This week marks the launch of our awareness campaign for International Paper, entitled "Go Paper. Grow Trees.", which gives consumers the facts on how using paper products makes a direct contribution to the health of trees and forests.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), a majority of the 750 million acres of U.S. forests are privately owned. These private owners—mostly family tree farmers—will ultimately determine what happens to our forestlands, which we depend on for many social, ecological and economic benefits.
"Go Paper. Grow Trees." was created to connect readers to the challenges private landowners face in growing and maintaining healthy forests. Promoted in online banner ads, a print magazine ad and via ground-roots spreading of the word with an email signature graphic and social media such as YouTube and Facebook, the campaign is centered around an interactive website that provides numerous forestry facts and dispels many myths, while offering multimedia tools, including a "Go Paper. Grow Trees." video.
“It’s important to understand that tree farmers and other private landowners plant about 4 million trees every day, which is about three to four times more than they harvest,” said Teri Shanahan, IP’s vice president, Commercial Printing. “By planting trees and managing forests responsibly, landowners are given the financial incentive they need to maintain and protect the valuable forest resources that provide benefits for present and future generations.”
Without the income from tree farming, landowners face economic pressure to pay property taxes and replace lost revenue. A common outcome is converting forestlands to other uses such as agricultural crops that have shorter growing and cash cycles than forest products. Another tempting prospect is to sell the land for development. In either case, the forest is removed forever and so are the benefits of cleaner water, better air, wildlife habitat and biodiversity. Healthy forests are life-support systems—and demand for paper products ensures landowners continue to farm trees.
“By providing a clearer understanding of who owns the forests and the challenges these landowners face, ‘Go Paper. Grow Trees.’ is intended to correct misinformation and provide a realistic perspective on the role that paper products play in keeping our forests healthy and growing,” added Shanahan. “Consumers continue to be environmentally conscious in the choices they make, so it’s important they base their decisions on facts. The facts are paper is a completely sustainable, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable resource—and using paper can actually lead to a healthier forest ecosystem and the demand for and growth of more trees.”
For more information on the awareness campaign, visit GoPaperGrowTrees.com.