The gastro-bar restaurant Breathe celebrates its fourth anniversary by presenting its sustainable reforestation project
The gastro-bar restaurant Breathe celebrates its fourth anniversary, presenting today its sustainable reforestation project for developing countries. The event was attended by Cristóbal Garre, responsible for the District of Nueva Andalucía and the areas of Development, Pymes and Viveros de Empresas, and he spoke about this work that has been carried out since its inception.
This is a pioneering initiative in the Spanish catering industry and is part of the global Sustainably Run project led by Marvin Baker. After years of working together, Breathe is now committed to increasing the trees planted, publicising and spreading the word about the project, with the help of its clients and the Marbella community.
The Breathe managers then decided to add, concisely, a small increase on each table’s bill for this purpose. This way, customers are paying the amount needed (1.49 euros) to plant a fruit tree in a developing country, offsetting the environmental impact of their food and helping to alleviate poverty there.
This reforestation project is part of the Carbon Free Dining initiative, designed to give restaurants a warranty that demonstrates their passion for the environment and sustainability. To date, Breathe has planted nearly 40,000 trees in the mountain Usambara area, Tanzania.
This project is now reflected on their Breathe Gift Trees website, which allows each tree to be viewed and geo-located, offering a high level of detail and transparency about the process. There is also the option to contribute to the planting of a few trees as well as countless more in different packages (from 1.49 to 1,490 euros).
In this regard, Breathe founder and ambassador Aguilene Benicio said that the way in which they have incentivised financial support will be expanded, adding:
“After four years in the making, we have a large database of customers, so we are going to send them information to involve them on a larger scale in this project. If they in turn share it with others, we can cultivate and grow the planting of more trees. We want to use our marketing expertise to give it a strong motivation and gain more support from all sectors.”
The current strategy is being carried out thanks to the involvement of local farmers who provide their land to plant these trees and in return benefit from their fruits. Papayas, mangoes and moringa, which take about a year to bear fruit, have been harvested. As an example, Baker says that a typical family of four that contributes to the project receives between 4,000 and 5,000 fruit trees with which to thrive and alleviate hunger in the area. Additional benefits include reducing CO2 emissions, repairing ecosystems, creating food, health and education opportunities and reducing the carbon footprint.
A promising partnership
Aguilene Benicio began this journey after meeting Marvin Baker in 2018, who got her excited about the idea of supporting the planet through very concrete actions. In the case of Breathe, as a collaborating partner, the work is being carried out in this area of Tanzania, in a land where trees grow rapidly. In this respect, Benicio said that once they have met their objectives in this country, they will set their next objective in Latin America, and added that unfortunately “to think of doing something like this in Europe would multiply the costs by five, but I don’t rule it out”.
In terms of overall figures, between all the partners involved in Tanzania since 2019, 487 families have been helped and nearly one million trees have been planted on 70 hectares of land. Baker says that “in the first ten years we planted one million trees, in the next two years we reached two million and by next year we will have reached the figure of one million newly planted trees per month and hope to reach one billion by 2030”. The founder of Sustainably Run also stressed that he is leading “a global project but in Spain it is the city of Marbella, thanks to the commitment of Breathe, who so far is pioneering and leading this initiative at a national level”.
This project is also supported by the UN Environment (UN) whose Director, Satinder Bindra, called it “an exceptional initiative that successfully fuses the luxury of eating out with the joy of knowing that we are giving something back to the planet’s nutrition.”
High standards of sustainability
This activity also adds to the company’s ambitious sustainability policy, which can be sensed in every corner of the establishment, which was built by optimising natural resources to the maximum. Breathe’s commitment to the environment affects all areas of the business.
Thus, at the culinary level, the use of local products, livestock and organic farming and even its own vegetable garden clearly represent its commitment to ‘0 Km’ raw materials. The use of artisanal methods to prepare food and avoid dependence on industrial processes is one of the characteristics of Breathe, which applies its ‘Farm to Table’ concept. That is why its menu is not fixed but varies constantly depending on the products in season.
Breathe is also strongly committed to the need to eliminate single-use plastics and is committed to making a difference in the community. To this end, the restaurant avoids as much as possible buying plastic containers or food that comes in them and does not have any plastic utensils, which they are trying to replace with innovative materials such as PLA (plant-based starch).
The same philosophy is applied in the consumption of water that is decalcified and undergoes a process of osmosis and sterilisation before being re-mineralised to create high quality water. Aware that it is a scarce commodity, Breathe built a rainwater harvesting system with a capacity of 11,000 litres, which is used to water the plants in their extensive urban plantation. A garden made up of a selection of plants and trees that generate a pleasant visual effect and are designed to provide shade in summer and sunny areas in winter. Also, the use of cutting-edge technologies (already applied in NASA) leads them to turn water into an aggressive and safe agent ideal for cleaning, which allows them to drastically reduce the use of chemical products.
The use of a strict recycling model with scrupulous separation of materials and the production of compost to be used both on-farm and on other local farms, give an idea of the seriousness of their commitment. Customers can also see this in the use of recycled paper for menus and napkins.
The way they heat or cool the facilities is another example of Breathe’s efforts in this area. The building has its own geothermal power plant that harnesses the earth’s temperature and can provide air-conditioning, heating and underfloor heating.
Its opening was carried out in 2018 through a landscaping project, organising the exterior and interior spaces around vegetation and space. The Breathe restaurant has been a pioneer in terms of sustainability and is now a reference model not only locally but also nationally. Breathe celebrates its fourth year in Marbella, with an emphasis on sustainability. For Benicio, the establishment’s commitment “is proof that luxury does not have to be at odds with social and environmental awareness that we can and should always do much more”.
More information about Breathe Gift Trees at: