Offering to plant a sapling in South Iceland, in lieu of buying fireworks, went fairly well as a fundraising effort for the Rescue Squad. Thousands of saplings were sold, to be planted this summer in a “New Year’s Forest”.
“We don’t have any exact numbers on how many saplings were sold this New Years,” Jón Svanberg Hjartarson, the director of the Rescue Squad, told Fréttablaðið, “But we sent out 15,000 copies of [sapling order cards] to our squads. Most of them had to order more, because they sold out. So it’s fairly clear that at least a few thousand saplings were sold.”
As reported, the drive to offer the option of buying a sapling instead of fireworks was in large part in response to growing concern over the polluting nature of fireworks. The Rescue Squad generates a great deal of revenue for their vital services through the sale of fireworks.
Jónatan Garðarsson, the director of the Icelandic Forestry Association, was very pleased with the results.
“We’ve received the saplings, and next summer they will be planted in this new forest by Þorlákshöfn,” he told reporters. “This cooperative effort was very positive and with time, this forest will be big and beautiful and everyone will be able to visit and have a good time there.”