6 wise trees in film that kids (and adults) can learn from.


JUNE, 2017

By Jade Calder & Georgina Lockwood

They say the greatest oak was once just a little nut who held its ground. This lesson in resilience got us at Life Green Group thinking about the many other lessons that kids (and adults) can learn from trees. And which better trees to focus on than those wise and iconic characters from film? So, without further ado, here are 6 of our favourite trees from film that can guide kids and adults alike.

1. Grandmother Willow – Pocahontas

Grandmother Willow is a sentient willow tree that serves as an adviser to Pocahontas. She is depicted as being an ancient and wise figure. She can be comical at times and there is still snap in her old vines. Being a willow tree, many other animals make their home in her branches. Her advice?

“Listen with your heart and you will understand”

LESSON: Follow your heart.

2. The Whomping Willow – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Enter the circumference of the Whomping Willow on the Hogwarts grounds and you will get hit. The Whomping Willow was planted around the year 1971 to disguise the opening of a secret passage leading from the Hogwarts grounds to the Shrieking Shack in the village of Hogsmeade. It offered a hideaway for Remus Lupin, the werewolf, helping guard his secret identity during the full moon. The aggressive tree has a small knot near the base that all the Marauders knew about, that can be used to still the willful willow.

“Can you believe our luck? Of all the trees we could’ve hit, we had to get one that hits back”

LESSON: Guard your secrets.

3. Groot – Guardians of the Galaxy

Groot is a family tree, who natures and protects his hotchpotch alien family. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, Groot sacrificed himself in order to save his friends. In Vol. 2 Groot, now a seedling, needs to be taken care of, and now relies on his friends to take care of him.

“We are Groot” – Loosely translated to “We are a family”

LESSON: Family and friends are most important.

4. Treebeard – The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers

Words are like toothpaste, once they are out they can’t be taken back. One can always say too much, but you can seldom say too little. Treebeard only speaks when he has something important to say.

“You must understand, young Hobbit, it takes a long time to say anything in Old Entish. And we never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say.”

LESSON: Practice patience and choose your words carefully.

5. The Tree of Souls – Avatar

The Tree of Souls is the Na’vi’s  direct connection to Eywa (their deity). Eywa communicates with the Na’vi through the tree of souls, either via seeds or directly through the Na’vi’s nervous system. Avatar has a strong message about the importance of the natural environment and how humans and animals are all connected.

“They get to the Tree of Souls, it’s over. That’s their direct line to Eywa, their ancestors.’’

LESSON: Everything is connected.

6. The truffula trees – The Lorax

There are countless things in sustainability and socially responsible decision making that we can learn from Dr. Seuss, the Lorax and their Truffula trees. But perhaps the most important? A tree always fall the way it leans, so be careful which way you lean.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

LESSON: Be the change that you want to see.

Would you like to see more wise and inspiring trees on this beautiful planet of ours? Why not sponsor one to be planted in the name of a loved one.  

Women in Sustainability: Meet our Head of Programmes, Zoë Gauld-Angelucci

Women in Sustainability: Meet our Head of Programmes, Zoë Gauld-Angelucci

For this year’s Women’s Day in South Africa, we want to introduce a woman in sustainability who inspires us daily. After earning a Master’s degree in Development Studies, she joined Greenpop in 2014. When she is not heading up programmes across Sub-Saharan Africa, you can find her spending time with her family, tending to her garden, practising Italian, and searching for the best pizza in the Mother City. Get to know Zoë Gauld-Angelucci!

15 Things You Can Do To Make A Difference On World Environment Day

15 Things You Can Do To Make A Difference On World Environment Day

World Environment Day is organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and has been held annually since 1974. The goal of the day of action is to promote environmental awareness and draw attention to crucial concerns around our planet’s survival, that require active engagement and commitment. Today, the day represents one of the largest global platforms for environmental action, with millions of participants from around the world. Each World Environment Day focuses on a specific issue that reflects urgent problems and challenges of our time, such as climate change, biodiversity loss or pollution.

Greenpop Foundation NPC is a registered non-profit organisation. Registration Number (NPO): 151-411 NPO.

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