Giel Boes thought there had to be a playful campaign to make people more environmentally aware. That’s why he decided not to say anything for 10 days and to ask for donations.
The money goes to his Boes Bos foundation and is partly used to plant more trees. On his site he writes: ‘our mission is to plant 1 tree per Dutch person’. That’s not his only goal. The money will be divided equally and will also go towards protecting tropical rainforests, ensuring more biodiversity in the Netherlands and raising awareness.
Because Giel himself is not allowed to talk, his girlfriend Dori van Hulst speaks at Studio040. Dori: “It is of course super cool to raise money with which the goals can be achieved, but awareness is one of the most important goals.” As an example, she mentions the new sofa they recently bought. “You have to ask yourself what the impact is of buying new stuff.”
They have consciously chosen to buy a second-hand sofa. “We could buy a new sofa, but you have a choice. You have to ask yourself what the impact is of buying new stuff,” she explains. According to her, buying a new sofa costs the environment as much as driving back and forth to Spain.
For Giel it is quite a challenge to be completely still. He has ADHD and talked a lot before the action. “Normally he can’t even be quiet for a minute,” laughs Dori. “He wanted to do an action where he really has to get out of his comfort zone to show how important this goal is to him.” But he likes to talk about it and there are other ways to communicate.
I shut up for the trees!
“I thought it wouldn’t be too bad if Giel would be quiet, but he still wants to say a lot.” That is why the conversations between Giel and Dori are in sign language and if they really do not come out, the speech function in Google Translate also offers a solution.
He just goes to work, he explains in gestures. He still does sports. To make it clear to other people that he doesn’t talk, he has put on a t-shirt that reads ‘I’m silent for the trees!’
The goal is to raise 12,000 Euros in these ten days. Giel updates his story daily on the whydonate.nl site or via BoesBos.nl, where a donation can also be made directly. At the moment, his action has raised about 2700 Euros.
For Eindhoven News: Lila Mehrez