At TriplePundit, April is a hectic time, in part because of the onslaught of phone calls and emails from companies and NGOs that remind us about Earth Day. With the countless Earth Day promotions are promises of mugs made from recycled plastic, shopping bags, and more tree planting initiatives than you can shake a free trade organic non-GMO free range bamboo stick at.
Most of these initiatives are worthy; some are just crass public relations stunts by organizations that do little for people or the planet 364 days a year; and we just do not have the bandwidth to discuss all of them. We did stumble upon one project, however, that we want to share with our readers. Honest Tea and the National Forest Foundation (NFF) have found a creative way to plant 50,000 trees across the United States that were devastated by either wildfires or natural disasters. Tree planting initiatives are a dime a dozen, but this one is especially interesting.
Last month Honest Tea and the National Forest Foundation launched the “Bag to Tree” initiative to plant trees in regions that desperately need them, including:
- Upper South Platte Watershed / Hayman Burn Pike National Forest, Colorado: A five-year period of very low precipitation and unseasonably dry air; the absence of fire in the area during the previous 100 years; high, gusty winds; and carelessness collided to create Colorado’s largest and most damaging fire.
- Station Fire Restoration, Angeles National Forest, California: In August 2009, arson caused the burning of over 160,000 acres, or one-quarter of the Angeles National Forest.
- Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Illinois: About 60 miles southwest of Chicago sits a landscape that is one of the last of its kind. Established in 1996, the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is the first national tallgrass prairie in the country. The land was once an ammunition plant.
- Highlands Restoration at the New Jersey Highlands: With its ribbons of forested ridges, the area offers stunning vistas of an ancient landscape and serves as a vital source of drinking water for over half of New Jersey residents. It is now part of The Land Conservancy of New Jersey.
Customers who buy four bottles of Honest Tea at stores participating in this program can snag a (yes, no surprise here) a reusable bag and can also receive a unique code that allows them to have a tree planted in the region of their choosing. Just like with any contest, however, no purchase is necessary. Readers can learn more on the joint Honest Tea/NFF site; you can cut and paste the code 7N3W647W3X by visiting the NFF page here. While tree planting on your own is the better action to take, we believe this is a program that will help reforest areas that have fallen under the radar.