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Today is Earth Day, and we thought a good way to celebrate the day would be to tell you about an event held some time ago, where postcrossers came together to help plant a pine forest in central Portugal. Enjoy this sunny report!

After a hiatus of two years due to the pandemic, it was time to get together again to expand Postcrossing’s tiny forest! So in early February this year, a group of postcrossers gathered once more to plant trees and reforest a part of the old Pinhal de Leiria, an historical forest from the 13th century which was mostly destroyed in a disastrous fire some years ago. It will take years and years for the forest to regain its previous splendor… but you know what they say: “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.”

This time, the plot we replanted was in the dunes nearer the Atlantic ocean, which gave it nice views over the sea. (I like to think of all the tiny pine trees growing with a sea view!) All of us moved along the previously plowed rows, taking care not to damage any trees that were already growing on their own. All morning we made holes, put little trees in them and covered them up so that they were protected from the fierce Atlantic winds. Here are some pictures:

Baby pine trees on trays are being inspected by two postcrossers Several people dig holes and carry trees to be planted A dog is being cuddled on the left. On the right, a tiny tree is planted in a row of sand Group photo of the participants!

We planted around 700 tiny maritime pine trees, also known as “Pinus pinaster”. Maritime pine is a relatively fast grower, and native to the Mediterranean, so it likes our hot summers and rainy winters. It’s also a great tree to hold onto the dunes and help stabilize coastal regions. Talking to the organizers of the reforestation initiative, they told us the seeds that sprouted these baby pines had been sent from the forest that existed here to France before the fire, and were now returning home to be planted here again. Hurray for seed banks!

A tray of healthy, small maritime pine trees

After a picnic and some coffee, it was time to go back home, with the feeling of a job well done. Maybe something to consider, for a future meeting in your country? We invite you to roll up your sleeves and go for it! 🌲 And if that’s not possible but you’d still like some ideas of things you can do to make this hobby greener, check our Towards a greener planet page! 🌲

PS: All the pictures in this post are by Tetyana (aka tatytrofamets), who did an excellent job reporting on this fantastic day!


Remember Postcrossing’s tiny forest, which a group of postcrossers planted last year?

Earlier this year, way before all the social distancing came into place, we got together once again with a few enthusiastic postcrossers to plant some more pine trees and expand the forest a little! :) The location was more or less the same as last year, in the historical Pinhal de Leiria, a 13th century pine forest that burned down almost completely three years ago. Driving through the forest and its chopped down burnt trees is still heartbreaking… but knowing that over half of it has now been reforested and that we’re doing something to help makes up for it.

The day started out cloudy, but luckily the forecasted rain held off, and everyone ended up having a good time planting hundreds of trees. This year, there were quite a few children in attendance and it really warmed our hearts seeing them snuggle those tree roots in the sand with their small hands! Have a look:

Paulo marked last year’s plantation with GPS coordinates, and so we were able to visit it again to have a look — the trees are growing well, mostly under the cover of other local plants. Being by the coast, the location is super sandy and windy, and the local vegetation helps protect the fragile trees in their first few years. They’re still very small (pine will take a loooong time to grow), but it was a relief to see them going strong and gaining new branches!


We are proud of this initiative and look forward to doing more for the planet. For ideas of what you can do too, check our Towards a greener planet page! 🌲


Filling mailboxes all over the world with postcards fills us up with happiness… but it also has an impact on the planet. We are committed to running Postcrossing in an environmentally friendly way, and have been working on this goal over the years. Today we would like to update you all on our choices and initiatives, and invite you to join in as well!

To run an online platform like Postcrossing, we need servers. Since a few years ago, all our servers are running in a carbon-neutral datacenter in Europe, run by Amazon AWS. Their sustainability program builds wind and solar farms that offset the energy consumption of their data centers, with the long-term goal of having their infrastructure 100% powered by renewable energy. We’ve also switched to a renewable energy provider for our tiny home office.

We believe these are steps in the right direction, but we also wanted to do something more tangible. So a while ago, Postcrossing started to regularly donate to Quercus, a Portuguese non-profit environmental organization whose initiatives include reforestation projects and the nurturing of existing woods. In a country devastated far too often by fires, this cause was dear to our hearts and seemed like a good way to improve on the environment around us.

As part of our donations, we were invited to plant some trees, so last weekend, in a different kind of Postcrossing meeting, we got together with some volunteer postcrossers, rolled up our sleeves and planted a thousand trees in central Portugal. A tiny Postcrossing forest made of two different pine species was born! We took some pictures to show you:

Paulo planting trees Planting trees Planting trees Quercus plantation group photo

The event took place in the historical Pinhal de Leiria, a pine forest created in the 13th century to stop the nearby dunes from advancing inland, and whose trees provided wood for the Portuguese ships that sailed all around the world. Sadly, this forest burned down almost completely in October of 2017, and it is still heartbreaking to walk those woods with their charred tree skeletons… but at least we’re making a tiny difference in its rebirth. Everyone loved the experience, and we plan to repeat this initiative in the coming years.

And finally, there are always choices each one of us can do to make this hobby more eco-friendly. For instance, prefer postcards made with FSC certified paper, or walk/bike to the post office instead of driving there. We’ve compiled a list of green tips on this page, and welcome further ideas on the forum or on the comments below.

We believe that every action counts, so join us in making Postcrossing a greener hobby, one small step (or tree!) at a time.