The first time I planted any amount of trees was at a friend’s place, we had about 1000 to get through, there were 4 or 5 of us and we were on a south facing slope in Liscannor. It was the same day we secretly decided to throw Fergal a stag do. The stag do was as wild as you can imagine with half a day’s notice, 3 people that don’t party, and in Ireland in February. But the planting of those trees I will never forget. For me it meant that I had a positive impact on the lands where I lived; I was helping create life. I went to bed tired and content and I woke up feeling more connected to the world. The breath tasted nicer and I started caring for the health of forests and scrublands. It was the start of my Hometree journey.

photo by Chris McClean

This act of planting trees was never introduced to me at school or by my parents, I really liked it and it gave me so much back. Like all things that make you feel good and are free; I wanted to share this experience with everyone, and that’s where hometree started for me. It was helping people feel like they can make a difference and connect with nature. The commercial connection was clear and I put it to a few companies that I knew and they liked the idea. When we started Backwash in 2015 it was the platform I needed; it meant I could go to a brand and say these guys are in and this is how they are playing it and would you be interested? The response was so positive. It took us a long time to develop the concept because we needed to know where the future of the project was headed and how to deal with a bigger donation. Since the launch of Issue 2; Backwash has planted 1500 trees with Hometree, I see them every day as I go and feed the animals. I watch them growing tall, the leaves come and go and even some die.

photo by Mickey Smith
photo by Mickey Smith

Dan Crockett said something about capitalism not necessarily being evil and this time it isn’t. But then again I never know if art has anything to do with capital; either you think it is beautiful or you don’t. Backwash is sitting on so many tables around the world that you don’t have to have money to pay for it and enjoy it. It’s in the British and the NY library, some of it is online and if you are really broke and need a copy send me a mail and I will get one out to you.

Backwash is proud to support Hometree and our 1500 trees (and counting) sit alongside thousands more thanks to the support of other likeminded companies in County Clare, Ireland. We urge you to check out their good work and get involved at