What do you get when you combine yoga, $1 and an uploaded photo? Maybe a step towards the end of deforestation.
At least that’s the hope of Annette Cain, founder of the Plant a Tree Pose movement. Inspired to get the word out about global deforestation in a fun, impactful way, endurance athlete Annette has sent out a call for photos from around the world asking people to “Plant a Tree Pose” for the environment. Participants can upload pictures of themselves in the basic yoga stance to plantatreepose.com, accompanied by a $1 donation, and are guaranteed a spot on the six-story photomosaic to be unveiled on the side of a New York City building on Earth Day 2016.
To find out more about the lofty campaign to gather one million pictures in the next 10 months, we spoke with Annette about the genesis of the project, her motivation and what other exciting ideas she has brewing for the future.
Tell me a little about how this project got started.
I am very passionate about inspiring others to take care of their bodies and the earth; my mission is to make physical movements for a better world. So I’m always thinking of ways I can take an issue or a cause and get people involved, make it fun and make it involve movement.
Why is it important to take a holistic approach to resolving environment crises – one that combines the health of our bodies with the health of the planet?
First off, I think we need to wake up call. The Climate Summit in New York was part of the impetus for me with this movement – seeing what they’re doing and realizing that we need to do something now before it’s too late.
Holistically speaking, when we take a moment to be aware of something and put movement with it, it can inspire us to action. I thought this would be a fun way for people to feel like they’re doing something to better the world and create a really cool piece of art, too.
Why commemorate this particular movement with art?
I ran a marathon in Las Vegas a few years back where they did a poster that was a photo mosaic of all us runners, pieced together to make an
image of the jack of diamonds. My thought was, why can’t people from all over the world come together in this photomosaic for the health of the planet? I just was so fortunate that the man who invented the process, Robert Silvers, thought the idea was great and wanted to help.
How do you see social media affecting the environmental movement?
I think it’s a critical piece to spreading the word around the world. Technology has been great in that it has made our world small. We can see things happening in the world that we weren’t even aware of before. It’s probably a little hard to do a tree-pose selfie, but being able to take a picture of yourself and upload it and then become a part of this mosaic – that’s really cool!
What has made you so invested in environmental issues?
I grew up in Belize. I was a barefoot kid – everything was about being outside, being creative and just being surrounded by the beauty of nature. Then I went UC Davis where I majored in Nutrition but minored in Environmental Toxicology. I had to do a project where I had to trace something back to petroleum and I chose the fake crab meat with the red dye sold in stores. It turns out basically anything with red dye 40 is petroleum based. That was a real wakeup call for me.
I’m turning 50 this year and all my decade goals I do just crazy big. My 30th I did an Iron Man, my 40th I ran 100 miles, and so for 50 I thought I’d do something a little gentler on my body! I’m going to be swimming 50 miles around the world – one-mile stretches in 50 different conservation hot spots. My goal is to raise 50 million dollars to clean up the plastics polluting the waters.
To read more about the Plant a Tree Movement, upload your photo, and find out what Annette has in store next, visit plantatreepose.com and agelesswithannette.com.