Monday, 27 July 2015

First Car Rental Supports Platbos Forest Future

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First Car Rental supports Platbos Forest restoration programme

First Car Rental’s support of the Platbos Forest Reserve Organisation is in an effort to ensure the long-term survival and restoration of Africa's southernmost indigenous forest located between Gansbaai and Hermanus in the Western Cape.

First Car Rental has created an online donation facility that allows its customers to opt to donate R15 to Platbos Forest whenever they book a rental car through First Car Rental's website.All donations go directly to the Platbos Forest.

Platbos Forest is a unique, indigenous forest with some trees being over 1000 years old. The forest's existence has puzzled botanists because unlike other relic forests that have retreated into wetter areas such as mountain ravines and riverbeds to survive, Platbos Forest grows in deep, sandy alkaline soil in an area where there is relatively low rainfall and no river feeding into the forest - a conundrum that makes this forest extremely rare and endangered.

Platbos Forest is also a powerful symbol of hope because despite previous logging activities and devastating fires, drought, and the threat from invasive alien vegetation, Platbos Forest persists.

Says Melissa Storey, Executive Head of Strategy, Development & Marketing at First Car Rental, “The Platbos Forest is a rare natural treasure that needs to be protected. We hope to use our online portal to get our customers involved and educated on this amazing forest, and hopefully donate as a result.”

Last year, First Car Rental pledged 15 trees to support the reforestation initiative. First Car Rental also kicked off a donation drive on Twitter, challenging other South African car rental companies such as Avis, and EuropCar to donate to the ‘Trees for Hope’ campaign.

Says Melissa Storey, “As a company, we do our best to reduce our carbon footprint. We launched the first-ever paperless checkout system to eliminate paper waste. We also use the revolutionary e-washa car wash system at our Cape Town branch, which reduces municipal water waste by nearly 80%. Supporting the Platbos Forest Reserve reforestation programme fits in perfectly with our company ethos and we urge others to do their bit to save and protect this ancient indigenous forest.”

To find out more about Platbos Forest, visit:

Published in Energy and Environment