Misha & Lauren Teasdale from Greenpop have dedicated their lives to getting active (not anxious) and promoting positive environmentalism through their organisation, Greenpop.

In 2010, Misha was traveling around the world doing a media job with his friend Rowan Pybus. They racked up a lot of carbon emissions – about 360 000 air miles worth – and wanted to do something real about it, something big.

At a dinner party in Cape Town shortly afterwards, the idea was fleshed out and in September 2010, Misha, Lauren and 10 friends set themselves the challenge of planting 1000 trees in one month. They succeeded; the phone wouldn’t stop ringing and the idea that this could work as a social enterprise began to form – individuals and companies wanted to get involved in tree-planting and they believed they could creatively make that happen.

A short while later, Misha and Lauren Teasdale and one of the first 10 friends, Jeremy Hewitt (a.k.a. Jeremy Loops) officially founded Greenpop, on the basis that with passion and horsepower, anything is possible.

The organisation grew organically and now, 11 years after its birth, they have planted over 150 000 trees, hosted over 550 workshops and events, planted 10 school fynbos gardens, painted 26 nature-themed murals, won a plethora of awards, appeared in countless media articles and implemented projects for WWF, IUCN and other international NGOs.

" If we fall in love with nature, we will naturally protect it. We are nature, not separate from it,”

- Lauren

Lauren and Misha Teasdale with their son

Their Vision
A TREEvolution – a world where people and nature thrive together.

Their Mission
They’re on a mission to plant trees, green communities and empower environmental stewards across Sub-Saharan Africa.

They work to restore ecosystems and empower environmental stewards through forest restoration, urban greening, food gardens and environmental awareness. But their approach is what sets them apart – their work is impactful,measured and aligned with global goals but it’s also full of fun. It attracts thousands of people from all walks of life and invites them to reconnect with nature.

Their Offerings
Greenpop has two entities: The Greenpop Foundation and Greenpop Experiences. Through The Greenpop Foundation they run various projects under four themes with the following goals:

Forest restoration
Goal: To restore and protect forest ecosystems across Sub-Saharan Africa using an integrated ecosystem restoration and sustainable development approach.

Urban greening
Goal: To increase urban green space and nature appreciation in cities through indigenous gardening and environmental education.

Food gardens
Goal: To increase access to fresh produce for communities in urban and rural areas through community gardens, backyard gardens, and permaculture gardens.

Environmental awareness
Goal: To increase environmental awareness, stewardship, and collective action amongst individuals, communities, organisations, businesses, and government bodies globally. Through Greenpop Experiences, they run festivals, expeditions and school camps. Some are tailor made to suit the group and two are annual events:

The Reforest Fest: a weekend gathering of approximately 700 people coming together to plant up to 7000 trees, enjoy local live music, camp out, attend sustainability workshops and more.

The Eden Festival of Action: an immersive experience where people come and “live sustainability” for a week in the beautiful Eden district of South Africa, with nature-based activities and workshops every day, delicious plant-based food, film screenings, talks and physical activity.

Their Approach
Greenpop believes that climate change should be seen not only as an environmental issue, but also as an issue of social justice in South Africa — and that without a focus on mitigating and adapting to climate change, social and economic development gains will be short-lived. In 2020, Greenpop set an ambitious goal to plant 500 000 trees by 2025 and one million trees by 2030.

Their ambitions are made possible by centering their work around people. They believe in making greening POPular in order to achieve far-reaching goals. Countless volunteers, friends, family and community members have helped to build Greenpop into a movement. “You can’t achieve everything on your own. Building a team and strong community is so important for long-term success,” says Misha.

Some 2021 Accolades
• Greenpop was named an official supporting partner of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021 – 2030 (https://www. decadeonrestoration.org/partners)
• Their Uilenkraal Valley Ecosystem Restoration Project was chosen as one of the Founding 50 restoration initiatives for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (https://implementers.decadeonrestoration. org/implementers)
• Two team members were named as winners in the Mail & Guardian Greening the Future Awards. Category: Preservation of Natural Habitats
• Greenpop won silver in the Eco-Logic Awards Eco Innovation category for their Family Food Gardens Project in collaboration with Urban Harvest
• They were awarded grant funding from the British Council for an in-real-life and virtual reality environmental art project in collaboration with Cooperative Innovations on the impacts of plastic resulting in the creation of a virtual Museum of Plastic

“Beyond project deliverables, I have learned enough about Greenpop to recognise it as a values-based organisation dedicated to the betterment of our world. I do not hesitate to recommend Greenpop as a capable and committed conservation partner.” ~ Head of Urban Alliance – IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)

The Greenpop Foundation NPC has displayed high levels of accountability, integrity, honesty and dedication to their project and have proven their ability to deliver a high standard of work and conduct sound financial management. ~ Manager of The Table Mountain Fund

Greenpop’s 8th company value sums them up well:
DO great things: Don’t just talk about them. Innovate, activate and make great things happen! Now is the time for action. Have the courage to contribute. Show us your magic.


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