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There’s no doubt about it, trees are getting the short end of the stick, especially when it comes to celebrating the holiday named in their honor. According to the 2011 Timberland Arbor Day Survey, only 12 percent of respondents celebrate trees’ national holiday – although, 98 percent agree trees and tree planting are important.
“If trees could talk, they’d be a bit sad about the lack of activities around Arbor Day,” says Jim Davey, vice president of global marketing for Timberland. “Especially the older ones who probably remember people celebrating, planting or watering them back in the day. Our survey shows people actually do care, so we’re doing our part to shine the spotlight back on trees – at least for a day.”
One of the ways Timberland is helping people celebrate the 139th anniversary of Arbor Day is by encouraging them to discover their “inner tree.” The Arbor Day survey queried more than 1,000 men and women on a variety of tree-related topics, including what kind of tree they would be: the majority of men surveyed said a “robust, strong redwood,” while the majority of women chose a “caring, empathetic willow.” Non-survey takers need not lose heart: by answering a few questions in Timberland’s new Hortiscope quiz on Facebook, they, too, can identify their true tree personality.
VIRTUAL TREE = REAL TREE
Timberland’s Arbor Day efforts aren’t all fun and games. Two of the biggest findings from the survey are that people do care about tree planting and think Arbor Day should be celebrated. Recognizing an opportunity to bring Arbor Day into focus and leverage public interest in tree planting, Timberland is re-launching its Virtual Forest tree planting application on Facebook with a new and improved real-life tree planting component: for every virtual tree planted on their Virtual Forest application, Timberland will plant one real tree in Haiti (up to one million trees).
“We’re using Arbor Day as a means of bringing trees into the forefront in a fun and entertaining way, but the ultimate intent is entirely serious,” explains Davey. “Many of us take trees for granted, but in some regions of the world, they’re a vital source of food, fuel and shelter. We’re trying to raise awareness of the critical need for trees and hoping to engage people in Timberland’s global reforestation effort.”
To date, Timberland has planted more than one million trees around the world, and in October 2010, the company announced a commitment to plant five million more trees, primarily in Haiti and in China’s Horqin Desert, two areas severely affected by deforestation. Click here for more information on Timberland’s tree planting initiatives.
2011 TIMBERLAND ARBOR DAY SURVEY: OTHER KEY FINDINGS
· Arbor What? More than three-quarters (76 percent) of Americans don’t know when Arbor Day is, and another 30 percent couldn’t identify “tree planting” as the day’s mission.
· The New Eco-Holiday. Despite its much more recent beginnings – Earth Day was founded in 1970 – Americans are twice as likely to celebrate Earth Day (26 percent vs. 12 percent for Arbor Day).
· Where’s the Arbor Day Parade? Anyone? More than 70 percent of respondents agree Arbor Day is an important day of observation for the country, but a dearth of knowledge about celebrations prevents 43 percent of Americans from observing it. Cities, towns and neighborhoods need to step up too, as 20 percent of Americans don’t take part in Arbor Day because of a lack of local festivities.
No Arbor Day party on your block? Tree lovers everywhere are invited to join Timberland’s celebration: the Hortiscope tree personality quiz and Virtual Forest application are both available on the Timberland Facebook page and, the “person on the street” video featured can be accessed on Timberland’s YouTube Channel.
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