For Gisele Bundchen's 40th birthday, she isn't asking for gifts for herself, but instead for the planet.
The 39-year-old supermodel posted a number of photos on Instagram on Saturday, July 18, of herself, husband Tom Brady and children Benjamin and Vivian planting trees.
"As some of you know, my birthday is coming up on July 20th. And it's not just any birthday! I can't believe I am turning 40," she wrote. "I feel like a whole new chapter of my life is starting, and I wanted to celebrate it in a meaningful way, so I decided to plant 40,000 trees. I have been planting trees for different projects for years, as I feel that this is the best way I know to give back to Mother Earth. This year, to celebrate my birthday, my family and I had planned to plant trees in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil but, as we all know, that is not possible right now. Then I had another thought! What if I could come up with a way for others to help me plant trees there?"
She continued, "I've already talked to my family and my friends—and they will all turn their gifts into trees. That way, we can all help give something back to our planet. In case you also feel inspired to give back to the Earth, you can join me and plant a tree in the Amazon rainforest," she wrote, directing fans to donate to Viva a Vida so she can hit her goal. She has already solicited donations for more than 50,000 trees.
In a follow-up post, Bundchen — who has been quarantining in her new home in Florida (Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as their new quarterback earlier this year) — explained her long love of supporting the environment.
"We may never know the impact of the seeds we plant…but they must be planted! In 2004, I visited an Indigenous tribe in the Amazon rainforest. I was able to see up close the natives' deep knowledge and appreciation of nature, and the health and environmental problems created by deforestation," the Brazilian beauty captioned photos of herself visiting an Indigenous tribe.
Bundchen explained that she was driven to help and began by supporting a project called Y Ikatu Xingu, which sought to restore the land and support the local communities.
"Fourteen years later, I called ISA to ask if they could help me plant trees for my upcoming birthday. To my surprise, I learned that the Y Ikatu Xingu project we supported back in 2006 had created an amazing 'seed bank' that has already helped to restore more than 6,600 hectares of degraded land, and helped over 560 collectors –most native women –earn a steady income.It has made me so happy to know that the little seeds we planted so many years ago have developed into so much life. Today we are going to use this same seed bank to plant 40,000 trees for my birthday-and continue to regenerate nature. Gratitude!"