2020 was a year full of disappointments, for everyone. Not just those of us in New Zealand but worldwide.
Cancelled weddings, cancelled events, and postponed overseas trips … but Tourism New Zealand is hoping to “turn those sour lemons into sweet lemonade” and start 2021 off on a positive note.
Tourism New Zealand wants people from across the globe to share their misfortunes and disappointments of 2020 online, almost like the digital version of scribbling it on a piece of paper and incinerating it. For every disappointment shared, people are then invited to put a positive spin on their situation by donating a tree in the Forest of Hope.
Exchange your disappointments for a native tree and
watch it grow into a forest of hope,
one seed at a time.
I know it’s weird, believe me, I know… but the clip put together by the team at Tourism New Zealand definitely gives me the warm fuzzies. I imagine people donating trees for family members overseas and inviting them to come ‘see for themselves‘ this Forest of Hope once travel restrictions ease. I imagine that scene from Love Actually … you know, at the airport arrivals gate, all those joyous reunions.
The Forest of Hope is a joint venture between Tourism New Zealand and conservation charity Trees That Count, which will see a fantastic range native trees, including Kauri, Manuka, Kawakawa, Rata and Tōtara planted in Queenstown and Northland. See a full list of the trees here
In Queenstown native trees will be planted along the iconic Queenstown Bike Trail which runs alongside Lake Wakatipu connecting Queenstown, Arrowtown and Gibbston, in a reserve that is a world class example of native regeneration and biodiversity restoration.
Further north trees will be added to the Waipoua Forest in Northland, 45km north of Dargaville, where the mighty Tāne Mahuta, New Zealand’s largest kauri tree stands proudly. Waipoua is the Department of Conservations 9,105 hectare Kauri Forest Sanctuary, a magnificent subtropical forest that is apparently home to rare New Zealand flora and fauna, including Kiwi.
As the first country in the world to welcome 2021, Tourism New Zealand wanted to lead the charge and kick it off on a positive note. Now although the Forest of Hope campaign started in November 2020, it’s still going, and good news… you haven’t missed out! As of January 2, just under 500 people from across the world have donated around 1,400 trees at $10NZD per tree.
This new forest of native trees is meant to signify hope and regrowth for the new year ahead, turning disappointments into hope, and chucking in a good dose of positivity. Even if you don’t buy into ‘positive vibes‘ you can’t deny the great environmental impact of more trees.
Let’s turn the disappointments of 2020 into hope!! I’m really sold on this idea of focusing on hope and positivity… it’s really easy, especially after 2020, to get sucked into a vortex of doom and gloom. It’s easy to blurt out objections, problems and negativity rather than solutions and positivity.
Don’t worry… I’m not for one moment suggesting we all become happy-clappy positivity junkies, but it is amazing to think that together, we can build a Forest of Hope. Clearly right now, we can’t share our beautiful country with visitors as we normally would, but we can still add to its beauty, and the health of the environment and once we’re able to welcome visitors again they’ll be able to visit their tree
… and if you choose to donate a tree, your tree will be there, standing tall and proud alongside the other trees in this forest of hope. See warm fuzzies. It feels nice to mark the start of a new year with something positive, doesn’t it?
PositivePsychology.com believes having a positive mindset means making positive thinking a habit, something you do regularly and often, and that continually searching for the silver lining and making the best out of a situation also develops other positive personality traits.
The traits and characteristics associated with having a positive mindset include:
- Optimism: a willingness to put in an effort and try, taking a chance instead of assuming you will fail. Leap of faith rather than standing on the sidelines.
- Acceptance: understanding things don’t always go to plan, but using ‘failings’ as learning opportunities without dwelling .
- Resilience: the buzz word for 2020! And my GP’s favourite question… it’s that ability to bounce back from adversity, disappointment, and failure and move forward, again without dwelling and instead of giving up.
- Gratitude: actively, and continuously appreciating the good things in your life … a well researched technique used by many looking to make positive changes in their life.
- Integrity: the characteristic of being honourable, righteous, and straightforward, instead of deceitful and self-serving.
I’m pretty stoked to see the back of 2020, although in fairness I did still have some pretty positive experiences amongst all the COVID19 craziness. To mark the start of 2021, I’ve shared my disappointment and donated two trees, I’m hoping that some positive actions right at the kick-off of 2021 will stand me in good stead going forward.