Conservatory Outlet's Charity Work Creates Ripples

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Conservatory Outlet has been supporting the tree planting activities of Ripple Africa in Malawi, and Matthew Glover (the MD of Conservatory Outlet - supplier of conservatories and double glazing) has now helped with the establishment of Inspired By People a charity supporting projects in Nepal, India and Malawi.

“Trees in Malawi are being cut down at an alarming rate,” reported Matthew on his return to the UK. “An area of forest the size of a football pitch is cut down every 10 minutes.”

Conservatory Outlet is helping to reverse the effects of deforestation in the African country of Malawi by regularly donating to the charity Ripple Africa.

Matthew recently jetted off to Malawi on a self-funded trip to ensure that the money his company is donating to Ripple Africa is being spent wisely. “Trees in Malawi are being cut down at an alarming rate,” reported Matthew on his return to the UK. “An area of forest the size of a football pitch is cut down every 10 minutes.”

Matthew described the situation as complex, and pointed out that if nothing is done about it, Malawi could be treeless within 30 years. The country’s government is doing very little about the problem, and Ripple Africa is the only NGO (non-governmental organisation) involved in any kind of reforestation scheme.

Conservatory Outlet is funding 20 separate nurseries in the region (out of a total of 100), with the tree planting project centred in Nkhata Bay District, Malawi – an area of 4,000km2, which is about the size of Kent. Each tree nursery nurtures around 3,000 seedlings around the July/August period with Ripple Africa supplying the tubes, pesticides, tools and expertise to these communities.

Ripple Africa is planting a combination of indigenous, exotic, and fruit trees. The main aims of the project are:

  • to provide sustainable timber in woodlots for firewood, building
  • to restore degraded land by planting indigenous trees
  • to provide additional food using fruit trees and nitrogen-fixing trees
  • to help conserve existing forests.

“Planting trees is a practical way to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, so we feel this partnership is a good way to help fight climate change, while at the same time helping very poor people alleviate poverty and develop local sustainable livelihoods,” Matthew explained.

Ripple Africa has enabled local communities in Malawi to plant over three million trees since 2006, and it is estimated that they will absorb at least 90,000 tonnes of carbon. This would offset the annual carbon emissions of at least 9,000 people living in the West.

The partnership with Ripple Africa is just one part of an environmental policy Conservatory Outlet (a supplier of PVCu conservatories) has put in place, which also includes policies to reduce its carbon footprint, and pioneering the sale of A Rated Energy Efficient Windows. “I would be keen to talk to anybody from within the UK double glazing industry who is keen to get involved and help financially,” Matthew said. “It would be great to think that our industry adopted a tree planting and conservation initiative in this part of the world, by helping Ripple Africa in its work.”

Ripple Africa is among a handful of charities supported by Conservatory Outlet, via the umbrella charity ‘ Inspired by People ’, which was co-founded by Matthew Glover. Other beneficiaries include Heal UK, which helps children in South India, and Kopila Nepal, which helps children and communities affected by armed conflict in the region.

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