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Bridget's Suite

The Treedom Project – Bridget’s Suite July 2023

Every month our colleague Bridget Donofrio offers us, directly from the VDA Telkonet headquarters in the United States, her personal point of view on the latest innovations in terms of technology, sustainability and energy saving to help hotel and non-hotel establishments remain competitive.

Let’s read together her article for Bridget’s Suite July 2023.


Hello, friends, I just returned from HITEC.

I was privileged to talk to others in our industry about our Treedom project initiative. What fun! Just about everyone walked away smiling. The one or two who didn’t walk away smiling? Well, they were probably wearing the wrong tradeshow foot ware.

VDA Telkonet has committed to plant a forest of trees in the next three years. We want to “give” one of these trees to you as our gift. You claim it, you name it, you watch it grow virtually, in the country of your choice (Ecuador, Guatemala, or Colombia).

As you’re (hopefully) aware, sustainability is a critical component of VDA Telkonet’s vision, mission, and value proposition. To that end, we identified an organization that contributes to saving our planet while at the same time helping to alleviate a few other big world problems. The company is called Treedom, and we have partnered with them to plant and grow 1300 trees. (The “and grow” part is really important and I’ll explain why shortly.)

My guess is that my American audience has never heard of Treedom. I know what you’re thinking. There are a million organizations that will plant a tree on your behalf if you click on their links, subscribe to their newsletters, or buy one of their countless goods and services

VDA Telkonet Partnership with Treedom

We at VDA Telkonet wanted to do it differently; to contribute to sustainability by partnering with an organization that got it right. Treedom reduces carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but beyond that they provide livelihoods for indigenous populations who want to be tree farmers (they will sell the fruit), and improve the health of local ecosystems.

They do all the things.

The Treedom organization is headquartered in Florence, Italy; or as we Italians say, “Firenze”. (OK, I’m not Italian, but my last name is, so that counts, right?). Anyway, Treedom focuses its efforts mainly on Africa and South America.


Planting trees’ primary benefit and original impetus is to absorb and lock away planet-warming CO2. That’s what trees do. And that’s a good thing for Mother Earth.

The number of organizations that plant trees to benefit the climate has exploded. But sometimes, these tree-planting organizations do more harm than good.

Planting trees to benefit the environment isn’t always a good idea. You can’t just zero in on a plot of land, dig some holes, and drop in some seedlings. There are considerations.


Case in point: at a different organization, some private land owners who would traditionally rent out their winter pastures to nomadic groups and their grazing animals, razed the land and replaced it with trees, creating more immediate problems than it solved. Uff, as we Italians say.

Elsewhere, grazing farm animals have destroyed neighboring tree saplings. Talk about eating the profits! Treedom avoids these short-sighted decisions by considering the current land use when assessing future forest locations.


The wrong tree can actually draw from the local water resources to the detriment of the farms and inhabitants. Why would an organization do this? Money. Popular wood from fast growing trees generates quick profit.

Additionally, planting non-native species can diminish endangered species.

Treedom plants trees native to the area. They plant Avocado trees in Kenya, mangroves in Honduras, and guava in Colombia.


The Treedom group teaches local farmers not just how to plant, but also how to grow and care for their trees. Treedom monitors the seedlings for the first three years of their young lives to increase the chances of success. They teach local community members how to graft trees, which shortens the time it takes for the trees to mature and for the farmers to start profiting.


Please see us at one of our future trade shows to claim your gift. You can choose the country, the type of tree (lemon tree is my personal favorite, but coffee is very popular). You also get to name it (most people at HITEC named their trees after family members they are particularly fond of).

Sustainability is serious business, and we want to do what we can for the sake of our planet. Please help us in this effort. We are all in this together.