The TreeBox Project

An Initiative of Armenian Forests NGO

Supported by: Karuna Foundation, Indicum LLC, Round Table Foundation, Global Forest Coalition

Imagine a world where eating healthy and helping the environment go hand in hand. That's the world the TreeBox Project is creating.

The TreeBox Project is a unique initiative by Armenian Forests NGO that combines sustainable agriculture, environmental protection, and gender justice. It allows people to plant a forest in Armenia simply by ordering a box of healthy vegan food.

Most importantly, this project centers gender justice, and is run by an all-women team of eight staff members and 25 farmers. Every element that goes into a TreeBox is procured directly from women farmers and entrepreneurs.

The initiative is founded on 11 UN Sustainable Development Goals (1-5. 8, 11-13, 15, 17) - to reduce poverty and hunger, to improve the health and well-being of local communities, to create awareness and education about sustainable plant agriculture and building a more holistic relationship with the environment, to work towards gender equality, to improve responsible consumption and production, and to strengthen efforts towards climate change adaptation and mitigation.

TreeBox aims to:

~ reduce animal agriculture and consumption ~

~ conserve natural resources ~

~ promote ecological education ~

~ develop environmentally-friendly agritourism ~

~ support women farmers ~

~ be a resource-efficient and economical way to communicate the benefits of a vegan diet to a wide audience ~

~ contribute to afforestation and reforestation in Armenia ~

All photos in this essay were taken in different provinces in Armenia, by Armenian Forests NGO.

TreeBoxes come in three sizes, named after different trees - Maple (Small), Oak (Medium), and Pine (Large). This is the Oak Box, which is packed in an ecologically sustainable box, which has a mains, salad, bread, and juice in a returnable glass bottle. All the food is vegan and locally sourced from women farmers.

TreeBox’s objectives include reduction of animal agriculture and consumption of animal products by raising awareness to vegetarian healthy food, changing the mindset and attitudes towards healthy food, and promoting vegetarian agritourism.

Vegan goodness: The box of food that you receive when you order a TreeBox meal.

Seeds of life: Each TreeBox comes with a seed of a tree and a note: “Plant your tree”. This way, every meal is also an invitation for people to grow and nurture their own tree.

Sustainable cutlery: Each box comes with a bamboo fork, knife, and napkin.

The faces behind TreeBox: Local women farmer partners of the initiative.

Forests in the making: A bowl of seeds ready to be packed into TreeBoxes.

The younger generation joins in: Children learn about sustainable practices at the farms of local women partners.

A gift: Everyone who orders TreeBoxes for a month or more are gifted a metal fork, spoon and knife embossed with the TreeBox logo.

A complete meal: Natural juice in glass bottles with TreeBox labels.

The Pine Box: It comes with a soup. a main course, salad, bread, dessert, juice, and bamboo cutlery.

Innovative foods: TreeBox plays with contemporary ideas for making healthy food appealing to a large audience, with ideas like this vegan burrito.

Future Forests: When you order a TreeBox, the proceeds go to the Forest-Planting Fund of Armenian Forests NGO, which uses the money to plant trees twice a year. Here, the bi-annual tree-planting inititative of Armenian Forests NGO gathers to make a healthy forest in their region.

Promoting agrotourism: The TreeBox Project has found great success in Armenia. Here we see an order of vegan food ready to be sent to a picnic for tourists.

Instilling hope: Nazeli Vardanyan, Project Coordinator of the TreeBox Project and Chairperson of Armenian Forests NGO plants a tree.

A sustainable feast: An array of locally sourced vegan food at the launch of the TreeBox Project.

Multilateral support: Representatives of companies, NGOs, ministries and international organisations at the launch event.

Feminist vision: Karine Baghdasaryan, a representative of the Round Table Foundation and co-founder of TreeBox presented the gender component of the project at the launch.

Together We Can Plant a Forest in Armenia!: Yekaterina Koshkaryan, a representative of World Vision International; Nazeli Vardanyan, TreeBox Project Coordinator, and Naira Harutyunyan, TreeBox Project Manager at the launch event.

To download this photo essay in pdf format in English or Russian