“Success is a journey, not a destination.” Ben Sweetland
When you hear about companies going green these days, it's hard to decipher what that really means. At Your True Nature Inc., we have been devoted to being green from our beginnings and are very transparent about what that means.Committed to honoring the earth and leading the way with environmentally friendly practices, we put an emphasis on reduce, reuse, recycle, replant, and regenerate. Your True Nature not only practices these values, but we also educate our customers on them. Valuing education, we provide teacher curriculum and material donations for non-profits to promote sustainability at a wider platform.
Officially established in 1999, by Ilan Shamir, Your True Nature has been inspiring people with our clever Advice from Nature products for over a decade. Our story is deeply rooted in caring for the earth, planting trees, and using heart-tickling inspiration to celebrate life. Your True Nature's story starts with its owner’s story; one piece of his journey.
Ilan Shamir grew up in Texas as Scott Alyn, learning to love the outdoors at camp every summer. His appreciation for nature deepened when he received a magnolia tree on his eleventh birthday. Taking care of a tree and watching it grow opened his eyes to life's beauty in the wild. When his parents planted at tree in his name, that action began charting his “green and leafy course in life.”
College came; internships/jobs, where he could use business and creativity; and the journey continued. Scott's life changed direction when he met a man in a post office who offered him a job working as a Wilderness Travel Guide and Photographer in the Swiss Alps. He later was drawn to Iceland on a 40-day solo trek. With a Hollywood twist, he found himself stranded for four days in a shipwreck mariners hut, during a terrible storm (don’t worry, there is a BBC photo to prove it). Alone, Scott rationed his cookies; and vowed to leave his home in the Midwest to seek a closer connection to nature.
Fast forward to Oregon, where he turned down corporate jobs to work for pennies on a tree farm. The idea came to start Greeting Seeds, a company that combined garden seeds and greeting cards. It was a success and from the beginning emphasized minimizing the impact on resource usage. Greeting Seeds planted 10 tree seedling for every tree used in their products and business, something Your True Nature still does today.
In the late 1980s Scott found himself in Colorado with a two year old daughter, Laurel. He took a break from working to spend quality parenting time with his daughter and to write. During a rough patch in life, in 1992, Scott took a life changing long walk. Leaning against an old Cottonwood tree, he asked it for its wisdom. The advice he received turned into an Advice from a Tree poem; and thus the first Your True Nature product was born. “Stand tall and be proud….Go out on a limb!” Scott changed his name to Ilan Shamir, which means “protector of the trees” and Your True Nature began to climb the tree of success, adding products as they went.
Each step that Ilan Shamir took on his journey strengthened his appreciation of all things nature, and magnified his relationship with trees. Ilan helped start the non-profit Fort Collins ReLeaf community tree planting organization. They planted over 30,000 trees in Colorado and the non-profit eventually merged with Trees, Water, and People; which continues to plant thousands of trees around the world today.
Your True Nature, as a business, doesn’t compromise when it comes to being environmentally friendly.
Your True Nature partners with two organizations to plant trees: Trees, Water, and People; and Plant-it-2020 (founded by John Denver, who Ilan was able to meet). The company has planted over 115,000 trees and that number keeps growing. As a business we are 100% Replanted.
- Each 217 pounds of recycled paper used, we plant 10 tree seedlings through the non-profit Trees Water People. When non-recycled paper has to be used, we plant 20 tree seedlings.
- For every purchase over $30, Your True Nature plants a tree; and for every new wholesale order we again plant a tree. Also, when people sign up for the free membership, Your True Nature plants their first tree for free.
- A variety of our products have a Plant a Tree logo on them, which means a tree is planted every time one of those products is purchased. Customers even have the option to buy the planting of a tree or a grove of trees at checkout! “It’s easy as 1,2, Tree!”
Green Business Practices:
- Exclusive use of post-consumer waste recycled paper in our products and office use.
- Your True Nature reuses all boxes and packing material and ships outgoing orders to customers with eco-labels encouraging further reuse or recycling of package.
- We recycle all plastic, glass, metal, paper, paperboard, cardboard, and CDs. We only dispose of one ten-gallon sized trash container each month. Your True Nature also works closely with a voluntary city-run program called Climate Wise, which helps local businesses be environmentally friendly. Climate Wise tackles issues like energy usage, waste disposal, recycling, and other challenges.
- Many of Your True Nature's products are carbon positive, bringing more benefit to the earth than the resources used.
- We also contribute 1% or more of sales to One Percent for the Planet, contributing over $60,000 to organizations that are making a difference in education, and protection of natural treasures and environments.
It’s evident that at Your True Nature, we don’t just talk about being a green business, we breathe it. It’s in how we promote connection with nature and the protection and education of nature’s beauty. Our products promote nature with their wisdom: “Honor the earth and sky.”
At the company’s core is a heart to give back, create a sustainable world, and be stewards of hope. Customers are greatly encouraged by this and they continually come back for advice, inspiration, and a deeper connection to nature:
“It is fantastic, practical advice from the things in nature that surround us. Your True Nature advice makes us aware that the things in nature, in all their glory, have something to say to us.”
“The fact that my purchases have resulted in trees being planted is another plus!”
“…I appreciate Your True Nature’s commitment to the environment with their products. I also value being relentlessly positive, so I love Your True Nature products and their encouragement.”
None of this would have been possible without a young man's journey being cultivated by nature. Ilan’s love of trees and the beauty of nature creatively led him to being able to live his own true nature. Today his company, Your True Nature, is committed to honoring the planet and the fearless spirit of every person’s own loving nature. We do this one advice line at a time, with thought and consideration to those we will impact.
“It’s important to be mindful and create things that will make the world a better place.” Ilan Shamir