Trees For The Future: Don't Count Your Footprint, Just Plant a Tree


Image via: Woodleywonderworks at Flickr.com

Green businesses today can no longer just get by on the merits of being "green" or "eco-friendly" or "natural." With the acute interest in all things green these days, the savvy business person must stay one step ahead of the pack and the latest thing is to plant a tree for every purchase, or for every item purchased. One name that comes up time and again is Trees for the Future. So we began to wonder, just who are these forward thinking trees and how did they get to be so popular.You may have seen the ads "Buy tea, plant a tree," or "Buy a Tee, Plant a tree" or "Have a Baby, Plant a Tree." Seems like no matter what you do, the outcome of any activity these days is to plant a tree. That's because the folks over at Trees for the Future came up with an easy way to alleviate the guilt of consumerism and living. Instead of having to fill out a calculator full of equations to figure out just how large your footprint is to buy milk down the street versus order it shipped directly to you, Trees For the Future just plants a tree.

Fly to Africa? Plant a tree. Buy new outfit? Plant a tree. Eat too much red meat? Plant a tree. Pee in Public? Plant a tree. This simple math makes it really easy for business owners to calculate their "offsets" because all they have to do is determine number of orders and then they know number of trees. If an order gets returned, the owner can just figure, "eh, what's one more tree in the forest." Consumers can feel good because they know they are doing something for the planet when they drunk-download the latest Clay Aiken album and plant a tree at the same time. No more wondering whether the offset companies really do what they say. Just plant a tree.

Trees for the Future is based in Silver Springs, Maryland, but has worked to develop sustainable agroforestry programs in developing countries around the world since 1989. They work directly with communities and plant specific trees that meet the needs of the community, though the trees may not always be indigenous. In 2007, over 9 million trees were planted by Trees for the Future and they hope to plan 250 million in 2009. Reading more, it appears that they can plant each tree for an estimated 10 cents USD, which is how they can work with companies to plant a tree with each purchase. Companies involved in the program can either pledge to plan one tree for each purchase (10 cents) or they can make their company carbon neutral by calculating out their carbon footprint and then purchasing the equivalent number of trees. To find out more, plant your own trees or get involved via volunteering, check them out online at Trees for the Future. :Trees For the Future
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Tags: Charities | Conservation | Developing Nations

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