In the extensive history of environmental activism, the term “tree-hugging” stands as a symbol of love and devotion to nature. But did you know its origins trace back to the Chipko movement of 1970s and ’80s India?

During this time, local communities in India, led by courageous women known as Chipko activists, embraced trees to protest against deforestation. By hugging the trees slated for logging, they effectively shielded them from the saws of destruction, sparking a global movement for forest conservation.

But despite its noble beginnings, “tree-hugging” has often been used in a derogatory manner, to describe someone who is foolish or annoying because of being too concerned about placing the welfare of trees, animals, and other parts of the natural world above human needs and interests. However, as we reflect on the Chipko movement and its impact, we see that tree-hugging actually embodies a powerful act of environmental stewardship and love for our planet and over time, the term has been reclaimed as a badge of honor, symbolizing a deep commitment to protecting our natural world.

At The Nature Collective, we celebrate the spirit of tree-hugging in all its forms, including here in our virtual world as well as in our real lives, where diverse landscapes abound and there are countless trees just waiting for a hug. We invite you to join us in honoring the legacy of the Chipko activists and preserving our natural world for generations to come. Together, let’s embrace our inner tree-hugger and show some love to the magnificent trees that are all around us.

“Nerdy for Nature” is a new blog segment by Emm Evergarden, founder of The Nature Collective SL, which highlights various nature topics and nature in the news. She hopes you enjoy all of her nerdy musings and carry the info that you might learn, within your day-to-day lives – doing your part to be a steward and caretaker of the Earth and all its inhabitants.

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