Vital People – Vital Planet

Creek-path at osmosis

By Michael Stusser

We are deeply impressed with the stellar work of an international tree planting organization. WeForest, the source of the content below.

Our question is: How can the Osmosis community of staff and guests support this vitally important work?

“We are a global tribe of Climate-conscious citizens committed to Making Earth Cooler with trees. Why plant trees? Forests represent one of the largest, most cost effective climate solutions available today.”

With the Paris Agreement (COP21 in December 2015), world governments committed to limiting carbon emissions to keep global warming “well below” a 2°C rise above pre-industrial levels, and possibly below a 1.5°C rise. In order to achieve this we must achieve carbon neutrality by the second half of this century.

While reducing carbon emissions is critical, research suggests that even if carbon dioxide emissions came to a sudden halt, the carbon dioxide already in the Earth’s atmosphere could continue to warm our planet for hundreds of years. Therefore, the challenge is to not only reduce future carbon emissions, but to actively remove existing carbon from our atmosphere.

The solution

Trees are the best technology to suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reverse global warming.

  • Forests balance the Earth’s water-cycle essential for cooling our climate.
  • In addition, forests play another vital role in stabilizing the climate by sucking carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere and fixing it into soils and biomass.
  • 50% of a tree’s biomass is carbon which remains stored, acting as a ‘carbon sink’, unless the tree decays or is burned.
  • Global forests are estimated to hold more CO2 than the atmosphere.

THE OPPORTUNITY

More than 2 billion hectares of land  (or the equivalent of 50% of the world’s forests) are degraded and have been identified as having potential for Forest Restoration. Restoring 350 million hectares of deforested and degraded soils by 2030 (the equivalent of 41% of the size of Brazil’s land surface), whilst at the same time reducing deforestation rates by half, may be enough to limit global warming to +2 °C The timing and extent of action is critical.

THE BENEFITS

FOR PEOPLE

Women make up 70% of the world’s poor and earn only 10% of its income. Planting trees creates jobs. Restoration activities such as establishing tree nurseries, seed collection, tree planting and aftercare, create jobs that are inclusive of women and provide opportunities for them to become entrepreneurs.

Livelihood: often the problems of poverty and forest degradation are intertwined. Restoring forests, coupled with sustainable forest management, can help lift economies and provide business opportunities which depend on the protection and nurturing of natural resources.

FOR PLANET

Water: trees maintain a healthy soil filtration system which helps ensure water quality. They enhance water quantity by promoting cloud formation and precipitation, slowing surface ‘run-off’, stabilizing water course flow, and helping recharge groundwater reserves.

Soil: trees restore soils by enriching the organic content and protect them, preventing erosion and landslides. This benefits both climate and agriculture, yet 75% of world’s soils are considered degraded.

Biodiversity: forests are home to 80% of terrestrial biodiversity and house over two-thirds of known terrestrial species, including the largest share of threatened species. By restoring forests we help expand habitat ranges for both flora and fauna.

Oxygen: Forests are the lungs of the Earth, producing oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. They play a key role in generating air moisture content, generating air flow, and improving general air quality.

FOR CLIMATE

Clouds: Tropical forests are critical for regulating the climate because they not only absorb carbon, they increase cloud cover through transpiration and cloud nucleation, which helps cool the planet.

Carbon: 50% of a tree’s biomass is carbon which remains stored (unless the tree decays or is burned), acting as a ‘carbon sink’. In addition, trees are essential for preventing soil degradation and loss of carbon stored in soils.

This information is taken from the http://www.weforest.org/ website

Eco-spa 2020

At the sixth annual Green Spa Network Congress, 125 industry leaders came together to map out a planet-friendly spa of the future – Eco-spa 2020. Michael Stusser shares their vision.
Last September, inside a recycled Civil War-era barn made with hand-hewn timbers and warmed by geothermal heating, 125 talented leaders from the worldwide spa industry gathered at Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colorado. The LEED Silver- certified facility proved an ideal meeting ground for the sixth annual congress of the Green Spa Network (GSN). Situated in the Rocky Mountains, the dramatic site offered a compelling visual metaphor for the goals of congress: to create plans for an planet-friendly spa of the future – namely Eco-spa 2020.

Spas Revisited: Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary

Founded 30 years ago by organic gardener and Zen practitioner Michael Stusser, Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary is truly one of a kind. I first learned of the Japanese enzyme baths from my mother, who went there for a girlfriend’s getaway some 25 years ago. I’ve had the good fortune of visiting Osmosis many times over the years. The property has blossomed from humble beginnings into an internationally-recognized wellness retreat.
My most recent visit to Osmosis was with an amazing group of spa professionals for an excursion after the Green Spa Network Buyer’s Event  “It was so fun to have everyone from around the country see what we have been able to do,” Michael told me. “Most hospitality professionals never get a chance to stay on one project for more than five to seven years; the management changes or they get lured away by a headhunter. It has been so rewarding to stay focused on one vision for 30 years.” Michael split us into two groups, one group for a tour and the other group for a group foot enzyme bath and spa treatments. He personally toured each group around the grounds, recounting the spa’s metamorphosis.

My Week of Renewal at Rancho La Puerta

I recently had the good fortune to spend a week at the almost mystical Rancho La Puerta. This place truly is the seed of the vision for the entire spa industry. A family operation since its inception in 1940, Conde Naste has named this 3,000-acre destination spa in Tecate, Mexico Best Destination Spa in the world for the second year in a row. Originally based on the health principles of the Communal Essenes (second century BCE to first century CE), their programming offers a tremendous opportunity for deep rejuvenation. After so many years, Rancho La Puerta is still worthy of its legendary reputation.

The Green Connoisseur Gives Osmosis a Great Write-Up

Here is an example of the wonderful review we received;

“The spa’s greening and conservation stretches back to when founder Michael Stusser was working to open the spa. Making the new spa a sustainable and eco-conscious business led to the formation of the Green Spa Network, of which Osmosis Day Spa is a founding member. This network is a non-profit organization dedicated to the greening of the spa industry.”