An idea brought to life in November 2019, the first 12 months of Co-Treetment have been a rollercoaster. The tree planting team have achieved numerous milestones and, to put it lightly, a lot has changed in the world!
Sat in ‘the hot seat’ in an interview with his kids Alexander and Evelyn, Director Darrell Taylor reflects on Co-Treetment’s jam-packed first year in business. He shares his highlights from a crazy 2020, inspiration to start Co-Treetment, advice for those looking to become more environmentally friendly and more. Find out how we’re helping others do their bit to support the environment!
This month Co-Treetment celebrates one year in business. How does that feel?
Darrell: Well, it feels pretty good. I think we’ve had some fantastic help along the way.
Alexander: And fantastic moments.
Darrell: And you know it’s been a tough year for everybody with Coronavirus and just to be here, to have trees in the ground, to be doing some good, to be absorbing some carbon – and to still be there as a company after the past 12 months. I’m proud about that, we’ve done something good. We’ve had some mega help and some great customers and clients.
What are your highlights from the past 12 months?
Darrell: I think we’ve had some key milestones and one was buying the land, which was pretty special. One was getting the trees in the ground, and especially under the shadow of COVID we were lucky to do that, and then securing customers. We’ve got some awesome customers in different industries, you know. We have people from mining and electronics, we have customers from production companies, we have individuals, we have people that run their own businesses, and we have some larger companies. So that’s quite cool, isn’t it?
What was your inspiration to start Co-Treetment and what are your ambitions?
Darrell: Well I’ve become increasingly aware of my own carbon footprint and just really increasingly aware of the world around us – how much wastage there is, how we all live and what we do that affects the environment and affects the world. So I wanted to do something to try to combat that and make a positive impact – I want to leave behind something that’s a positive not a negative on the world.
I had an idea and I thought this was something that, with the help of friends (we’ve had some mega help from people haven’t we?). With the help from those around us and friends and supporters we’ve been able to do something good, not just for us but for more people as well.
What excites you most about what you do?
Darrell: Well I think it’s crazy to look back over the past 12 months and to think where we started to where we are today. It’s really something special to watch the trees grow from tiny little saplings to what they are today. There are some that are as tall as you.
Evelyn: No, taller than me! There’s one that is like up here and I’m just like…
Darrell: Well, that’s what excites me most – seeing everything growing. For me that’s really exciting and it’s quite cool to see. We did that.
Why is it so important for businesses and individuals to consider planting trees?
Darrell: The impact you have on the world without even realising it. Everybody needs to travel, even if it’s locally – using public transport, buses, trains or your own car. It all has an impact and we all need to do more to try to combat climate change. We need to do what we can to live in a more sustainable way for the planet. And really, for me, part of this is leaving a better world for you and your generation.
If you want to make a bit of a positive impact and you want to offset your personal carbon footprint there’s no better way to do it than planting trees in my opinion. And they don’t just absorb carbon, they pull water from the ground so that helps prevent flooding. They cleanse the air so if you’re near busy roads and things like that you get a better air quality because of the trees. And they’re a habitat for nature – you think we’ve got some holes in the ground where we’ve got animals that live there and badgers and those bird boxes and everything.
Alexander: Yeah, we’re officially animal friendly!
Darrell: Yeah we are. It’s not just about the carbon, it’s nice to do the other things as well.
What is your advice for businesses and individuals looking to become environmentally friendly?
Darrell: I think, especially for businesses, it’s do your research. There’s a lot of companies out there that plant all over the world and what we do is we plant locally where the emissions are created. So for vehicles on the local roads, for the local infrastructure, for the local power plant, for the local cement works that all have a carbon footprint.
At least we’re here, we’re in the East Midlands, we’re planting locally and we’re absorbing those carbon emissions as close to the source as possible. So for me, the best advice would be to have a look around at the different companies, check out what they do, make sure that they’re guaranteeing the trees for the long term so it’s not just a quick solution that isn’t there five years later. Choose the most reputable company that meets your requirements.
The big money question. What do you think next year will bring?
Darrell: Well next year it’s going to be very much down to Coronavirus and how quickly that does disappear. But when COVID dies down, businesses will return to a new normal and hopefully begin focusing on their environmental footprint again. Hopefully that means we can get more trees in the ground and get you [Alexander] back to work.
Alexander: Oh god!