to the residents of their community to ask them to request a tree to be planted in their yard or to volunteer to help plant trees on the day of the actual event, or both!

3) Hosting - The final phase is for students to host their actual event. On this day, teams of volunteers plant trees in the yards of residents of their town.

Tree-Plenish has developed guidelines for planting during the coronavirus pandemic to keep everyone safe. 

Visit the Tree-Plenish website to get involved:

  • Find an event and volunteer
  • Donate
  • Host your own event

Many Colorado schools are partnering with Tree-Plenish through Youth Sustainability Board (YSB). YSB helps educate, engage, and empower students in Colorado. YSB helps students launch and grow sustainability clubs and take actions, such as hosting Tree-Plenish events.

Listen to this episode wherever you get your podcasts!

Ep 115 Tree-Plenish

About the author 


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