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  • Sarah Lindsey

Saving the World One Tree at a Time

“He that plants trees loves others besides himself”- Thomas Fuller

Near my house, there is a trail that I love to go biking on. The trail is surrounded on both sides by huge trees that have grown together at the top to form a sort of canopy and no matter the season I love to ride beneath the trees and am grateful for whoever planted the trees there years ago. With Arbor Day coming up I figured now was the perfect time to do a case study on a few companies who are changing the world by planting seeds now.

But first, some tree-via about Arbor Day.

Arbor Day was first started in 1872 when J. Sterling Morton had the idea to have a tree-planting holiday in the Nebraska territory. The settlers of Nebraska missed the trees they had left behind in other areas and needed them to serve as windbreaks for soil during the planting season. It is estimated that over 1 million trees were planted on the first Arbor Day! By 1920, 45 states were celebrating Arbor Day and today Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April by each of the 50 states. Arbor Day is a holiday of hope for a greener tomorrow and is focused on the future rather than the past. To learn more about Arbor Day visit the official website here.

Brand sustainability has never been more important for consumers than it is today. As consumers begin to educate themselves more about the products they are buying, brands need to reduce their carbon footprint and show they care about their environmental impact. Many brands have joined the “Evergreen Alliance” which is a commitment to provide large-scale change through trees (for a full list of brands in the Evergreen Alliance click here) today I want to focus on 6 of these brands that are celebrating Arbor Day in unique ways.

Pottery Barn: Pottery Barn is showing their commitment to sourcing wood responsibly, and only using suppliers that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. They have also set a goal to use wood that is renewable, recyclable, and durable so that fewer trees are cut down. This year they set a goal to plant 3 million trees by December 2023 with a program in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation. For every piece of indoor wood furniture sold, they will plant one tree.

Bounty: “Together, we can go beyond” is the phrase behind Bounty’s promise to become more sustainable. Bounty commits that for every tree they use at least one will be regrown. A major part o the mission is working with the California Wildlife Restoration Project in which they will help the Arbor Day Foundation plant two million trees. Bounty also works with forest owners to help them become certified by the Forest Stewardship Council which helps forest owners use more sustainable practices.

Google: Google aims to be carbon-free by 2030, a large part of their plan to become so lies in planting trees. Google states that “efficiency and clean energy are vital, but we also need to remove carbon that’s already in the air. Nature provides a great solution- trees,” they plan on helping to educate communities on the importance of reforestation. Along with helping educate on reforestation, Google also provides better tree data to ensure that planted trees can thrive. Read more about their carbon-free mission here.

These companies are making big changes to help promote a greener tomorrow. While these companies are helping on a larger scale there are also ways to help on a small scale. Check out how these companies are focusing on small things that make big impacts.

Glossier: This make-up brand is great for the earth-conscious consumer. The brand has switched to 100% recycled packaging and also allows you to opt in to use less packaging in your order. For a limited time in April, they are also including a plantable postcard with purchases so that their customers can help reduce carbon emissions one seed at a time.

Tentree: This clothing brand puts the Earth first by using only eco-conscious fabrics and plants trees to help offset climate change. My favorite part about Tentree? They offer Climate Offset packages on their site, these packages are themed around the bad environmental habits most of us have picked up (using plastic grocery bags, taking long showers, or even road trips). The purchase of one of these packages is donated to planting trees to help offset your climate-changing behaviors.

Woodwatch: The main material in making these watches is wood, to offset this, for every watch sold 10 trees are planted. Woodwatch has also partnered with The Forest Garden Program which provides families and communities in Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Senegal with the tools to plant specific tree and crop types in a systematic pattern over 4 years. This helps families find a way to sustain themselves.

These brands mentioned are helping improve the world one tree at a time. While some of these are large projects you can start becoming more sustainable today by choosing to use recycled items like tees and journals and also choosing reusable items like totes and straws. The little changes we make today will make a big difference in the future. A popular Chinese proverb states “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” This Arbor Day choose to become more sustainable by making small changes that will help the planet in the long run.

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