Have you ever wondered, every time you buy a greetings card, what the cost is? Prices vary enormously but the half decent ones are upwards of a £2. But, what's the real cost? Not to your pocket, but to the planet. Unless the card is recycled, or from sustainable sources, who is also paying for your card? The environment? For sure. Local communities? Probably. Wildlife? Maybe. This was the dilemma that Soph and Pete grappled with when they wanted to start their business. So, they came up with a solution and Little Difference was born. Says Pete:
"We didn't want to feel like we were benefiting with our business at the expense of others or the planet. We wanted to have a positive impact, not just a neutral one. We wanted any success we had to also benefit the planet so that we can feel good about what we achieve."
Soph is a talented graphic designer. Her designs are quite simply beautiful and their range of greetings cards and stationery products are lovely. And for every single product they sell, they plant one tree. Their tag line is 1 card = 1 tree. So, purchasing just one item means that 1 tree is planted, protected and raised to maturity for permanent reforestation.
Soph and Pete are helping to reverse deforestation in the world. We need trees more than ever right now to reduce CO2, give us oxygen to breath and provide habitat for other species.
They focus on native forests being re-established in areas where they are needed most and have now paid for the planting of 2,500 trees in Ethiopia and 47,500 more in Madagascar - 50,000 trees in total.
All this is overseen by the external charity to ensure planting happens as it is promised, no corruption is present and that the new forests are protected. The new forests are now the source of livelihood for surrounding communities so they seek to protect the trees rather than chop them down.
So, Soph and Pete are living their vision and they have one piece of advice for anyone else thinking of doing the same.
"Just get stuck in and connect with people, you'll be surprised how many people out there want to help."
This is an easy one. Just buy their products. Everyone I know will be receiving one of their cards next year for their birthday. And, every time I send one of these cards, maybe the recipient will be inspired to buy them too. The ripple effect is real.
And, as Seth Godin says. "That’s how the world changes. By drips. Persistent, generous, tiny drips."