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Why LightStream plants a tree with every funded loan
Trees are good, right? And the more the better. When you have lots of healthy trees together, they:
- Protect important watersheds
- Help maintain wildlife habitats
- Combat climate change
- Provide recreational opportunities
- Make our cities more livable
But here’s the problem: According to Seattlepi.com, the U.S. lost an average of nearly 950,000 acres of forest every year between 1990 and 2010, due primarily to the conversion of forested lands to other purposes (although disease and tree pests have also taken a toll). Seattlepi.com wrote that deforestation could increase in the future due to rising levels of these afflictions.
Reforestation, one tree at a time
There’s reason for optimism, however. Though the U.S. loses forested lands every year, there are many people who strive to ensure these trees are replaced. During the same 20-year period, the country added close to 19 million acres of forest. This was done in large part by organizations engaged in reforestation efforts throughout the country.
American Forests is one of these organizations. Founded in 1875, they have been at the forefront of reforestation and preservation efforts for more than 140 years. While reforestation was important at the beginning of the 20th century, it’s more critical than ever today. Since 1990, American Forests has:
- Planted more than 50 million trees
- Reforested lands in every state
- Restored forests in almost 50 countries
That’s an amazing record, and it’s why, with the help of our customers, LightStream supports American Forests’ efforts. For every funded LightStream loan, we plant a tree on behalf of our customers through American Forests. So far, our partnership has allowed us to reforest nearly 1,000 acres around the country.
Reducing paper use to keep forests healthy
While we need to keep planting more trees, we can also be smart about reducing the need for paper products. Did you know that the average office worker goes through 10,000 pieces of paper every year? According to Paperitis, that’s the equivalent of 20 reams, or an entire tree every year.
LightStream’s loan process is paperless (our customers complete an application form online and upload any relevant documents). While our support of American Forests began as a symbolic celebration of our paper-stingy ways, today it has grown into an ongoing program of support that empowers each of our customers to have a real, positive impact on our environment. Let’s keep planting trees!
Image courtesy of American Forests.