Planting New Trees: The Gift That Keeps On Giving


Photographs via Türkiye İş Bankası

If the throwaway trinkets that individuals buy for holiday gifts are ruining the planet, how much bigger a problem are the ones that corporations send out by the thousands? This year, one of Turkey's major banks has a better idea: Instead of giving logo-adorned mugs or pens to its customers, Türkiye İş Bankası will spend the money planting trees.This week, the bank announced that it would use the funds it usually dedicates to New Year's gifts--some 11 million YTL (around 7 million dollars)--to have more than 2 million saplings planted over the next five years by TEMA (Turkish Foundation for Reforestation, Protection of Natural Habitats and Combating Soil Erosion) and the country's Forestry General Directorate. İş Bankası's funds will reforest some 1,500 hectares (approximately 3,700 acres, or more than 3,000 soccer fields) of land, making it the biggest such project in Turkey to date. The effort, dubbed "81 Provinces, 81 Forests," was kicked off Monday with a tree-planting ceremony at the Kocaeli Forest southeast of Istanbul.

At the opening ceremony, İş Bankası CEO Caner Çimenbiçer talked about how "humanity's dizzying development has quickly consumed nature" and the importance of supplying "every type of assistance, big or small," calling the decision to put the new year's gift funds to use for "the country's collective advantage" the "biggest gift" to customers and shareholders. It sure beats another corporate coffee cup. Via: "İş Bankası to give Turkey gift of green for '09," Today's Zaman
More about tree-planting efforts:
Tree Planters in Europe Adopt Guerrilla Tactics
Trees for Cities
Trees + Community = Tree-nation
Cuba Does Its Part in Billion Tree Campaign
Three Million Trees Planted in Mexico City This Summer

Tags: Deforestation | Forestry | Turkey