How do you make conservation sexy? Simple. Put attractive, mostly naked men in a forest and take pictures of them.
Yup, just like that!
This photo is part of the Got Wood? conservation campaign.
The campaign was created by a nonprofit called Greenpop, which strives to “(re)connect people with the planet and have fun doing it,” according to their press release. Just based on the photo above, it’s pretty safe to say they’re definitely hitting both those goals.
Since 2010, Greenpop’s reforestation efforts have been substantial, managing to plant 69,000 trees across South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia. This month, with the help of their cheeky (literally) fundraising campaign, the organization hopes to increase that number by an additional 1,000 trees.
The idea was born out of a joke during a brainstorm session, Zoe Gauld, one of the group’s organizers, explained in an email.
“Our social media coordinator threw out the tag line ‘Got wood?’, and someone retorted ‘We do, but not enough’, and we realized that we had an opportunity to flip the script and create a humorous and educational parody of typical, sexualized advertising.”
The gentlemen Greenpop enlisted to model are all members of leading philanthropic groups.
The sexy photos are paired with fun facts about conservation that highlight the incredible power of trees.
Like Josh Ramsey, who gets why trees can reduce stress because he works for Upandcentered a group that offers yoga and meditation workshops.
And Khanya Mpahlwa, a member of Makhulu, who posed with a watering can a reminder of the work we need to do to counter the 80,000 acres of rainforest lost each day.
Like Rowan Pybus, who, when he isn’t cradling sunflowers in his lap, runs Sunshine Cinema a mobile solar-powered movie theater.
Like Kaspar Paur, who works for Faithful to Nature and is using that shovel to emphasize, uh, the importance of cutting back on products that further deforestation.
And like Sisa Ntshwaqela, a facilitator at the childhood development program Have Fun, who understands how planting trees can bring a community together.
Like pensive-looking bird lover Nick Fordyce, who teaches people how deforestation affects their populations as part of Birding Africa Tours.
And like Misha Teasdale, a Greenpop volunteer, who isn’t afraid to get his hands and other things dirty in the name of saving trees.
Not to mention the five members of No Danger Diaries, a guerilla-style social activist group, who work to stop the diminishing rainforests, with their smoldering stares.
And wheelbarrow-rollin’ Mpumelelo “Manqoba” Sefalane, who works with Dine with Khayelitsha and knows just how valuable one tree can be when it comes to producing fruit.
And Mattieu Theron and Tom Chevallier, of Sustainable Brothers and Sisters, who are holding onto our dwindling forests with their fierce “Thriller”-inspired moves.
Representing Reliance Compost, a self- sustaining compost farm, is Siyabulela “Siya” Sokomani who says he does dirty work, but it’s totally worth it.
Lest things get too serious, actor/comedian Rob Coutts warns that the dire consequences of deforestation will make his “willow weep” if you know what he means.
Even dudes from non-tree-based organizations are participating in the campaign. Like Dave Van Beuningen, of Shark Spotters, who usually works with oceanic creatures, which is probably why he’s looking for a way out of the rainforest in his photo.
And Unathi Dyanti of Tyisa Nabanye, who is thrilled to have found his watering can so he can continue his work at the nonprofit urban agriculture organization.
And Devon Concar, team member on TEDx Cape Town, who is casually letting it all hang out so he can tell you that only 10% of forests are protected from deforestation worldwide.
And Tony Budden of Hemporium, who is wearing this season’s colors tree bark and leaves to remind us to stay away from synthetic clothes.
And since Shongo Sonti is on the Youth Advisory Panel of the UNFPA, he totally gets why green spaces are good for child development.
And bear hat-wearing Liam Brickhill of The Book Cafe wants people to remember that our heritages (bearitages?) are directly linked to trees.
Craig Makhosi Charnock of Ubuntu Bridge created his version of the classic “Thinker” pose to remind us that it doesn’t take a genius to see that trees should be available to everyone, no matter their economic status.
And last, but not least, Brett Thompson of Fry’s Family Foods bares it all while munching on an apple a reminder to eat fruits and vegetablesbecause the meat industry is responsible for a lot of rainforest deforestation.
So far Greenpop’s risqu and hilarious campaign appears to be working.
The group has raised just under half of their goal so far, but plan to release a calendar of the photos to help make up the difference. They’ll even help you embark on your own conservationist mission, if you’d rather get creative with your donation.
Behind the Got Wood? models is a serious message: Global deforestation is real. We lose 46,000-58,000 square miles of forest each year, which is about 48 football fields every minute, according to the World Wildlife Organization.
Any opportunity you can take to give back and help the reforestation efforts is worthwhile, because soon, there truly won’t be enough left.
Read more: www.upworthy.com