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Marketing and Comms
Fighting Fire with Fire:
Zippo Pledges to Help Fight Effects of Global Deforestation

Zippo will plant a tree with every lighter sold in partnership with Woodchuck USA’s Buy One. Plant One.® program; and has documented its first step in Madagascar, with National Geographic.

Zippo — maker of the ubiquitous, flip-top lighter — is intimately aware of fire's usefulness, as a force of nature to be summoned at will. But this power, when wielded carelessly or allowed to run rampant, can have devastating effects. Nowhere is this more evident than in fire's impact on forests, here in the US and across the globe. Wildfires destroy 4 percent of the Earth's surface each year, with 84 percent a result of human activity.

Image credit: Zippo

Zippo is working with Woodchuck USA — maker of custom wood products and gifts — and launching a global Fight Fire with Fire project that aims to help counter the effects of deforestation caused by wildfires. Through the project, Zippo has pledged to plant a tree for each windproof lighter sold from the Woodchuck’s Fight Fire with Fire collection, to shine a light on the effects of wildfire — starting with Zippo's first planting sites in Madagascar. Globally renowned, “purpose-native” storytelling platform National Geographic has produced a video for Zippo and a photography series in Madagascar, to document the efforts.

With unprecedented wildfires reported as far north as the Arctic Circle, and research citing humans as the main threat to the very existence of a third of all remaining animal species, there is a shared sense of urgency to protect our planet and biodiversity. Zippo believes every individual has the power to make a positive difference, and wants to help open people’s minds to this: Humans are responsible for the majority of fires, so the solution also rests in our collective hands.

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"Temperatures are at the highest level on record and wildfires are affecting almost every continent on Earth, but unlike most natural disasters, the majority of wildfires are caused by humans,” Lucas Johnson, Senior Brand Manager of Global Marketing at Zippo, points out. “In the US alone, there are around 100,000 forest fires each year, clearing up to 9 million acres of land. The Zippo windproof lighter gives people the power of portable fire, but with this comes responsibility."

To help educate on the problem of wildfires and their causes, National Geographic has produced a series of stories about the impacts of deforestation in Madagascar, the world's fourth-largest island — which has had 90 percent of its original forests destroyed. Nat Geo’s content focuses on what people are doing to rectify the issue.