“Small positive steps taken every day lead to big results. But is it really possible for one person’s passion and commitment to make a difference on a global scale? Just ask Ellie Rogers, Master Coordinator, MI.
Ellie has a passion for trees, and over the years, she has earned the nickname "the tree lady” in her local community because of her tree planting initiative that plants 2000-3000 trees annually. “Trees are the lungs of the planet,” says Ellie. “Trees absorb carbon dioxide in the air and release pure oxygen for us to breathe. Studies show that mature trees can absorb about 48 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year and the tree in return releases enough oxygen to sustain two human beings. Fewer trees mean less clean air to breathe.”
But Ellie had a vision to expand beyond her own local efforts to impact the issue of deforestation on a larger scale, and she looked to her Shaklee family for help. In 2004, Ellie wrote to Chairman and CEO Roger Barnett about creating an environmental initiative that the Shaklee Field could participate in to coincide with the 50th Anniversary year of the company and Earth Day. “I didn’t just want Roger to write a check. I wanted the Field to get involved and use this as a way to invite others to participate in the Shaklee mission and vision.” She got the idea to focus the initiative around planting trees and in 2006, during the Anniversary Year Earth Day Celebration, the A Million Trees. A Million Dreams.™ project kicked off.
Another woman deeply concerned about the environment and passionate about stemming the tide of deforestation in her native Kenya, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Dr. Wangari Maathai was invited by Shaklee Chairman & CEO Roger Barnett to serve as global ambassador for the Shaklee Million Trees campaign. Dr. Maathai was so inspired by the Shaklee Family’s commitment to plant a million trees that she in turn challenged the United Nations to make an even greater pledge – the Billion Tree Campaign.
Today, the young members of the Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation continue the work begun in 2006 by the United Nations Environment Programme as a result of Dr. Maathai’s challenge. The objective is to plant at least one billion trees worldwide each year, and as of April 2014, 14 billion trees have been pledged and 12.9 billion have been planted around the world. That’s what we call a pretty big effect!“