No doubt it will seem strange for any eco-friendly venture to be making products from hardwood, but not all partnerships with nature represent exploitation. All our timber is sustainably sourced, and from just a few planks we can make a whole years worth of products - leaving all our remaining efforts to be focused on giving back.
The whole axis upon which our business is founded is that such a balance exists - that we can take gently from nature, and without nature being lost in the process.
It is mutual, and regenerative.
Our rainforests are home to some of the most fragile and beautiful creatures on Earth, but every year we seem to feel more powerless to prevent their habitat from shrinking. And yet, it is not too late. Far from it. If there is one thing that we know for certain about nature, it is just how quickly it can regenerate, if only it is left to do so freely.
The bigger picture is quite different from that however, where great amounts of timber is being stripped out of pristine rainforests in a way that is completely unsustainable and damaging, both in terms of deforestation, and species habitat loss.
There was even a time when we made products from carved beach pebbles, and planted a rainforest tree for every one sold. But in the end we realised single trees are not the only solution to this problem - at least, not unless they can be protected into maturity.
A deeper approach is required, and one with more lasting effects.
LISTENING TO OUR FRIENDS
If you trace it all right back to the source, the ultimate problem is the separation that exists between what the average person does directly, and what is done in their name, somewhere far away, and out of sight.
Our aim, therefore, is merely to bring awareness, albeit very gently, and in only a very small way. But perhaps to allow people at least a moment of shared connection wherein the topic of conversation is briefly returned to the Earth and our lasting footprint upon it. This is, in our view, far more powerful and lasting. For us this is gold, because it is only this shared extension of empathy toward the wider living systems that ultimately stands to turn the tide of destruction.
Our products are small symbols of this greater awareness, and of this connection to the Earth, so you will hopefully forgive us if we take a moment to harp on here about things that have perhaps already been said far too often, but which are still too seldom heard ...
We belong here. This planet is our home. We are a natural part of it, but it does not belong to us. We are just a tiny part of an enormous and interconnected web of life - the Ecosphere.
No matter how it came to be, the only thing we really need to know about it is this - participation is compulsory. This Earth itself, and our own future, cannot be separated.
To be a part of this great unfolding is to be entirely dependent upon it, and ultimately upon all the other musicians which make up this great symphony of Life.
Perhaps the most sensitive of all our companions are the frogs. Even the smallest changes in the quality of water can tip the fragile balance for an entire frog species. And what this means is that when an ecosystem fails, the frogs are often the first to go. They act as a warning signal in this sense - a kind of environmental touchstone. By vanishing they tell us that something is wrong.
Some would say we have more pressing issues to address. But even if you take the most selfish perspective it is not the frogs themselves we need to be concerned about, as beautiful as they are - it is what their decline represents.
They are a watchtower. They are our friends, we grew up with them. And their increasing absence now is the first sign of a far deeper concern.
Listen to the frogs. They are the ambassadors of ecological balance, and a symbol of a sustainable future. They are not saying that they need us. They are saying that we need them.
THE GIFT OF AWARENESS
What can we do, then? Are we really out of control? Are the solutions really beyond our own personal reach? This can easily become the dominant feeling, in the face of individual powerlessness.
In the end, however, the mere fact of believing in your own power to make a critical difference might itself be the critical difference.
The one gift we can all offer is this quiet inner commitment, and an ongoing quest to join others to find all those small things which together make a big difference.
And in the end this connection need only be felt deeply - because if it is truly felt, even privately, then action based on that conviction will eventually be expressed, one way or another. That action need not even be consciously initiated.
It could even be said that this makes the whole thing a rather private matter, in its essence, meaning that there is no point in proclaiming it here loudly. Generally, any sort of 'preaching' only has a tendency to shut people down. And yet we might still share our own private thoughts at times, as we might if we were sitting around a campfire somewhere, under the stars, and in doing so maybe even find others who share those feelings likewise. So these are our own private thoughts, in that sense.
Ultimately, it really isn't that difficult to help open the way for nature to restore balance and harmony. It is just that all too often our actions feel wasted, especially if it is only us who takes a stand. We need to be part of some greater event.
Look closely, however, and you will see that all positive actions begin with that same primary ingredient - Awareness. And not only just awareness of an intellectual type - enjoyment and connection, to be immersed in nature, and to journey there. Especially with children.
The seeds of collective change will be planted and nurtured in the soil of individual awareness. And, in the end, this is all that it might take.
Sooner or later a great restoration will arise. And no matter what form it takes, it will ultimately need to be supported at a grass roots level if it is ever to be truly powerful and effective.
The bad news about this is that nobody can do this for us. The good news is that nobody can stop us from doing it.
PLANT A TREE?
Of course, direct action is also possible.
Planting a tree is not just a symbolic act. Did you know -
On average, a single broad leaf tree will absorb in the region of 1 tonne of carbon dioxide during its life-time. Meaning that if the average person planted seven trees per year they would be completely carbon neutral.
Global warming is not the only concern however. Habitat destruction is also of equal importance to the survival of many endangered species. In its life-time every tree will also be home and shelter to countless different species of bird, insect and reptile as part of an extremely sophisticated and dynamic process of interdependency.
Trees make forests, and forests set the stage for the entire drama of life to occur.
So while we could pledge to plant an Australian Rainforest tree for you here, there is really no point re-inventing the wheel. It is far more effective if you simply do that for yourself.
In this regard we proudly support -
They offer both planting programs, as well as direct purchase of land in the Daintree Rainforest region for the establishment of permanent and increasing ecological reserves.
For our part, and once we get going, our aim is also to be able to sponsor the Taronga Foundation - where every donation of $5,000 we make will be matched by $15,000 from the NSW State Government, for the protection of critically endangered species.
In the end, we choose to believe that merely believing we can make a difference might be all it takes to make a difference. Our task is to give voice to all those species that have no voice, and to fly a flag for them. Our products are just the vehicle - this is our true destination.
If you purchased one of these products - THANK YOU
You put wind in our sails. We hope it brings you many years of joy.