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December - Tree Update

December - Tree Update

We can't quite believe it, another festive season is here and we've reached the last month of a year that I think everyone will remember for a very long time.  Through the highs and lows of 2020 one thing has been constant here at Drifting Bear HQ, your support in helping us to plant trees around the world that make a true difference to our planet.

This month your orders will go towards planting trees in the Amazon Rainforest, home to almost 30% of plant and animal species on Earth, so a pretty important place to protect!

Between 15 and 17 percent of the Amazon rainforest has been lost, and if the amount of cleared forest land reaches 25 percent, there won't be enough trees cycling moisture through the rainforest. That will cause the rainforest to dry out and degrade into a savanna.

Working with local farmers this tree planting project will help protect the Amazon's biodiverse environment which plays a critical role in the fight against climate change around the world.

A big thank you again to every customer who has ordered with us this year, we hope that however you are spending this festive season, you and your family are well and looking forward to a positive 2021!

 

 

© Image One Tree Planted

 

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November - Tree Update

November - Tree Update

With only two months left to go of this year, we're set on making them good ones! Something bringing a smile to our faces each day is the thought of your orders helping to create a difference all across the world.

This month we will be working with our partners to plant trees in Brazil. The Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlantica), once spanned 130 million hectares across Brazil, but due to deforestation for timber, sugar cane, coffee and urbanisation, it now covers only 12% of its original area.

Being one of the top five priority conservation areas in the world, it is home to over 20,000 species of plant and 2,000 animal species. On top of protecting the wildlife, planting trees in this tropical rainforest ecosystem will also help to restore critical watersheds, providing clean air and water to the 120+ people who now live in and around the Atlantic Forest. 

We'd like to send each one of you a big virtual hug to say thank you for your endless support. We hope you're all doing okay, and that this brings a small piece of positivity to your day! ✨

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World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day

As we approach the last part of the year I think it's fair to say that 2020 has been a bit of a rollercoaster! Feelings of fear, anxiety and concern mixed in with relief and hope have left us all feeling rather exhausted here at the Drifting Bear so we think it's important, more than ever, to focus on maintaining good mental wellbeing.

10th October 2020 is World Mental Health Day so we wanted to share some useful tips for keeping your mental health in check during these uncertain times, they have helped us out and we hope they bring you some comfort too...

1. Sleep - As tempting as it is in these times of non stop news and information, getting a good nights sleep is vital to allow your body and mind to recharge.  

2. Exercise - It doesn't have to be a marathon, just simply going for a walk around your neighbourhood will help relieve stress.

3. Hobbies - Always wanted to learn an instrument or fancied knitting all your Christmas presents this year? Now is the perfect time to give something new a go, not only will it help occupy your mind but it will boost your confidence too!

4. Nature - Go for a walk along the coast or just a wander in your local park, being out in the fresh air and enjoying nature will help give a fresh perspective on your day.

5. Socialising - It's still possible to be social whilst being socially distant.  Find the time to connect with family and friends by arranging phone calls, video chats or perhaps be a bit more old school and write a letter! Not only will the connection make you feel better, it will make your friends and family feel great too!

We are donating £1 from each sale of our new range of mindful mugs to the mental health charity Mind. If you know someone who is in need of a little boost (and some tea!) please do go check out the range.

We'd love to hear how you have been keeping positive during these difficult times so do get in touch.

 

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October - Tree Update

October - Tree Update
We are back again this month with an update on where the trees from all your lovely orders will be planted!  Despite some distinctly Autumnal weather starting to creep in here in the UK it hasn't stopped us thinking about much warmer areas of the world that desperately need our help.
This month your orders will plant trees in Uganda.  The Albertine Rift within Uganda is a hugely biodiverse part of the world and the forest restoration that will be done here will aid in maintaining the habitat of our closest wildlife relative - chimpanzees!
As always, a huge thank you to each and every one of our customers, your support allows us to give back to the environment in such a special way.  We would also like to say a big thank you and hello to anyone who has visited and supported our new venture, Roam, our bricks and mortar shop in our home town of Teignmouth, Devon.

 

 

* Image courtesy of 'One Tree Planted'

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Thinking Of You

Thinking Of You

This week (21st-27th September) is Thinking Of You Week so we wanted to celebrate this with a special offer as we know that life isn't always about the "big" events. We spend a lot of time designing gifts for weddings, birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries etc. but know that sometimes, none of these things are happening and you just want to reach out and let someone know you care with a thoughtful gift.

Our Thinking Of You collection brings together some designs that help show that special someone you have them on your mind. Maybe they have recently moved away from family or friends, had a spell of illness, or are experiencing some stress in their lives, the smallest of gifts can brighten a day.

From some of our best selling designs like the Hug Across The Miles Cushion, to  our larger gifts such as the Hugging Arms Across The Miles Blanket (we're all about the hugs here at Drifting Bear HQ!) we hope there is something for everyone.

Check out some of the highlights below but for the full collection of designs head over to our Thinking Of You section here.  

For a limited time we are offering a 10% discount on all the designs featured in this  collection.  To receive this offer simply use code HERE4U at the checkout.  Offer available until 11:59pm GMT 27th September.

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September - Tree Update

September - Tree Update

As the season shifts into Autumn and we prepare for the last few busy months of the year, we'd like to share which area of the world your orders have been helping to save this month.

Thanks to your continued support, we are able to work with our reforestation partners to plant trees in the Philippines. Over the last century, the Philippines has suffered a devastating amount of deforestation, mainly due to illegal logging activities. Heartbreakingly, this means the forest coverage has gone from 70% down to just 20% today. 

With the help of your orders, Bamboo will be planted in Bukidnon, Mindanao. This will aid in restoring water cycles, preventing erosion, and reducing catastrophic flooding in the region. Thanks to it's regenerative and fast-growing nature, the bamboo planted will support the local economy and provide jobs to indigenous and impoverished communities.

As always, we are so grateful for every single order we receive, so thank you so much. Don't forget to do a little happy dance too... you're helping to restore the planet!

 

* Image courtesy of 'One Tree Planted'

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March to August - Tree Update

March to August - Tree Update

Well, the world went a little crazy and in the midst of lockdown a few things got put on hold while we juggled keeping the business going and looking after our little one (as well as dealing with the anxieties that come along with a Global Pandemic...).

Keeping you up to date with where our trees will eventually be planted was unfortunately one of the things that got pushed to one side - however the trees will still be planted and the good news is, that with lots of people stuck at home, online sales saw a boost - including ours! Thank you so much to anyone who ordered over the past few months. It really was a scary time for this little business, but thankfully we were able to continue thanks to your incredible support.

 

🌱 March - Indonesia

The trees from sales during March will be planted in Indonesia. Indonesia is home to magnificent rainforests, carbon-rich peatlands, and diverse wildlife like orangutans, proboscis monkeys, sun bears, and over 1,700 species of birds. Our trees will help to restore a biodiversity hotspot that has experienced profound degradation due to palm oil plantation, peat fires, and extensive logging. Planting will gradually restore the ecosystem, improve habitat for biodiversity, sequester carbon, and fight climate change. It will also provide local farmers with livelihood, reducing deforestation pressure and allowing them to reap long-term benefits.

 

🌱 April - Honduras

Honduras has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. Since 1990, around 45% of its natural forests have disappeared. Given global patterns of deforestation, food production, and climate change, hotspots are under constant threat. Within the forestlands of the mountainous Nombre de Dios region, illegal logging and land use change for the commercial production of African palm-oil and livestock are commonplace. In addition, Honduras’ western dry corridor region is highly vulnerable to extreme weather events, including increasing temperatures and prolonged drought. Rural coffee farmers have thus been forced to move production areas to higher altitudes, clearing (often protected) forestlands and harming the country’s vital water systems in the process. Exotic hardwoods and shade-dependent cacao plants will be planted as a result of ordering with us during April.


🌱 May - Ghana

Since the early 1990s, Ghana has lost more than 30% of its forests – approximately 2.5 million hectares. With a remarkable 80% of Ghanaians depending on forests for their livelihoods, deforestation has a major impact on communities. The trees will be planted in north-east Ghana where rapid desertification is caused by deforestation and close proximity to the Sahara and Sahel deserts. Improving forest health in these areas will bolster soil nutrition, improve local hydrological function, and create a positive social and economic impact for nearby communities. The trees for this project even come from a nearby nursery, creating jobs and supporting the local economy.


🌱 June - Uganda

Uganda has a rapidly growing population, which is putting a great deal of stress on the country's forests by increasing demand for firewood, pushing agricultural expansion, and expanding land settlement. As a result, Uganda now has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. Our partners are working with local farmers in Western Uganda, which now experiences one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. Our trees planted here will provide sustainable food and income for land owners by growing fruits, nuts, and medicines. These trees will be rigorously monitored and cared for as they will eventually be used to generate carbon offsets - meaning your trees will last a long, long time!

A variety of trees will be planted in the affected area based on the needs of specific planting sites. Species include Pinus Patula, Pine, Gravellia, Orange, Teak, Cyprus, Mango, Omusizi, and Plum.

 

🌱 July - California

Five years of drought and a large-scale bark beetle infestation have seriously damaged California’s forests. 2017’s record-breaking wildfire season burned more than 1.3 million acres – an area the size of Delaware. Now, a record 129 million trees need to be restored in California. Improved vegetation planning and resource management will be promoted to help reduce the risk of catastrophic fires and floods in the region. 

 

🌱 August - Kenya

Kenya’s Kijabe Forest is a highland mosaic ‘Afro-alpine’ forest that was once dominated by trees, such as the East African pencil-cedar and African olive. Roughly one-third of the original high-canopy forest still stands and provides important habitat for biodiversity. The forest is only about 5,000 hectares, but a community of almost 200,000 people depend on it for water, wood, and agriculture. Increasing pressure for land poses significant threats to the region, leading to the over-extraction of resources and illegal timber harvesting. Planting trees here will help protect this vital ecosystem, promote environmental education, and foster sustainable livelihoods through seed collection and ecotourism.


Thanks again for your support and for helping us to save this beautiful planet of ours. Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up to date with where our future trees will be planted.

Much love! ❤️

 

* Image courtesy of 'One Tree Planted'

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Working From Home Tips

Well, the last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. The UK has been on lockdown now for just over 2 weeks and many of us are working from home. We're probably a bit late with this post, but better late than never right?

David and I spent 8 years running the business from home, so thought we could help by giving you our top tips. Of course, it's a whole different ball game if you have children (and no childcare!). If any of you are struggling to adapt, and finding working from home tricky, we hope these tips help.

⭐️Get dressed - As tempting as it might be to stay in your pyjamas, you will be more productive if you are dressed for work. By all means wear casuals, but keep pj's for bed. It's important to differentiate between work and bedtime.

⭐️Wear shoes - I know that sounds odd, but it's a good way to differentiate between work time and home time. Once the shoes come off at the end of the day, it's time to relax.

⭐️Have a designated work space - Try and have a work space away from where you usually relax. Sit at a table if possible. If your only option is on the sofa, sit the opposite end to where you would usually sit and don't put on the TV - it'll be too much of a distraction.

⭐️Work near a window - If possible, try and sit near a window to work. The sunlight will be a natural mood enhancer and help brain function.

⭐️Take a proper lunch break - Now, we're as guilty as anyone for not doing this, but it helps so much. Just taking the time out to go and prepare food is sometimes enough of a break, but try and sit and eat away from your computer if you can (again guilty!) and even better, sit in your back garden or even your doorstep, if the sun is shining, to get some vitamin D. 

⭐️Remove distractions - We know we need to connect with our friends and family more than ever right now, but unless your job involves social media, avoid it. It's far too easy to get lost in the scroll and before you know it you've spent an hour looking at memes. Don't have Facebook or Instagram tabs open on your computer and set your phone to silent. Instead of being alerted to the fact you have a message, you will be able to check your phone at a convenient time.

⭐️Take breaks - We're lucky that we have a little dog who let's us know when he needs letting out and in doing so gets us away from our desks for a couple of minutes. If you're starting to get brain fog, go and make a drink or spend 5 minutes in the garden (or in an open doorway or near an open window). 

⭐️Combine housework with breaks - Bit of a weird one, but if you're working from home it's important for 'home' to feel organised too. If you have a load of washing to do, pop it in the machine before starting work. When it's finished, have a break to peg it out on the washing line (or clothes horse if it's in a different room to where you are working). You'll get to have a break, get some fresh air and also feel better knowing that you you've tackled some housework.

 

Now, all of these things go out of the window a little if you have littles to look after too!

David and I have only just started to get into the swing of working from home and looking after a three year old. We're now taking it in turns to work alternate days*. One of us will work while the other looks after our son. Yes, it means we're working half the hours we usually do, but having a full day to get your head down and get work done is so important. It's equally as important to us to have that quality time with our little boy.

(*also working during his nap times and sometimes when he's asleep at night... or with him sat on my lap while he watches Blippi, Paw Patrol or Shimmer and Shine...!).

If you are struggling, please remember, we're not just working from home - we're trying to work from home during a global pandemic - there is a HUGE difference.

I hope you find at least one of these tips helpful. If you have any tips for working with a little one, we'd love to hear them! Please leave a comment below if you have any suggestions.

Much love and stay safe.

Tx

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Celebrating World Book Day

Celebrating World Book Day

One of the greatest's joys to share with the little ones in your life is the joy of reading and here at The Drifting Bear we love nothing more than snuggling down with a good book! This World Book Day (5th March) we will be picking out some of our favourite stories to enjoy throughout the day.

Sharing a story with children of any age is such a great way to promote learning, play and imagination... also, who doesn't enjoy putting on a silly voice?!

Our love of books naturally lead to the creation of two of our favourite cushion designs for children, our Bedtime Story Bear Cushion and the Child's Story Book Cushion. They celebrate that special time of day when you pick out a book, snuggle up close and let the magic of storytelling unfold.

Whether your tastes are more old school (some classic Dr Suess rhymes) or modern (there's no such thing as a Gruffalo... right?), we would urge everyone to find a spare 5 minutes in their hectic day to settle down and share a good book.

What are your favourite books to read to your little ones? Let us know below so we can check them out.

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International Women's Day

International Women's Day

On 8th March we celebrate International Women’s Day, a date that has become more celebrated in recent years, and deservedly so.

Last year we had the honour of taking part in a collaboration between The Princes Trust and Not On The High Street as part of their Women Supporting Women Campaign.  During this collaboration we created a blanket design with an empowering feminist message…"Here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them".  It is a quote that has resonated with us ever since so we did not want to let this year’s International Women’s Day pass without highlighting its importance again.  This year we have taken those powerful words and created a bold and beautiful print to highlight them, we hope you like it and find it as uplifting to look at as we do!

Although the statistics suggest that opportunities for women are improving it is still worrying to us to hear that, last year, approximately 388,000 women were not in employment, education or training. 

It can be difficult to know how best to help personally when faced with such statistics but here at Drifting Bear HQ we do our best in our day to day lives by ensuring that we reach out to colleagues, friends and family in the most inclusive way possible.

Our own workforce is made up of some super talented and inspiring women and we love supporting other businesses who also promote equal opportunities within their workplaces, both small and large, locally and internationally.  

Happy International Women's Day to all the strong women out there and to the men who support and lift them up.

 

 

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Recent posts
December - Tree Update
November - Tree Update
World Mental Health Day
October - Tree Update
Thinking Of You