A lit­tle help to make a big dif­fer­ence

Marlborough Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - PAULA HULBURT

Two self-con­fessed ‘‘out­door ad­ven­ture bums’’ have been us­ing their tal­ents to help save the planet - one greet­ing card at a time.

Semi-pro­fes­sional skier Pete Oswald, 32, from Blenheim, and ge­ol­ogy grad­u­ate girl­friend So­phie Stevens, 30, founded their own card com­pany, Lit­tle Dif­fer­ence, in 2016.

And a for­est in the re­mote is­land of Madagascar, off the east coast of Africa, is 25,000 trees bet­ter off thanks to their en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­forts.

A per­cent­age of each sale gets do­nated to plant a tree in Madagascar, cre­at­ing jobs in the process.

But the duo have turned to pop­u­lar cap­i­tal-rais­ing web­site Crowd­fund­ing to help raise more money so they can con­cen­trate on their busi­ness full­time.

They only have un­til the end of the month to raise $10,000.

Crowd­fund­ing uses small amounts of cap­i­tal from a large num­ber of peo­ple to fi­nance new busi­ness ven­tures.

Oswald, who hit the head­lines in 2014 when he res­cued a snow balling sheep while on a ski photo shoot, says the com­pany was born out of ne­ces­sity.

‘‘Soph and I were in Inns­bruck in Aus­tria one ski sea­son and we had no money. Soph did a de­sign and we made a few cards and went sell­ing them from door-todoor. We ended up sell­ing quite a lot and it saw us through the rest of the sea­son.

‘‘We ac­tu­ally can’t re­mem­ber who came up with the orig­i­nal idea of plant­ing trees but we both wanted to cre­ate a brand which pro­duces some­thing ben­e­fi­cial while re­duc­ing the im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment,’’ he says.

Stevens hand de­signs all the prod­ucts which are pho­tographed and printed on 100 per cent re­cy­cled paper by a print­ing com­pany in the United King­dom.

The pair trav­elled Madagascar last May.

‘‘After meet­ing the planters and the peo­ple who over­see it, we have a lot of con­fi­dence in what they’re do­ing. They’re do­ing an

to amaz­ing job,’’ Oswald says.

The cam­paign will only be funded if $10,000 is pledged by Novem­ber 1 at 11.59pm [UK time].

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion visit the­up­ef­fect.com.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Lit­tle Dif­fer­ence founders Peter Oswald and So­phie Stevens travel the globe for in­spi­ra­tion for their en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly firm.

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