CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. -- Why? Because planting trees will help to clean the air and cool the globe.
Since 1998, IKEA US, in partnership with American Forests, has been dedicated to improving the lives of many people through its national in-store 'Plant A Tree' program, a campaign that asks customers to donate $1 to plant one tree. These contributions, together with money donated by IKEA, have resulted in the raising of $1.9 million dollars to plant 1.9 million trees across America.
On October 1, IKEA stores across the US will thank customers for their great participation and support for climate change by giving away free tree seedlings at each store location. The 'Plant A Tree' program has been a partnership between IKEA and American Forests with generous donations from IKEA customers, as well as donations from IKEA to American Forests. Some of the IKEA donations resulted from customer plastic bag purchases during the phase-out of IKEA plastic bags.
Additionally on October 1, as part of the recently launched Life Improvement Project (www.thelifeimprovementproject.com), IKEA will be giving away more free seedlings at “surprise locations” in local communities. This is the first of several “Random Acts of Life Improvement” throughout the year, during which IKEA will be surprising consumers with small tokens of appreciation to help improve their day. The public can follow their closest IKEA store’s Twitter handle to get clues about where the giveaway will take place in their city.
Trees from the 'Plant A Tree' program have been planted in many forests across America. Designated by American Forests for specific locations, these plantings have included some of the following sites and amounts: 74,000 trees in the McNally Fire restoration in California; 15,000 trees in Arizona for the Warm Fire Restoration project; and over 100,000 trees in the Lower Rio Grande in Texas.
Why 'Plant A Tree' program?
Trees and forests are a crucial part of the Earth’s ecosystem. Trees are green machines that clean our air and water by absorbing pollution and stabilizing the soil. The trees donated to American Forests are planted throughout the US in environmental restoration projects.
“Thanks to American Forests and IKEA US customers, we are celebrating the planting of 1.9 million trees across America. IKEA US continues to showcase its deep commitment to climate change and our quality of life by keeping the environment clean and green. Each tree makes a difference and 1.9 million trees planted will help to reduce CO2 pollution, while renewing America’s forests,” said Mike Ward, President, IKEA US.
“This closely aligns with our current Life Improvement Project, a national program to inspire consumers and provide them with tools to create a better everyday life at home and in their communities,” added Ward.
“American Forests and IKEA have partnered for more than a decade to help restore and protect forests across the country and throughout the world,” said Scott Steen, American Forests CEO. “Through IKEA and its customers’ commitment to this important work, we have been able to undertake hundreds of ecosystem restoration projects and plant millions of trees. As a result, communities across America now have cleaner air and water, better wildlife habitats and less CO2 in the atmosphere. We look forward to continuing this work with IKEA in the years to come to support a greener, healthier planet,” added Steen.
American Forests Gives Ten Reasons ‘Why We Plant Trees’
- Trees Save Energy and Money. According to the U.S. Forest Service, “Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and save 20-50 percent in energy used for heating.”
- Trees Save Tax Dollars. Trees in a city slow storm water runoff and reduce the need for storm sewers. Tree shade also helps cool municipal buildings, lowering electricity bills.
- Trees Cool our Cities. Urban ‘heat islands’ are caused by declining tree canopy in our communities.
- Trees Clean Our Water and Air. From low level ozone in our cities to pesticide and fertilizer runoff from our farms, trees absorb harmful pollutants.
- Trees Help Community Life. Tree planting and community-based forestry can add significantly to a local community’s sustainable economy while restoring the environment.
- Trees Protect Soil. By holding soil in place with their root systems, by deflecting pounding rain with their canopies and by adding nutrients each fall with their leaves, trees are crucial to keeping and improving our soil.
- Trees Provide Habitat for Species of Many Kinds, including Endangered Species.
- Trees Can Pay Your ‘Carbon Debt.’ Planting just 30 trees with American Forests will absorb the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that is generated in the production of energy consumed by the average American lifestyle annually – and put oxygen back into our atmosphere.
- Trees Provide Clean Water and Natural Flood Control. Forests act as natural reservoirs and they protect watersheds, providing clean water for cities, bays and rivers.
- Trees are a Beautiful Part of our Lives. Trees enrich our lives by simply being there; from the majestic sequoias to the littlest new bud.
(Facts from American Forests www.americanforests.org)
ABOUT IKEA ~ DID YOU KNOW?
- IKEA conducts an annual review in all IKEA stores to measure environmental progress, such as energy and waste reduction.
- In addition to IWAY forestry requirements, the share of certified solid wood increased substantially in FY10, to 23.6 percent from 16.2 percent prior year.
- IKEA flat packs its home furnishing products to not only keep costs low but to also reduce CO2 emission by utilizing efficient transport.
- The production of STUVA boxes used to mean that it took one tree to make 13 boxes. But today, one tree is enough for 23 STUVA boxes.
- IKEA is committed to sustainability in its everyday practices and through its extensive IWAY Code of Conduct system.
IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings company, was founded in 1943 in Sweden. Since then, IKEA, the Life Improvement Store has offered home furnishings and accessories of great design and quality with functional living solutions at everyday low prices. Currently there are more than 300 IKEA stores in 37 countries, including 50 in North America (11 in Canada; 38 in the US; 1 in the Dominican Republic). IKEA has six distribution centers in North America. TIME Magazine (May 2009) listed IKEA as one of the top 8 most global eco conscious companies. IKEA incorporates environmentally friendly efforts into day-to-day business and continuously supports initiatives that benefit causes such as children and the environment including UNICEF, Save the Children and American Forests. To visit the IKEA Web site, please go to www.IKEA-usa.com and also learn more about IKEA environmental and social responsibility actions and programs. Also visit www.Facebook.com/IKEAUSA.
For more information on IKEA and forestry, click here http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/about_ikea/our_responsibility/forestry_and_wood/index.html
For more information about IKEA and American Forests, click here http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/about_ikea/our_responsibility/national_community_involvment/index.html
See your local store website for information on celebrations in your local IKEA store.