Why is it important to offset CO₂?
The Paris Climate Agreement specifies that carbon emissions must be reduced by 80% by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change. Businesses and individuals alike have an important and essential role to play in meeting these targets and carbon offsetting is one important tool to fight global climate change.
How do trees solve the problem of too much CO₂ in the atmosphere?
Forests play an important role in climate change. The destruction and degradation of forests contributes to the problem through the release of CO2. But the planting of new forests can help mitigate the effects of climate change by removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Combined with the sun’s energy, the captured carbon is converted into trunks, branches, roots and leaves via the process of photosynthesis and is thereby stored in the “biomass” of the tree.
What effects will the trees have, other than reducing CO₂ in the atmosphere?
Your trees will also have an incredible impact on local communities in Malawi. 90% of the population rely on fuelwood or charcoal for their daily survival and Malawi’s forest cover has been depleted by nearly 50% the last 30 years. Root to Fruit encourages native biodiversity by planting indigenous tree species and community members are trained in coppicing techniques, which allow wood to be harvested without destroying the tree. Fruit trees will improve local nutrition and provide income-generating activities and your trees will improve soil fertility, increase local rainfall, conserve groundwater systems, reduce erosion, and provide natural medicines in Malawi for years to come.
How many trees do I have to buy?
It’s completely up to you. If you buy 10 trees or more you’ll receive a certificate with GPS-coordinates of your trees (they will be allocated solely to you).
How big is my carbon footprint?
It depends on your travels, your house, your food etcetera. A roundtrip London – Nairobi – Lilongwe by plane is equal to 10 trees (growing for at least 10 years) per person. A roundtrip Lilongwe – Mvuu with an average car is equal to 1 tree per car. The average US resident has a footprint equal to 82 trees per year, the average German resident 47 trees and the average Malawian resident 0,5 trees per year. These are examples to give some direction.
What does one tree stand for?
Each tree offsets on average 200 kgs of CO2 over 10 years, stored in the roots, trunk, branches and leaves of your trees, to reduce your carbon footprint. These trees are very likely to survive much longer than 10 years, but we use this very conservative estimate to ensure the desired offsetting is achieved. In scientific research figures are varying on the average offset of kgs CO2 per tree and different calculation tools online also use different figures in advising you how many trees to buy. We have done research in comparing those figures and concluded this figure is widely accepted, taking into account a normal error variance.
Do you only plant fruit trees?
No, Root to Fruit plants a mix of fruit trees, indigenous trees and exotic trees. The fruit trees provide the communities with an income and rich nutrition after a few years. Some exotic trees are used because they enrich the soil and increase crops development and are fast-growing. Indigenous trees are important to improve the quality of the area by preventing the soil from erosion, giving shade and to follow the natural biodiversity in Malawi.
If I buy trees, can I bring them home?
You will buy the carbon these trees are offsetting and by doing so, you do not need to plant the trees yourself. We distribute the trees to the communities surrounding our nurseries and we partner with them to take care of your trees in the best way possible. The communities are very happy to plant trees as they are a great benefit to them: better soil, enhanced harvest, more shade and a beautiful green environment. If you want to buy trees for yourself, you can buy these in the different tree nurseries Malawi has, three of them are in Chintheche.
Can I visit the trees?
Yes! The number of trees will be allocated to you after your sale is processed and they are easy to find via the GPS-coordinates that come along. Our nursery staff is more than happy to join you and show you your trees.
Why do we allocate already planted trees?
Our purpose is to offset carbon emissions. So if you buy trees, to offset a certain amount of kgs CO2, we need to make sure we are able to sell that compensation. Many other tree planting initiatives are selling “seeds to be planted”, but there is a lot going on between sowing, raising seedlings and planting them. And even then, there is a number of trees dying early after distribution. We do not want to sell “promising trees” or “trees in the making” but only “growing trees” to be sure we do offset your emissions. This is a very important aspect of our job. We monitor every tree every year to make sure your trees are still growing. This is also the reason why we plant 3 additional trees for every 10 trees sold as we know growing trees is subject to (environmental) threats. As you are doing a good thing by buying trees, we want to do our thing good as well: making sure we allocate growing trees to you.