You may have noticed a new item called the “Forest Smoothie” at some of Bali’s beloved cafes, but did you know you’re helping save Indonesia’s forests when you order the drink?
Forest Smoothie is the name of a Bali-based project, which claims to be the world’s first reforestation project for the F&B industry. The project’s founder, Philip Dickenson, told Coconuts that they have partnered with over 30 cafes and restaurants in seven countries in the past year, some of which should be familiar to those of us living on the island. They include Lazy Cats and Sayuri Healing Food in Ubud, as well as The Shady Shack and Two Trees Eatery in Canggu.
The beverage itself differs depending on where you are. The forest smoothie at Whale and Co in Seminyak, for example, is made of dragon fruit, frozen banana, and homemade almond milk; whereas the one at The Shady Shack is made of spirulina, spinach, kale, mint, broccoli, banana, passionfruit, coconut nectar, maca, turmeric, and almond milk.
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Dickenson explained that each time a customer buys a Forest Smoothie from their partner establishments, the project plants a tree or protects an acre of rainforest in Indonesia.
“So far, we have planted nearly 10,000 trees in Borneo and protected nearly 2,000 acres of primary rainforest in Sumatra,” Dickenson said in a statement.
In addition, Forest Smoothie said they funded a school for 100 indigenous children in West Borneo, aiming to teach the kids traditional and scientific knowledge to help nurture their environmental conscience.
Reforestation is a crucial effort to mitigate climate change across the globe and especially in Indonesia. The Southeast Asian country is one of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters and highly susceptible to the impacts of climate change.
Forest Smoothie recently launched a new campaign called #Letsgrow Sunday, which urges donors to plant one tree every week for US$2. You can read more about the campaign here.
While forests definitely play a role in solving the climate crisis, we shouldn’t forget that other efforts — such as tackling fossil fuel pollution and stopping deforestation — need to be part of the ongoing global effort. Furthermore, there’s a growing body of research pointing to the importance of supporting and securing the rights of indigenous peoples whose lands are often threatened by industries and governments, when they’re the communities who have protected those same lands.
Read more news and updates from Bali here.