Planting Trees: How it Works

Example of Paper Culture Tree Seedling
As many of you know, part of Paper Culture’s environmental commitment is that we plant a tree for every order and every new Facebook fan. In fact, we’ve pledged to plant 1,000,000 trees. We try to respond to each question individually, but we thought we’d try to consolidate some of our answers in a blog post for posterity.

Question: Do you REALLY plant a tree for every order and Facebook fan?
Answer: Yes we do. And for us, while it’s something our customers love to talk about, we view it as only one small part of our commitment to give back to the environment.

Question: OK, so what’s the catch. Are you just dropping 1,000 seeds in the ground and calling that tree planting?
Answer: Gosh no. Each tree that is planted is a seedling that has been grown in a nursery. A tree is only considered planted when one of those seedlings gets planted in the ground successfully. This is true of both trees planted in the United States and those planted internationally. On average, over 90% of those seedlings turn into trees – we wish it were 100%, but alas, Mother Nature has a mind of her own.

Question: Where are the trees planted?
Answer: As individuals, unfortunately, we don’t have access to many of the areas that reforestation is most needed. So, we partner with organizations such as the Arbor Day Foundation who has access to both state and national forests (http://www.arborday.org/pa​rtnerships/partners.cfm). We also partner with an increasing number of international organizations to plant trees in national forests throughout the world.

Question: Why do you plant trees?
Answer: For soooooo many reasons – this could be a whole post. In fact, we will certainly do that in the future, but here’s a few high level reasons. First, our core products are paper products. While we cut down no new trees for those products because they use 100% post consumer recycled paper, we realize that at some point that paper comes from trees. And thus, our business is really about trees. Second, we love the environment and as founders of the company, we wanted to build a company that gave back. Third, trees do so much more than just provide paper from providing oxygen for the environment, to being a habitat for species, to dramatically reducing erosion – we think trees are pretty darn cool (and not just for the comfy shade that they bring). In fact, check out dozens of other cool things that trees on our Cards to Trees page.

Planting Seedlings for Cards to Trees

Question: Can you provide a specific example of what you are doing to plant trees?
Answer: We’d be happy to. One of the most recent initiatives was in the Pere Maquette State Forest that can be found in the northwest part of Michigan, close to Lake Superior and the Manistee National Forest. The Pere Marquette State Forest is a beautiful landscape of oak and pine trees and is home to activities such as camping, hiking, biking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.

Through our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, half a million Jack pines were replanted to improve habitat for diverse wildlife and to restore the forest ecosystem.

As part of this project, an endangered species, the endangered Kirtland warbler, has been brought back from the brink of extinction. The Kirtland warbler is a neotropical migratory songbird that are only found in the peninsula’s around Michigan. As a result of the replanting efforts, the number of singing males has increased from less than 200 to more than 1,300 – literally turning the tide on an almost extinct species.

While every story is special to us, we feel fortunate to being a part of similar stories throughout the United States and the world as part of our goal to plant 1,000,000 trees.