Trees Instead of Flowers

  24.05.2024 Arts & Culture, Concerts, Menuhin Festival & Academy, Music, Carbon Footprint, Arts & Culture

In a shift towards sustainability, the Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy has embarked on a meaningful change by replacing traditional flower bouquets with tree certificates for up-and-coming artists. This innovative initiative aims to plant 70 trees, each representing a talented musician from the festival's Jeunes Étoiles and Gstaad Academy.

Last year and this year, instead of ephemeral flowers, young artists received certificates entitling them to tree planting. In collaboration with MyBluePlanet, a sustainability association, the festival views this action as a key component of its "Mission Menuhin" sustainability strategy. Christoph Müller, the festival's Artistic Director, explains, "We recognised the importance of exploring alternatives to flower bouquets. By planting trees, we're creating a lasting impact that will benefit future generations by absorbing CO2 and enhancing our environment."

Recently, the Menuhin team gathered at the Sonnenhof restaurant in full force, appropriately dressed and equipped, to plant a diverse selection of tree saplings. After a brief walk to Mangelsguet, the team planted a mix of tree species, including oak, cherry, sycamore maple, wych elm, small-leaved lime, and Douglas fir, fostering biodiversity with expert guidance from the Saanenland Forest and Environment Service Centre.

The project received crucial support and advice from local foresters, who facilitated the planting event. Müller expressed gratitude, noting that although the forestry service had undertaken much of the groundwork, the team's involvement marked a significant step in promoting reforestation and sustainable forest management.

As team members planted the trees, the atmosphere was lively with camaraderie and shared learning. They engaged with the forester to understand the ecological benefits of each tree species and reflected on the forest's recovery following the devastating Lothar storm. Lukas Wittermann, Managing Director of the festival, emphasized the complexity of sustainability but also the festival's unwavering commitment to incremental progress. "We understand the challenges ahead and are dedicated to building upon these small steps to propel comprehensive sustainability efforts forward," Wittermann remarked, inspiring hope for a greener future.


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