Carlton Solle’s 12 years living in Costa Rica changed him.
Born and raised in environmentally friendly northern California, Solle never got what the big deal about the green movement was. Then he moved here.
“You don’t really see how things like access to clean water, agriculture and deforestation all connect living in the U.S.,” Solle said. “Down in Costa Rica you see it.”
With a history working for beverage companies like Red Bull and Rockstar, Solle began thinking about how he could mitigate the negatives in disposable packaging. After four years of development, Solle launched Treeson, an eco-friendly bottled water company with deep roots in Costa Rica.
Treeson’s water comes from a natural spring in Braulio Carrillo in Heredia. In the project’s initial phases, the bottles will be created in Costa Rica and shipped to the U.S.
In addition to being completely biodegradable, Treeson’s bottle is also designed to break down into clean energy. Each bottle comes with a mailing label attached. Once the bottle is empty, it collapses and can be returned by mail to Treeson’s factory where they use the recycled bottles to produce the energy to operate the factory.
“A lot of eco-products are more expensive and they don’t follow through,” Solle said. “We wanted to develop our own system that would empower people to know that by buying the product they are actually doing something.”
Taking accountability one step further, Treeson also promises to plant a tree in Costa Rica for each bottle of water they sell. Buyers can track their trees through the Treeson app, which shows the location and growth process of each tree planted. Solle has already planted 38,000 trees bordering Manuel Antonio National Park, on the central Pacific coast.
To fund the project, Treeson has launched a crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter, where the company hopes to raise $95,000. The money would go towards finishing the bottle molds and the first round of production. In the beginning, Treeson water will only be available through direct orders in the U.S., but Solle hopes to expand to retail stores in the months following their launch. The water will cost about $1 a bottle.
By September, Treeson should also be available in stores in Costa Rica, perhaps helpful to the 25,000 Heredians currently on water rationing. Expanding to Costa Rica, however, brings the added challenge of dealing with the country’s little-used mail system. To combat this problem, Solle is developing a program where people can return their used bottles to retailers.
Watch their video here: