Plant a Tree. Clean the Air. Cool the Globe. This thought has been the driver that has inspired IKEA US shoppers. Since June 2006, IKEA US in partnership with American Forests, has had a national in-store 'Plant A Tree' program which asks customers to donate $1 to plant one tree. These contributions, together with money donated by IKEA, have resulted in raising $1.5 million dollars to plant 1.5 million trees across America.
IKEA stores across the US will thank customers for their great participation and support for climate change during the second and third weeks of October 16. Activities will include giving away tree seedlings and local tree plantings. 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 in 2008.
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.
'Along with American Forests and our customers, IKEA celebrates the planting of 1.5 million trees. This dedicated program shows a sincere commitment to making a difference towards climate change. We know our quality of life depends on the quality of the environment, and IKEA is dedicated to keeping the environment healthy and green. Each tree makes a difference, so 1.5 million trees will be significant in helping to reduce CO2 pollution and renew America's forests,' said Mike Ward, President, IKEA US.
What is life without trees? Just plain empty. Trees and forests are a crucial part of Earth's ecosystem. They are green machines. Trees clean our air and purify our water by absorbing pollutants and stabilizing soils. Trees create beautiful vistas and form homes for our abundant wildlife. They are our natural capital and have a tremendous environmental value.
'Through their commitment to tree planting and community environmental stewardship, IKEA has been a true leader and key supporter of American Forests' Global ReLeaf efforts for well over a decade. This partnership has enabled our work to restore damaged forests for the protection of endangered wildlife, to clean the air and water and to combat global climate change by sequestering CO2. Since introducing the Global ReLeaf Plant a Tree program four years ago, IKEA, its employees and customers have donated dollars to plant over one million six hundred thousand trees in Global ReLeaf environmental restoration projects throughout the United States. We deeply appreciate the commitment of IKEA and its customers to environmental improvement through Global ReLeaf tree planting,' said Gerry Gray, Ph.D. Acting Executive Director.
American Forests Gives Ten Reasons 'Why We Plant Trees'
- Trees Save Energy and Money. Just three trees strategically planted around your home can cut your air conditioning bill in half.
- 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.
- IKEA flat packs their home furnishing products to not only keep costs low but to also reduce CO2 emission by utilizing efficient transport.
- IKEA uses wood from well managed forests and will not accept wood from intact natural forests.
- IKEA uses resources efficiently. For example, the IKEA Eden table uses heartwood, the innermost part of the trunk which is usually discarded.
- IKEA is committed to sustainability in its everyday practices and through its extensive IWAY system Code of Conduct.
IKEA, the world's leading home furnishings company, was founded in 1943 in Sweden. Since then, IKEA 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 49 in North America (11 in Canada; 37 in the US; 1 in the Dominican Republic). IKEA has six distribution centers in North America, with a manufacturing facility in Danville, VA. IKEA has been named to Business Week's List of The Best Global Brands (August 7, 2006) for four consecutive years and Business Week’s List of the Top 2009 Twenty Best Companies for Leadership (February 2010). Additionally, IKEA has been listed on Working Mother magazine's annual list of the '100 Best Companies for Working Mothers' for four consecutive years. IKEA was also listed in March 2007, on Fast Company's Fast 50, for its environmentally responsible products, as well as for five consecutive years in Training magazine's annual list of top companies that excel at human capital development. 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.