How long has your program been up and running?

Trees, Water & People began 100% Replanted in collaboration with the originator of the concept, Your True Nature, in 2001. This innovative company led the way for years in planting over 50,000 trees to replace all paper used by their publishing company. From their sustainable practices, the model was created and later converted to an online calculator to easily determine paper usage and replanting options.

The trees planted through the 100% Replanted program are planted in rural communities that border protected areas or forests in El Salvador. Planting trees in Central America has several important benefits: the cost of planting is low, the trees grow quickly in the tropical climate, and the tree nurseries create jobs for local people.

Did You Know?

Worldwide, tree harvesting outstrips replanting by 10:1.

The trees you help plant will never be harvested for timber — they will be planted in areas designated for permanent protection.

How many individuals and companies have participated in your replanting program?  Can you provide examples?
We have had 115 unique individual and companies pledge to replant trees used. 28 businesses, organizations or events have participated in the program. That does not include individual and family participants. Repeat participants include Allegro Coffee Company, Your True Nature, Books of Discovery, Cottonwood Press, Green Mountain Publishing, Sunshine Press, The Healing Path Magazine, and Wabi-Ware Gifts. Putumayo World Music Kids joined 100% Replanted in 2010.

-Allegro Coffee Company replants 5 trees for every one they use in their operations. From 2003-2009, Allegro planted over 13,000 trees.

-Books of Discovery planted 45,000 trees between 2003-2009 to replace all paper used in that time period.

-Your True Nature, Inc. plants 10 trees for each one used for their entire office's administrative and production needs, as well as for their line of greeting cards, printed books and nature gifts. Since 2001, Your True Nature has planted approximately 10,000 trees.

-Wabi-Ware handcrafted cards has planted over 2,000 trees between 2000-2009.

These are a few examples of how companies are using the program.

Did You Know?

Currently, the average U.S. office worker uses a sheet of paper every 12 minutes — a ream per person every 2.5 working weeks — and disposes of 100-200 lbs of paper every year.

Where are the trees planted?  Who does the planting?  Who supervises and monitors the planting?

Trees Water & People, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in Fort Collins, Colorado has planted millions of trees in Central America and manages the planting and care for this project. Trees for 100% Replanted have been planted with rural communities in El Salvador since 2001. The ecological value, cost of planting, and community education factors make these the most effective areas. TWP and our local partner, ARBOLES, coordinate tree planting campaigns with villagers to plant the trees inconjunction with fuel-efficient stove building. The groups supervise and monitor the planting and train the communities to protect them from draught, fire and other common hazards. TWP’s International Director or Assistant International Director verify tree plantings during yearly program visits.

Did You Know?

We can help slow global warming by planting trees.

What types of trees will be planted?

The trees planted through 100% Replanted are native species (18" - 36" tall) including Wild Tamarind (Leucaena salvadorensis), Pacific Coast Mahogany (Swietenia humilis Zucc.), Spanish Cedar (Cedrela odorata L.), Yellow Elder (Tecoma stans), and Mexican Lilac (Gliricidia sepium). Fruit trees will also be planted for their benefit of food and income for community members.

Why does the program require five or ten trees being planted for each one used.
We calculate that to replace one large tree used, multiple smaller trees should be planted to assure at least one will reach maturity. For example planting ten 18” – 36” seedlings to replace one 40' tall harvestable paper/pulp tree is what we have determined to be a reasonable replanting ratio. Of the ten trees, some may not survive due to various climate, wildlife or human reasons. Others that do survive will grow into large and healthy trees over the years sequestering CO2, producing oxygen, shade, watershed protection and other benefits to the earth and communities.

If you are recycling and using recycled paper, you are given credit in the calculator and will need to plant fewer trees.

 Are these trees that would not have otherwise been planted?
Yes, your participation funds additional tree plantings.

Did You Know?
Catalogs alone account for 8 million tons of trees per year (80 million trees) and typically contain little recycled content.

What are the results, successes, and challenges of your program?

We have planted over 83,000 trees since 2001 with eight communities in El Salvador. As a result, these community's vital water and forest resources are being protected and managed in a sustainable, long-term manner. These communities also benefit from training on community development and organizing methods, which are required to coordinate tree planting campaigns and supervision.

The major challenges of our program are the multiple threats to forested areas in El Salvador including fire, drought, and deforestation for firewood or farming purposes. As part of our integrated protection projects, we:

1) educate farmers about the benefits of not burning their fields after harvest (a very common practice to “clean” their fields of crop residue after harvest),

2) how to organize fire brigades in case forests catch fire,

3) introduce fuel-efficient, healthy cook stoves to reduce the demand for forest products (80 - 90% of rural families use fuel wood to cook and heat their homes),

4) train farmers on agro-forestry techniques that increase yield and protect soil,

Even with all of these trainings and projects, fire, drought, and deforestation continue. 

What percentage of payment goes to the actual tree planting versus other costs, such as administration and marketing for your organization?
75% of the proceeds go towards the actual tree planting and supervisory activities. 5% go towards program marketing and 20% for administrative expenses.

Are there other organizations that provide the same or similar paper use/ tree harvest offsetting program?  Why should we choose your program over the others?
Other groups offer tree planting mainly as a form of carbon offsetting. We have chosen, thus far, not to offer the carbon offsetting because of the high verification costs associated with certification of a program. Much less money would go towards actual reforestation unless the program increased the price of planting a tree to cover that cost. Our program has been very successful without including the added benefit of offsetting carbon use at an economic price of $2/tree.

Our program is also based at the community-level. We work directly with rural, impoverished communities in El Salvador and Guatemala to protect the water, forest and cropland resources.

Are there other like-minded environmentally aware/conservation-oriented organizations that would recommend your program?
In addition to companies participating in the 100% Replanted program, Winrock International, Sustainable Harvest, World Neighbors, Aprovecho Research Center, Peace Corps, the Center for Protected Area Management and Training at Colorado State University, Village Earth, El Porvenir, United States Environmental Protection Agency, and Rotary International are just a few of the many entities that we collaborate with and would recommend us.

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