Sponsor The World You Want to See, Part 2

Celestial Seasonings tea is generating strong sales by sponsoring tree planting. By joining forces with Trees for the Future. The green charity has planted more than 70 million trees in Central America, Africa and Asia since 1988. Celestial committed to one tree planting for every box of Celestial purchased. The goal is to sponsor 1 million new trees.

Can’t get to the store? No worries, Celestial also launched a microsite at which consumers who register their name and email address can plant a virtual tree. Other tactics include special displays at retailers throughout the country and two old school FSIs in newspapers. The campaign has Facebook page (Wonder which will perform better FSI or viral tactics?)

Results already are remarkable. Halfway through the campaign, retail sales have generated just about half of the 1 million goal–nearly 450,000, according to the tree “ticker” on the main site as of Monday–although the two-week-old online tree-planting site was, so far, up to only about 200 trees. Marketing Director Jennifer Stolte, leads the campaign. She wanted it to mesh with and enhances the brand’s long association with sustainability and social responsibility.

In the brand’s early days, Celestial tea bags were sown, not glued or stapled. Ahead of its time on fair trade and eat local, it has worked with farmers for more than 30 years, to establish sustainable harvests. Today, Celestial uses minimal packaging, including a tea bag that requires no strings, tags, staples or individual wrappers, saving more than 3.5 million pounds of waste from entering landfills annually, according to Stolte.

This is the kind of can-do, social solutions-oriented marketing that empowers consumers when they participate. It also triggers a cycle of reciprocity between the consumer and the brand. Everyone wins.

I’ll drink to that.