Entrepreneur hitting the road to make a difference

A former entrepreneur who ran her own design agency has turned her attention to a new venture which has a unique take on conservation.

Tash Acres, who is based in Devon, is looking to encourage people to stay active while helping towards tackling the issue of climate change.

The 49-year-old has been a keen runner for many years and she is now looking to combine her love of exercise with a project which will see thousands of trees planted in Africa.

Tash has launched her community interest company Earth Runs Active for Earth, from her garden shed in 2020.

Having previously run her own Swindon based design company for 20 years, she decided to take this life changing leap after becoming inspired to take positive action to help the planet while out running.

Tash became frustrated with the throwaway culture of many running events where plastic bottles, medals and ill-fitting race r-shirts often end up in landfill.

Having become more environmentally conscious over the years – a change in perspective encouraged by her stepdaughter’s interest the environment – Tash wanted to find a way to turn being active into something positive for the planet.

The idea saw her land a $100,000 prize from the Brooks’ Run Fund Award in 2021.

With the funds in place Tash had the resources she needed to really pursue her ambitions.

Earth Runs Active for Earth is a not-for-profit which aims to harness the power of people’s movement to help protect the planet.

It does this by inspiring people to get active by rewarding their efforts through planting trees and protecting wild areas.

She’s recently launched the 1% Club. By signing up as a member, people can plant a tree for every day they are active – there’s no limitation to how active you need to be, you don’t have to log distance or time. Costing just £6.95 a month to be a member, people simply have log how many days they’ve been active, and for each active day a tree will be planted for them. There’s no limit to how many days can be logged as active, meaning one person can have 365 trees planted a year – all for the price of two coffees a month.

She said: “We are starting to realise that we can make a difference to the way we live. For me the big change was around being active.

“I wanted to combine that with making a difference to the world we all live in.”

Those who take part receive regular personal impact reports to show what a difference their trees make to the planet and those who plant them. They will also get access to the 1% Clubhouse, a private community network, to help keep them motivated, share stories, and cheer others on.

Tash is passionate about making participation in Earth Runs Active for Earth as inclusive as possible, so that everyone can enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of exercise while making a positive contribution to the environment.

She said: “There are no rules to how active you need to be – whatever level of fitness you have, you can still change the world.”

To date, Earth Runs Active for Earth participants have clocked up more than 77,000 km and the business has planted over 125,000 trees. In doing so, it has created 1400 days of work for its tree planting communities and has been able to set up a New Shoots School programme, which sees the business partner with schools to get children active.

Tash is aiming to get one per cent of the world’s population active for the planet through Earth Runs Active for Earth – hence the name of the scheme – and is available for interview and comment on:

  1. What inspired her to set up Earth Runs Active for Earth and the company’s journey so far
  2. The challenges she’s faced in establishing a novel business from scratch
  3. Empowering people to believe they can make a positive difference to the environment through their individual actions
  4. Her plans for scaling up Earth Runs Active for Earth as she aims to get one per cent of the population active for the planet
  5. How movement can help our bodies and minds
  6. The difference each individual can make to tackle the environmental crisis we face


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