Herbal Essences believes in the power of plants, and is partnering with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, a world leading authority on plants, to help save 20 endangered US plant species from extinction in 2020. Debuting at SXSW on March 13, Herbal Essences will make this pledge to raise awareness and inspire others to act on the critical issue of plant biodiversity loss.
Plants Are Critical to Our Ecosystem; Yet Often Overlooked
Plants underpin all life on earth, providing the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat – they’re the backbone of the world’s ecosystems. The unfortunate reality is that due to a cognitive bias, people are wired to overlook plants, a phenomenon called plant blindness, and thus, plant extinction is often not addressed. Based on a study from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Stockholm University, plant biodiversity loss is the biggest missed issue of the last decade with experts predicting that one in five plant species are at risk of annihilation. This means that plants are going extinct two times faster than animals.
“Biodiversity loss is impacted by climate change; yet more attention is paid to climate change. My research at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew concentrates on how to stop biodiversity loss and in so doing realize the potential impact plants can have on a sustainable future – which is why it’s so critical to find solutions to protect against plant extinction,” said Professor Alexandre Antonelli, Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. “We’re at a turning point and need to act now.”
Herbal Essences is acting now to help save plants. The 20 plants Herbal Essences will save, in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, represent some of the most threatened species across the United States and include iconic plants such as the Venus Fly Trap, Blue Ridge Huckleberry and Douglas Clover. Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank is working with partners like the Center for Plant Conservation in Escondido, California, to help conserve seeds from these species. This effort helps to protect and preserve plants that face natural habitat destruction and safeguard them from extinction.
Herbal Essences and Unexpected Partners Join Forces to Make a Greater Impact Together
Beyond taking action, Herbal Essences is combining the power of unexpected partners – the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; the World Wildlife Fund, a leading organization in wildlife conservation and endangered species; and Tatiana Schlossberg, journalist and author of Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You Have – to spark this important dialogue and raise awareness at SXSW 2020.
An informative 60-minute panel discussion, “Biodiversity Loss: The Mass Extinction of Plants,” moderated by Schlossberg with change makers from P&G’s Herbal Essences, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the World Wildlife Fund, will explore the causes of accelerating plant extinction and provide solutions to help mitigate it. In addition, throughout the Climate and Social Action track at SXSW, March 13-17, Herbal Essences will bring to life an immersive experience that celebrates a world powered by plants at The Plant Power House destination. Herbal Essences will also have a mural between E 7th St and Webberville Rd in Austin from March 2-29 to further raise awareness for this critical issue.
“Herbal Essences, along with our esteemed partners, are on a mission to save the long-term health of plants. We want to inspire people to pay attention and realize the danger plants are in, starting at SXSW 2020 with our Save 20 Plants in 2020 program,” said Jennifer Thompson, Associate Brand Director, NA Herbal Essences. “Together, we can all do our part to be a force for good and help reverse these devastating trends.”
Everyone can Play a Role in Mitigating Plant Extinction
Herbal Essences hopes to inspire everyone to get involved and act against plant extinction. Beginning March 13, people can log on to @HerbalEssences on Instagram and make a pledge to live a more sustainable life by choosing one of 20 habit changes. It’s also important to be a voice for plants and spread the word about plant biodiversity loss — follow along on Instagram at @HerbalEssences and join the conversation by using #PlantPower and #Save20in20.