You might be wondering why and what kind of trees will be planted when you purchase from us. The answer is it depends on our tree-planting partner, the nonprofit organization One Tree Planted.
They plant trees to restore nature and biodiversity. They also raise awareness about the importance of trees, offer businesses like ours a simple sustainability solution, and motivate younger generations to do something positive for the environment.
Basically, what happens is One Tree Planted figures out where the saplings are most needed and then they obtain from local nurseries trees of the species that grow in that particular place. For example, if the targeted plantings area is home to mostly pine trees, One Tree Planted will introduce baby pines grown in that area (as opposed to, say, young palm trees).
The choice of planting location we support is influenced by where our customers are located—and the reason is that we want to support their local communities.
Ultimately, the plantings occur where wildfires, clearcutting, and/or other environmental tragedies have denuded the landscape. One Tree Planted consults with Canadian and U.S. forestry officials for recommendations about locations with the greatest need for new trees.
There are a number of organizations across North America that do what One Tree Planted does, but we choose to collaborate with this particular group because of its outstanding transparency, high level of knowledge, and intense commitment to preserving the environment. We started working with One Tree Planted over a year ago. Since then they’ve planted more than 1,000 trees on behalf of our customers.
How our tree-planting policy sprouted
I’m often asked why I made tree plantings a standard element of Phil Zen Design’s sales policy. As you may already know, sustainability is part of Phil Zen’s DNA and I am continually striving to make sure our sustainability practices go above and beyond.
We have all seen alarming images and statistics lately about increased deforestation and wildfires. As many designs and furniture are made of wood, I wanted to see if there was something I could do to contribute even in a small way to reversing this tragic situation. It occurred to me that planting trees would be a very proper and very impactful response.
Trees help clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, and provide habitat to over 80 percent of the world's terrestrial biodiversity. I personally have always been fascinated by their beauty, strength, towering size, and ability to abide for centuries (the oldest Lebanese Sisters olive trees, for example, date back more than 6,000 years).
So, to me, trees—being a fundamental part of our ecosystem—are a symbol of life, physical comfort, and spiritual nourishment. That’s also why I’ve insisted our Phil Zen Design products be made primarily from wood (sustainably procured and processed wood, that is). Wood is a natural material that so perfectly supports the biophilic design concepts we emphasize as a means of bringing wellness and well-being to our home-based office workspaces.
Other simple ideas to help our environment
Now, of course, buying something from the Phil Zen Design catalog to take advantage of planting a tree is a great support to our environment. Some other actions I like to take to reduce my impact are:
- Turning down the lights to use less electricity
- Opening the windows to let in fresh air and reduce the use of air conditioning
- Leaving the car parked at the curb and getting where I need to go on foot, by bicycle, or on roller skates (which would include skateboards and motorless scooters)
- Adopt more zero-waste items in my daily life (which reduce plastic packaging, are reusable, and refillable—for instance, using shampoo bars instead of bottles makes a big difference at the landfill)
But in whatever way we chose to help our environment, it is good to pause for a moment and reflect on the true meaning of our actions. This blue speck suspended in the vast emptiness of outer space is all we have. This is our home and it deserves to be treated with the utmost care and respect. Learn more about the surprising cost of non sustainable furniture.