I support Tree Sisters to plant more trees – growing into forests – supporting ecosystems – helping local communities to thrive.
Social, economic and environmental sustainability go hand-in-hand for a better future.
My monthly contributions over the past 11 month have enabled Tree Sisters to plant 572 trees that I can call ‘my forest’, although my trees are actually not together in one place, but are distributed across a number of sites in different countries.
Tree Sisters see carbon offsetting as reductionist and I can sympathise with this.
On the other hand, I’m interested in carbon offsetting because I want to see what I can do to offset my life’s footprint. So here it goes: Tree Sisters reckon that it takes about 7.5 trees to draw down one tonne of carbon from the atmosphere over a 20 year period. Being a little impatient, I’ll go for a 10 year turnaround and say that it takes 15 trees 10 years to take up a tonne of CO2 (I know that may be somewhat simplistic, but will do as a rough estimate for now). That means, my existing Tree Sister forest will compensate around 38 tonnes of my carbon footprint over the next 10 years.
Now, I’ve got a well-insulated house and solar water heaters, as well as solar PV. I drive a small car (still diesel) and have given up commuting. My diet is that of an omnivore, includes some fish, meat and dairy, but increasingly less so, but mainly locally sourced and freshly cooked from first ingredients. I travel by air and car to see family and take the occasional long-haul flight for work or play. I buy stuff, but I’m not a fashion-addict. My annual carbon footprint is between 6 and 15 t, the wide range resulting from different consumer behaviour in different years and what is actually included by the calculator.
So, let’s say my average carbon footprint has been 8 tonnes a year during my adult life. My forest is going to offset 4.75 years of that and with the same level of input, it will take me another 9 years or so to compensate my life so far, taking into consideration that I’ve compensated 22 years on my own land by planting trees.
Supporting Tree Sisters with the good work they are doing for social, economic and environmental sustainability at this level is not difficult for me to do, and who knows, in the month of COP26, I may get even more impatient to become carbon positive sometime soon and increase my contributions :)
Featured Image: screenshot of part of my impact statement at Tree Sisters