Going, and coming back GREEN

Over the past year we have sown 8000 Acacia seeds which are now planted out as tree seedlings. We have planted some for firewood more for construction poles and a large portion to enable us to erase our global footprint. The Acacia is a fast growing species and will help a little with deforestation, and also alleviate the hardship for women and children traveling long distances for firewood. We have also planted 1000 Moringa tree seeds, for research purposes.
The practice of planting trees is part of our village development programme, helping with soil improvement and water retention, and has the added benefit that the leaves absorb CO2 .
Traveling to Malawi necessitates travel by air which makes a significant contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.Carbon dioxide is, of course, also produced through the use of fossil fuels for other reasons, driving cars, travelling on public transport or heating and lighting homes.

Emissions vary from country to country. Here in Ireland, for example, each resident would need to plant about 15 trees, to absorb our annual carbon dioxide emissions. Planting trees won’t eliminate global warming. However, it will make a small but significant contribution to the global environment. And it will have an enormous impact on the lives of disadvantaged communities in Malawi.
It is possible, to estimate your emissions and take appropriate action.
For example, I am told that if I drive 12,000 miles a year in a 1.4 litre car this will produce 3.36 tonnes of CO2 a year, which can be offset by planting five trees.
A flight to Mzuzu from Dublin return, produces of 2 tonnes of CO2 , emission each. You can have a carbon neutral flight by planting 3 trees.
It is assumed that the tree will mature and have a lifespan of 80 years

At Wells for Zoe we believe that we can offset some of the effects we are all having on climate by planting much needed trees in Malawi and trading them for our guilty consciences.
It’s a win, win, win situation. Us, Malawi and the Environment
We are now in the process of producing Carbon Neutral luggage tags for flights.
You do the flying and we’ll do the planting.
You pay for the tree planting and we send you the tags and plant the trees.
The land is there, the seeds are there, the labour is there.
The cost: from €1.20 per tree planted, depending on species

Actions to reduce global warming
1. Use fossil fuels more efficiently.
2. Plant trees when you travel at roughly the following rate
• 1 tree every 2,000 miles (3200 km) by car
• 1 tree every 1300 miles (2000 km) by plane
• 1 tree every 100 gallons of gasoline
• 1 tree every 1000 kilowatt-hours of Electrical energy


2 thoughts on “Going, and coming back GREEN

  1. Hi John,

    Sounds like an interesting project. Based on our experience, it is clear that tree planting projects have great potential to be part of the solution to the global warming problem, and they also have many added social and habitat benefits.

    The biggest challenge we have had in using carbon credits from tree projects is getting over the skepticism associated with the tree projects. Not everyone can agree on the methods for monitoring and verifying tree projects to make sure the trees are storing the amount of carbon over their lifetime that many claim they are, so sometimes, they get a bad reputation.

    Some of the tree projects we have supported in the past have been great about having a written plan that they follow to at least ensure annual verification of the trees(ie they are still there, not dead or fire damaged)…So, those types of plans and documentation always help. The other thing you need to be clear about is the assumptions you make when figuring out the carbon benefit from planting the tree, this is a complex measurment involving the type of tree, the region it is planted, how much carbon it stores and how much it will store annually. There are usually a bunch of assumptions that go into how much carbon benefit you get to claim from planing a particular type of tree – and you need to be transparent about those.

    There are also places where carbon reductions from tree projects can now be exchanged, so it might be helpful for you to see how these entities like the Chicago Climate Exchange here in the US for example(or the counterpart in Europe or Montreal) require projects to be structured and what sort of proof thru paperwork and verification are required and keep those things in mind when doing your own project.

    Hope this helps


    Erin Meezan
    Director, Sustainable Development
    2859 Paces Ferry Road, Suite 2000
    Atlanta, GA 30339
    t 770-803-6904
    f 770-803-6960

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