In January 2016, Plant In The Air began making monthly donations (a portion of our proceeds) to the Rainforest Alliance's TREES (Training, Extension, Enterprises and Sourcing) program. TREES works from the bottom up to provide local enterprises, such as tropical plant suppliers and other forest-based businesses, with access to training, resources, and techniques for sustainable farming practices. To read more about how TREES supports the ecosystems to which air plants and many other exotic and ecologically vital species are native, follow this link: http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/work
By supporting the efforts of the TREES program, we hope to give back and help protect the biomes in which Tillandsia and other bromeliads were originally discovered and collected. Today, strict international laws regulate the export and trade of Tillandsia air plants, and prohibit the collection of Tillandsias from the wild. Still, because most air plants sold in the U.S. are produced in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and other South and Central American countries, it is critical to use sustainable farming practices and protect the native habitat that supports not only our favorite plants, but also the rich ecosystem into which they are inextricably woven.
Currently, The Convention on International Trade in endangered species of wild flora and fauna (CITES) has identified 4 species of Tillandsia that are endangered, most likely due to the overcollection of these plants in their natural habitat. These species include:
For a look at all endangered flora and fauna, check out the list at www.speciesplus.net