Why do governments and other organizations need people to reach goals in order to do things like plant trees?

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I see posts here and there about how X company is starting a movement in which for every X sold or for every Y donated they’ll plant a tree. Now don’t get me wrong, this is great and all, but why can’t these governments just plant the trees themselves, without the action of constituents or what have you? I’m more concerned about governments, cause I can understand why companies do it.

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Companies do these kinds of things to get publicity. Besides encouraging you to buy the product, you may come associate the good thing with the brand name and feel more positively about it. The partnering organization might even do some advertising wok for you.

The company could make a quiet donation but it would not have that effect, and since its corporate mission is to generate profits for shareholders (who can donate if they wish), it does not have much reason to participate in disinterested charity.

Governments *need* people to do absolutely *everything*.

The government can’t just decide to plant a load of trees without it costing the money of paying for the trees and paying someone to plant them. That requires taxpayers’ money, and taxpayers’ money is already budgeted for with more pressing issues like municipal services. If you want to increase the tax that taxpayers pay, well, they like to know what it is going to be used for. Governments tend to be very inefficient with money compared with companies. Taxpayers don’t like paying more money for a perceived waste of it. A lot of people don’t care about planting trees, especially when that money could’ve gone to repairing roads. Policies like that will eventually get a different government elected.

Companies do it as an incentive to get “moral minded” customers to buy more of their products. It’s not a noble cause.