Guest Post: How Planting Trees Will Save the Antarctic!
We had the pleasure of having Ben join the team on the ClimateForce: Antarctica Expedition in 2018. Ben’s personal mission is to use business as a force for good through the WOODCHUCK USA Buy One. Plant One project. In this guest post from September 2018, he talks in depth about his experience on the Expedition and how his company is utilizing reforestation to help combat the effects of climate change. You can watch his phenomenal video (“Expedition To Antarctica – Our Journey to the End of the World”) that he made about the Expedition and his tree-planting initiative HERE.
In November 2021, we’re bringing another team (like the one Ben joined) on an adventure to the Antarctic, to develop and train people of action to become leaders in the fight against climate change. To learn more about our upcoming journey and how you could be part of the mission, visit the Expedition webpage. To apply, click here to get started.
The Explorer’s Passage
By Ben VandenWymelenberg
Let’s start by saying this Antarctica expedition with 2041 ClimateForce and The Explorer’s Passage was the most life-changing and incredible trip I’ve ever been on with WOODCHUCK USA. Antarctica changed my life. In particular, there are 2 main parts of the trip that I found the most valuable.
First, the people! We hung out with 100 different climate change leaders, scientists, explorers, and business people. They were some of the world’s smartest and most game-changing humans. Humans that pushed me to break mental barriers and achieve things greater than I could have ever dreamed.
Leaders like David Hone teaching climate change in a way that we could not only learn but ways we could take the information and then teach with it. Their ability to break down the issues and help others, how to amplify our voice and immerse ourselves in the vast movement of change, and take actionable steps to a positive future was invaluable.
Second, with no connection to the digital world for 2.5 weeks, the biggest lesson I learned was truly disconnecting is the only way to connect. Completely checking out, to fully check into yourself. Looking deep down to see what you’re really capable of. Who you really are. Your mind is the only thing that will ever stand between yourself and the impossible.
Rob invited us for one specific reason. To help save the Antarctic. It wasn’t until the last day that it came to me. We save Antarctica by reforesting the rest of our planet. Being in this mindset and returning from Antarctica with a fresh perspective on the importance of preserving our nature spaces and wildlife helped formulate WOODCHUCK USA’s next “Endeavor 10 Million,” our global initiative to plant 10 million trees by 2021. The initiative was inspired by this trip to Antarctica to fulfill my longtime dream of planting on every continent.
“Endeavor 10 MILLION” is at the core of WOODCHUCK’S mission. Not only because of the large-scale impact it has, but the small-scale impact it has. Small towns that are crippled by deforestation are given life again when planting projects take place in their communities.
Over a million trees in two years is just the beginning. We need to 10X our impact by bringing communities, governments, and corporations together to maximize the impact of our initiative.
This trip also inspired some truly epic tree plantings. Beginning in Ushuaia, WOODCHUCK USA planted trees as part of the project “The Forest Returns to the City” at Arroyo Buena Esperanza, near the road that leads to the Martial Glacier. WOODCHUCK also sponsored “Trees At The End Of The World,” a project dedicated to all of the adventurers and explorers that have traveled to Antarctica in the past, present, and future as a symbol of their continued passion to reforest the planet while preserving important natural spaces.
The Antarctic blew my mind. Through our ‘Buy One. Plant One.’ program and in partnership with 2041 Climate Force I was able to travel to all 7 continents, working to reforest the world and do something positive. And this is just the beginning. Our once small idea of planting trees for every product sold has reached all 7 continents!
Keep dreaming big and changing the world… it starts with us. 7 continents are just the beginning. Planting on mars with Elon Musk IS next!
CEO & Founder
About Woodchuck USA:
WOODCHUCK USA is an innovative wood products manufacturer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, whose mission is to put nature back into people’s lives. The WOODCHUCK USA Buy One. Plant One. program plants a tree for each product sold.