Water. It covers the vast majority of the earth’s surface. Likewise, water also comprises the bulk of the human body. Earth and human beings are each as dependent on the existence of water as the other. And because the earth graciously provides human beings with water, our most vital means of survival, it is our responsibility to reciprocate such generosity with the compassion we would show for our dearest friend.

In April, a bold illustration of ecological compassion kicked off with the Boxed Water “Retree” project. Boxed Water, an environmentally conscious bottled water brand, is collaborating with the National Forest Foundation to plant one million trees over the next five years. Fueled by a social media blitz that offers Boxed Water consumers the opportunity to collectively advocate a green-friendly culture, the first step of the Boxed Water and National Forest Foundation partnership is to plant 100,000 trees in the Oregon Deschutes National Forest between April 2015 and June 2015.

What is Boxed Water and Why is it Better than Plastic?

Every year, about 50 billion plastic bottles of water are consumed throughout the globe, a whopping 30 billion of which are downed in the United States alone (amounting to about 60% of the earth’s bottled water consumption). And 80 percent of those plastic bottles end up in a landfall wherein the plastic breaks down into smaller fragments that absorb toxins and corrupt waterways, pollute soil and poison animals.

Millennial Magazine - Plastic-Bottles-body

Even the manufacturing of bottled water is an environmental hazard. A single plastic bottle of water requires three times the volume of the water it takes to merely fill that bottle. And most of that water is rendered useless as a result of the chemicals utilized in the production of the plastic bottle. Without question, a more eco-friendly source of water delivery is an absolute necessity to the conservation of our planet’s resources.

In March 2009, Boxed Water was publicly launched as a solution to the drastic environmental cost exacted by our excessive consumption of plastic bottled water. About 76 percent of the Boxed Water container consists of trees, a renewable resource, which renders the product a significantly more sustainable delivery source than the ecologically eradicating plastic bottle.

Additionally, Boxed Water is shipped flat to filler, which is much more efficient than shipping empty and glass bottles to be filled subsequently (studies indicate that shipping accounts for 3.1 percent of annual global CO2 and that number could increase between 50 and 250 percent by 2050). And the water itself is produced through a process of reverse osmosis and carbon-filtered purification at the source of the filling plant, making Boxed Water as clean and healthy for the body as it is for the environment.

Just as important as the environmental sustainability of Boxed Water is the conversation it’ll create among its consumers, specifically the millennials tasked with weathering the consequences of a battered ecosystem in the coming decades. “This year, we’ll be getting out there and talking to kids, consumers and millennials about how to get involved. The dialogue we’re having is around waste less, do more and live better,” Boxed Water Vice President of Marketing Jeremy Adams tells MiLLENNiAL.

How You Can Get Involved in the Retree Project

So, how does the Retree project work?

The first step of the Retree social media campaign stipulates that Boxed Water customers simply post a picture with Boxed Water on a social media platform (sporting the hashtag #Retree) and the National Forest Foundation will respond by planting two new trees for each post.

Millennial Magazine - box-water-body

The planted seedlings will include the ponderosa pine, the Douglas-fir and the sugar pine, which will grow into trees that increase forest diversity, provide wildlife habitat and increase the forest’s resilience to climate change. The goal is to plant 100,000 new trees this year alone. Once that goal is met, the second Retree initiative is to plant one million trees over the next five years.

As of today, Boxed Water has made the single largest tree-planting commitment the National Forest Foundation has ever received. Any individual can participate in a communal effort to preserve and improve the environment with the simple snap of a picture and tap of a touch-screen.

“Social media has revolutionized the way people express their values and enlist their own personal networks in what they most believe in. People love feeling that sense of connection… And when we see our friends get involved in something, we’re much more likely to get involved,” Executive Vice President of the National Forest Foundation Ray Foote tells us.

Along with participating in the Retree campaign, one can contribute to the earth’s ecological welfare by simply getting outside and enjoying the outdoors with their friends and family. By rebuilding our relationship with the environment, we simultaneously build our ability to treat it with the compassion with which we would treat our dearest friend.

For more information about the Retree project, please visit BoxedWaterIsBetter.com  and post a picture with Box Water using #Retree to encourage the planting revolution.

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Kyle Jenkins


Annapolis, MD

Born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland. Graduated from The University of Miami with a double major in Motion Pictures and Creative Writing. Avid book, video-game and film buff!

All posts by Kyle Jenkins

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