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Etnies halfway to goal of planting 200K trees

Monday - 4/22/2013, 9:00pm  ET

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (AP) -- Action sports company etnies is more than half way to its goal of planting 200,000 trees in Brazil this year in its Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree global reforestation initiative.

The company, represented by such athletes as skateboarder Ryan Sheckler, freestyle motocross rider Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg and surfer Matt "Wilko" Wilkinson, announced Monday -- Earth Day -- that it has planted 117,088 trees through March.

Etnies said it has planted 286,088 trees since the program began in Costa Rica in 2011. The program has planted trees exclusively in Brazil since 2012.

Founder and CEO Pierre-Andre Senizergues, a former professional skateboarder, said the company is encouraged by the numbers and should surpass its goal since the year is only a quarter over.

"It's extremely important," Senizergues said. "Our mission as a company has always been to inspire youth. There's no youth with no future. It's clear that youth need a planet to live on, and we need to take care of that to give them inspiration."

For every pair of certain styles of shoes sold, etnies makes a donation to Trees for the Future, which then plants a tree.

Senizergues said he remembers being affected by pollution while skateboarding in Paris, and he'd often head to the coast or mountains for cleaner air.

Senizergues, who also surfs and snowboards, wants his company to be carbon-neutral by 2020.

As part of the project, etnies filmed a video of Wilkinson being forced by terms of his contract to plant trees.

"We're trying to have fun with it," Senizergues said. "It's about connecting with people, with the environment and having a good time with it and doing the right thing."

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