Vacation – for many of us the best time of the year. But it could be more. Book your holiday trip and do something against the declining rainforests in the world. Chris Kaiser had the idea that every time you book a trip, a tree is planted in return. And many trees result in re-established forests which are habitats for endangered animal species such as the Asiatic Elephant, the Malay Tapir or the Sumatra Tiger. baestard was talking to Chris about his idea of bedandtree, being an optimist and how he takes opportunities.
(baestard) Please describe briefly in 3 sentences your project. What is the aim of it?
(Chris) Bedandtree.com is the travel platform that plants trees. One single click of your mouse suffices to plant a real tree, at no cost to you, the user. Planting trees fights climate change, creates habitat for endangered animal species and jobs for local communities – three good deeds in one.
Which word should be directly associated with your project?
We want you to think “B’n’Tree” every time you think travel, no matter whether that’s business or leisure travel. Start all of your travel bookings on bedandtree.com. For every booking originating on bedandtree.com, we plant one tree – for free.
Our partners include global players such as Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Skyscanner, Expedia and more, so you have the full selection of products out there. And with one extra click on bedandtree.com you plant a real tree. Well done, you!
Dream big and start small, prepare to fail. A pioneer classic that is immanent to all. But as different as every idea is the personality behind it. What characterizes you?
I’m a nature loving travel addict. I love exploring new places and have been traveling for longer than I have not been traveling.
During my last 6 years in Thailand I fell in love with elephants and dealt with all the problems they’re facing on a day-to-day basis. One of their biggest problems is loss of habitat, since we keep cutting down forests. That’s why I took to planting trees – to recreate habitat for elephants.
Generally, I’m a hopeless optimist. I believe that we still can save our planet. I’m stubborn enough to not follow the news to avoid them shattering my hopes. (And to save time. Not many people profit from watching the news. Most of those people work for the news corporations themselves.)
At times I’m super energetic, other times I’m rather lazy. That’s why I created B’n’Tree. I wanted to make sustainability accessible for the lazy as well. Everyone can invest one mouse click in order to plant a tree – especially when it doesn’t cost a single Cent.
What are your three fundamental rules for success? Why?
- Be flexible. No business plan survives the first real customer experience. (To be honest, I never wrote a business plan. I rather invest my time and energy into getting things done, such as creating a website, spreading the word, and adapting things from user feedback.)
- Be optimistic. Dream big. If you shoot for the moon, but fail, you’ll land amongst the stars. Last year, my goal was to plan 12,000 trees. We planted over 30,000. With a more ambitious goal we could have probably planted 100,000. Hence, this year we upped the goal to plant 1 million trees. Even if we fail and “only” plant half that, we have planted 500,000 trees. (Note: Despite dreaming, don’t forget that achieving your dreams will take a ton of hard work. So learn how to be efficient, and get to work.)
- Ask for help, as often as you can. The bible already said “Ask, and it shall be given you”. It’s true. I always find it surprising how much support you receive from people you never expected anything from, but simply dared to ask for help.
So let me ask you for help here: Please do spread the word about B’n’Tree. Please tell your family, friends, colleagues and bosses about it. The more people make use of this free platform, the more trees we can plant.
And hey: Should you know anybody working for AirBnB, please do get in touch. We’d love to get them on board as well.
In which time would you like to live? And what would you do differently than it was? What advice would you give to the world?
Great question. Following my quest for maximum efficiency, I prefer not to think about that and hence not to answer. I can’t travel back in time, therefore there’s no point in thinking about it.
And, to be honest, I’m very happy to live in the here and now. These are exciting times, with loads of opportunities and better living standards than ever before.
If I could give one piece of advice to the world as it is right now: Please do take our climate crisis seriously. Most likely also the dinosaurs thought they still had tons of time. They didn’t.
Stop talking about sustainability and climate change, start acting. It’s the only way we can change things.
What question do you miss? What would your answer be?
One question I often hear: Chris, I love B’n’Tree, but I’m currently not traveling anywhere. Can I still plant trees somehow?
Yes, yes you can. Here are 3 ways how to plant a tree today:
- Do it yourself. Buy a local tree from a tree nursery, find a suitable piece of land, dig a hole and plant that tree. Water it. Return for the next few months to see how it fares, and water it if needed.
- Switch to Ecosia as your internet search engine. Ecosia works like Google. But they plant trees with their profits. Roughly 45 searches plant one tree.
- Click a tree on clickatree.com. You can plant real trees by clicking your mouse. It’s not rocket science, and you can do it wherever you are, as long as you have internet access. Right now you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article. So do this planet a favor and plant a quick tree.
Then make it a habit, and plant a tree every day, or at least every week. Yes, you can afford it. And yes, our planet needs your support. Remember, there is no planet B.
If you don’t do any of the above, the least you can do is share this article. The best you can do is all of the above and share this article. Then please drop a comment below: On a scale from 1 (article shared) to 4 (did all 4 things), how awesome are you? (In case 4 is not enough for you: Here are 8 ways how to plant trees for free, without having to do it yourself.)
Thanks for caring! Stay awesome. And remember to think B’n’Tree every time you think travel.
More about B’n’Tree → www.bedandtree.com