MINI / Mindful Parenting / Giving Back

An eco-minded father-son duo from Fort Myers launch a nonprofit to repopulate pollinator gardens

Vikram Chhabra and his son, Ethan, teamed up with children’s book author and publisher Joel Harper to create One Flower Project to help families learn about and plant pollinator flowers.

BY February 21, 2023
One Flower Project
(Courtesy One Flower Project)

Vikram Chhabra and his son, Ethan, have raised and released monarch butterflies in their backyard since Ethan was 2 years old. The now 10-year-old is well-versed in the pollination process and understands the power of a single seed. When Ethan’s favorite YouTube star Mark Rober and content creator Jimmy Donaldson, known as MrBeast, launched the #TeamTrees campaign in 2019 and raised $20 million to plant 20 million trees across the world, he was inspired to start his own movement. How could he spread the word about pollinators? Ethan and his father teamed up with children’s book author and publisher Joel Harper to find a solution: One Flower Project took root. “It’s heavy living in today’s world,” Vikram says. “Social media, and technology, in general is consuming our children. The One Flower Project helps us slow everything down and pay attention to the planet.”

The Fort Myers-based father-son duo created the nonprofit in 2020 with Joel to spread awareness of the importance of often-overlooked wildflowers. The flowers can attract insects, like butterflies and bees, that pollinate surrounding crops (according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 35 percent of the world’s crops depend on pollinators to reproduce) and foster a healthier ecosystem overall.

For a minimum donation of $10, the Chhabras send you a seed kit with sunflower and wildflower seeds, planting instructions and notes on pollinators. Once they have enough to support an entire classroom, they send a kit to a school in the United States. Ethan says the simple act of planting a seed is healing for the planet and people: “Helping pollinators and growing from seed shows us kids just how much we need nature.” His dad proudly agrees: “Imagine flooding social media with pictures of kids helping restore natural habitats in the simplest of ways. In my eyes, there is nothing more uplifting.”

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