The Biggest Questions
We want to be transparent with our approach to encourage everyone to get involved. We don't want you to doubt putting your faith in us, so below, we answer the key questions that our customers ask.
What's The Big Deal?
The environment is struggling to breathe. The world is getting hotter and ecosystems around the world are vanishing. It's a harsh reality that we need to fight because we're being faced with such wide ranging consequences. From the coral bleaching to the potential death of over a million species, the environment needs help.
If you want to read a bit about the situation, check out the following:
Any changes you make can really alter the path of humanity. Here are two stories that you'll remember of previous environmental disasters where the actions of mankind reverted damage caused:
Why Plant Trees?
The idea behind planting trees is more than just to absorb Co2. Natural forests across the world have been decimated due to deforestation and as with any chain of events, it creates a long standing problem. Trees form the basis of an ecosystem and it's been found that restoring a natural habitat can result in higher probability of success, more Co2 intake and a more robust environment is created.
How big is my Carbon Footprint?
There are a number of different references for this but the average person in the UK produces somewhere in the middle between 5 and 15 Tonnes of CO2. In the US this goes up and in less developed nations it generally goes down.
The reason why it's so difficult to determine is because we all live a have a different lifestyle. You can use this WWF Calculator to determine how big your footprint is. I found mine to be about 14-16 Carbon tonnes a year.
The trees we plant (on average) take in about 84kg of Carbon over a life time so to offset 16000kg, so we need to plant an average of 16 trees over a 12 month period to offset the impact. Contact us for more information.
How much of my money goes into the projects?
90%. Plain and simple. We've given ourselves an ambitious goal that 90% of our income will go direct through to climate projects and the rest will pay for things like the website, the domain, the servers, a bit of marketing and any other business related help.
Our numbers put us up their with the best as on average, charities give between 60-70% of income to donations.
As of right now, this project is loss-making and personally funded, with payment processing taking up the vast majority of the margin. As our business grows, we'll remain fully transparent.
What kind of trees do you plant?
We plant Mangroves trees because scientific studies have shown that Mangroves “sequester carbon at a rate two to four times greater than mature tropical forests”, and contain “the highest carbon density of all terrestrial ecosystems.” (Fatoyinbo et al, 2017).
Mangroves are also key part of coastal ecosystems, and “renowned for an array of ecosystem services, including fisheries and fibre production, sediment regulation, and storm/tsunami protection”. (Donato et al, 2011) The key to mangroves is the large amounts of biomass stored underground in the extensive root system. These roots support the large trees in muddy coastal areas where mangroves thrive. (Komiyama et al, 2008)
How much carbon is being absorbed?
Based on the studies cited below, Eden has established a benchmark of 840 metric tons (t) of Carbon (C) per hectare of mature mangrove forest. This is based on an average tree growth life of 25 years. From this number, we can calculate the amount of CO2 removed from the atmosphere and turned into plant biomass per hectare of forest and estimate the amount of CO2 sequestered per tree based on the growth life and planting density.Mangroves are one of the most effective and economic methods of offsetting carbon emissions. Each mangrove tree planted by Eden Reforestation Projects removes over 308kg (680lbs) of CO2 from the atmosphere over the growth life of the tree. This calculates to an average of 12.3kg per year per tree.
Can this stop climate change?
Climate change is a complicated phenomena and statistical evidence shows that things that humans have done have caused an effect that's anomalous. From the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, to the number of ecosystems across the earth and the number of species becoming extinct, the actions of mankind have not been so great. In saying this though, by reverting the damage in terms of reforestation and protecting the environment, within a period of 25-50 years, we can also see how the environment can be repaired (take Costa Rica as a case study). Every single tree we plant will have a monumental impact and that's not to be understated.
What's my proof of purchase? How can you prove my impact?
It's difficult for us to show a proof of purchase for each individual but at the end of every month, we aggregate all purchases through that month and determine how many trees need to be planted. Once we've come to a figure, we then donate the corresponding amount to our partner.
We want to be as transparent as possible, so all transactions and calculations here will be made public via our mailing list for all to see (a) proof of calculation, (b) proof of donation and (c) proof of receipt. Our tree planting partner will take over from there and over time, we'll get a variety of data-packs showing how our trees are doing!
How do you protect trees being planted?
The difference between a well managed reforestation project, and one that isn’t, is huge. It’s imperative that your funds go to a project that meets the exceptionally high criteria needed for mass tree planting as a tool for combating climate change. Our partner spends a lot of time working with the local population and local government and talk more about it here, but specifically, their answers are as follows:
We work carefully with all levels of government to secure written agreements designating the restoration sites as protected in perpetuity.
We hire local villagers to plant the trees. In this way, we alleviate extreme poverty within the impacted community. The villagers now have an economic incentive to ensure the wellbeing of the restoration project. They also have a sense of “ownership” over the trees and restored forest and they protect it with great care.
A minimum of 10% of the trees to be planted are agroforestry species (fruit, fodder and construction species designed to provide food security and benefit legitimate human needs). Over time these trees become a source of sustainable income.
We do all possible to supply the local villagers with alternative fuel sources (fuel efficient dry wood stoves and solar parabolic stoves), which reduces and or eliminates their dependence on charcoal.
We also hire forest guards as part of the labor force. Forest guards are part of the overall budget.
Most significantly, we have seen the villagers fall in love with THEIR forest. They also recognize and benefit from the restored forest through increase in fisheries, improved farming, cleaner water and the formation of micro enterprises.
Where are the trees being planted?
Our tree-planting partner plants trees across the globe but we're currently working with our partners to plant trees in Nepal. We're currently a small organisation and to save a few headaches and costs we've decided to go with one region.
We decided on planting trees in Nepal due to our ties to the area alongside the hard statistics that showed between 1990 and 2005, almost 24.5% of the natural forest cover was taken down. From 2001 to 2019, Nepal lost a further 8.1%.
Are you a registered charity?
It may seem odd but no, we're not a charity. Although, our margin of 10% is better than most charities, we want to retain an LLP structure to be able to access investments and incentivise a growth structure, with the ethos being that the bigger and quicker we grow, the better for everyone. To ensure that the company remains within the boundaries of our ethos, we've put in place a code of conduct and strict guidelines to ensure that our ethos and aim remains centre-focus through time.