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Native tree charity brings some timber to Tinder

Conservation programme Trees That Count has launched a Valentine’s Day campaign featuring native trees looking for love on the dating app Tinder.
Three trees - Pōhutukawa, Kōwhai and Miro - will be on Tinder in the lead up to Valentine's Day chatting with New Zealanders about why native trees are important.

“One of our goals is to raise awareness of all of the reasons to love native trees, and it’s important to include younger people in that conversation,” says Chief Executive Adele Fitzpatrick, citing that while children and older people often get involved with conservation, younger New Zealanders seem less interested.

“We know that more than five per cent of New Zealanders are using Tinder, and the majority of those users are aged 18-34, so we decided to sign up some native trees and help them find love.”

The reception so far has been overwhelmingly positive, with Tinder users finding humour in the approach and asking lots of questions about native trees.

“One of our talking points is that pōhutukawa and rātā were almost extinct in the 1990s, and people have been shocked to hear that. It’s lead to some great conversations about native tree conservation, which is fantastic,” says Fitzpatrick.

Trees That Count is also encouraging people to gift a native tree on behalf of their loved one for Valentine’s Day instead of buying chocolates or flowers. Each gifted tree will go to a community planting project and help New Zealand’s environment.

“Over Christmas, we asked people to gift with our environment in mind and we were thrilled that New Zealanders rose to the challenge and gifted over 6,000 trees. We want to keep encouraging people to gift ethically for celebrations and milestones, and offer them an easy way to do that.”

Trees That Count is managed by Project Crimson, which has been leading native tree conservation in New Zealand for 30 years.

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