More than one million U-Haul customers have contributed to the planting of hundreds of thousands of trees across the country by choosing to make their move a little greener at the register and donating to The Conservation Fund’s Go Zero® program.
With more than $3.3 million raised, U-Haul and its customers are making a significant and lasting difference on the ground. At Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana, customers have planted 95,000 native oak, pecan and hickory trees. These trees now provide a home for the threatened Louisiana black bear and also act as sponges to help soak up water in flood-prone communities along the Ouachita River.
U-Haul and its customers have also:
- planted trees in five other national wildlife refuges
- supported high-quality, independently-verified carbon offset projects
- helped the development of urban parks in Detroit and Atlanta
But why is planting trees so important? While it may look like trees aren’t not doing much, they’re actually making the world a better place in more than one way.
Most of us know that trees trap carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gasses so that we can breathe cleaner air, but did you know they also help clean our water? They absorb pollutants from storm water before they flow into our rivers, lakes and oceans.
Prime real estate for wildlife
Look closely at a tree and you’ll likely see a whole community of living organisms. From insects to birds to bears, a variety of wildlife, including many rare and endangered species, depend on trees for shelter and survival.
Boost the economy
Our trees are part of an industry that creates products essential for every day life like toilet paper, chairs and tables. The industry employs nearly one million people nationwide and generates 4.5 percent of U.S. manufacturing GDP. This is on par with the nation’s automotive and plastics industries!
In addition to these contributions, trees also provide us with places for relaxation and recreation, nourish us with their food, give life to our cities and neighborhoods – the list goes on and on.
Have you planted a tree in your community? Share your experiences in the comments section below!
As Director of Corporate Partnerships and Director of Go Zero, Jena Thompson Meredith has combined entrepreneurial vision and conservation ideals for a decade at The Conservation Fund. Jena has led initiatives with Dell, Delta, Mercedes-Benz USA, The North Face, Travelocity, U-Haul, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and many others. She holds a BA in English from the University of Texas.