Ecologi was created so people like you can actually take on the climate crisis
Our collective home is in the process of being turned totally upside down which is leading to strife for almost all life on Earth.
We know it’s preventable. And we know it’s not going to save itself. So, it is up to us to solve it. But what levers can we pull?
Reducing our carbon footprint is entirely necessary, but the transition of change is far slower than the time we have remaining. The tools that we associate with fighting climate change are inadequate. What if that changed and the billions of us who care became empowered?
There are enough climate solutions that are out there right now, that if we supported them, it’d undo 30 years of carbon damage by avoiding 1,500 billion tonnes of CO2.
This is our opportunity.
- It’s now common knowledge that one of the best tools to tackle the climate crisis and keep our temperatures from rising above 1.5C is to plant trees. They are also crucial in preventing ecological collapse. We have a range of amazing tree planting partners who are able to responsibly plant millions of trees a month on our community’s behalf.
Where does your money go?
Our success is measured in impact, and this is reflected in how we spend your money. 85% of your money goes directly to funding these planet saving projects. Included with project costs are any incurred transaction fees carried out on your behalf. With the rest we’ll cover everything else including a budget to attract new subscribers, staff costs, and hosting and licenses.
Questions about trees
This is an obviously important question that needs a good answer.
We sent this question to one of our main tree planting partners, Eden Reforestation Projects, and this is their reply:
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.
Within all of our tree-planting partnerships, we ensure that the same is true across the board – we will not partner with organisations who do not work to secure the longevity and safety of the trees our community is paying to put in the ground.
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.”
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”. 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. To this end, a lot of the trees we have funded to date – in particular at the start of our journey – have been mangroves.
The initial survival rate at our mangrove restoration projects (where the majority of our trees are planted) exceeds 80%.
However, between years three and five the young mangrove trees begin to produce their own propagules (baby mangrove trees) resulting in a proliferation of natural regeneration. Multiple studies demonstrate the initial survival rate combined with natural regeneration results in a luxuriant impact ranging between 150 and 500 percent.
For all of our tree-planting projects, we are selective in choosing partners to work with who actively take steps to secure these high survival rates.
Trees are one of the best tools we have in removing carbon pollution from our atmosphere.
All of the trees funded by our community will quietly absorb and lock away carbon from the atmosphere over their lifetimes. For the purposes of our own reporting, the carbon absorbed by our trees planted is not taken in to account here at Ecologi. This is because the process of “carbon offsetting” must be carried out using verified carbon credits – and not with approximations of carbon sequestered by trees in our tree-planting sites. We only purchase carbon credits from the most reputable carbon standards, such as Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard.
With your Ecologi subscription, you regularly contribute towards purchasing carbon credits from two projects per month, and (separately) you plant trees. Saying all this, of course, the trees you are funding are doing sterling work sucking up atmospheric carbon, and mangrove trees – which make up the majority of our tree-planting activities – are especially capable. Based on scientific research of mangrove forests, we know that a hectare of mangroves can sequester 3,082 tonnes of CO2 over a 25 year life time. Or 308KG per tree.
No! The trees you’re funding right now are years away from doing their thing.
Every Ecologi subscription is used for two purposes: to offset your carbon footprint through verified carbon offsets, and – separately – to plant trees.
The carbon offset projects you fund to offset your footprint rotate each month between top-quality projects that avoid greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere (such as renewable energy projects which displace existing fossil fuel energy).
We only fund offset projects which meet the highest verification standards, such as Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard. In addition, we aim to fund offset projects which meet other important sustainability and development standards like CCBS and SDVista. Until they are several years old, your baby trees are not mature enough to sequester carbon in large quantities – and those verification programmes which do exist often will not verify carbon removal from trees until they are around 10 years old.
That’s why we do not count your trees as contributing towards offsetting your footprint – and only offset using verified carbon credits. Of course – your trees are still out there, quietly sucking up carbon all the same!
This is another core aspect of a responsible reforestation project. Our planting sites are routinely audited by third parties to check the reported number of healthy trees are growing.
Eden Reforestation Projects, our largest tree-planting partner, has a brilliant track record of meeting the reported numbers of trees.
Please contact them if you want to see copies of these reports. For our UK trees, for each UK tree add-on you will receive an image of your tree and its location on What3Words – so you can see for yourself that the tree you have funded has indeed been planted.
Nobody can 100% guarantee that fires will never happen.
However, you absolutely can take steps to minimise the likelihood of forest fires. We partner only with tree-planting organisations who practise responsible forestry, with the minimisation of forest fire risk in mind.
This can take many forms – and methods are often location-specific. Luckily, due to the nature of the projects, fires at mangrove planting sites (which make up the majority of our tree planting capacity to date) are seldom a danger, since mangroves are planted in coastal wetlands.
We also take part in 1t.org‘s Reforestation Working Group to ensure that we are abreast of all the latest knowledge and developments in responsible forestry.
Yes. Monoculture forests and non-native species do not fall under the category of responsible reforestation.
As one example, at our planting sites in Madagascar, our partners Eden Reforestation Projects are planting over 50 different species, including: Avicinia marina, Rhizophora mucronata, Ceriops tagal, and Bruguiera gymnoohiza.
This question applies primarily to our projects operated by Eden Reforestation Projects around the world.
In order for a planting site to be developed, the native population must have explicitly agreed to the project and must benefit from the project in its entirety.
With planting in Madagascar, the project is done with permission from the owners of the indigenous land, in conjunction with the government. Local communities benefit from many aspects of the project, such as 2.4 million work days that have been created, access to fruit harvesting, and many other economic benefits of restoring deforested land.
Eden Reforestation Project’s mission is to provide fair wage employment to impoverished villagers as agents of global forest restoration. They hire people in rural villages in developing countries to grow, plant and guard to maturity native forests on a massive scale. Their “Employ to Plant” methodology results in multiplication of positive socioeconomic and environmental outcomes.
The project aims to 1) alleviate extreme poverty by hiring local villagers to grow, plant and guard large-scale forests restoration sites 2) provide a consistent income to poverty-stricken communities encouraging economic growth and 3) restore the environment through reforestation efforts, improving fisheries, agriculture and carbon sequestration. Eden Reforestation Projects’ Employ to Plant methodology works by employing the local community to reforest their environment, thus addressing one of the leading causes of deforestation.
All too often, families living in extreme poverty are forced to cut down their forests in order to produce marketable goods to feed their families. By removing this need and providing a source of reliable income, these families can then meet their primary needs and prepare for the future. The employment of the local community also fosters a deep connection between the villagers and the land. Reforesting and protecting the land encourages the villagers to invest in the success and growth of trees, which they begin to love and care for.
All of Eden’s planters and workers are paid at least the required minimum wage for a full month’s work…regardless of the number of days they work during that month. Therefore, if weather or ocean conditions prohibit the ability to plant on any given day, the workers are still paid their full wages. In addition, government regulations require that our employees are provided with a full month off from work each year. They honour this regulation and their employees receive their full wages during this month off.
In addition, as a result of their employment with Eden, their Malagasy employees are also receiving government health care and retirement funds. For the vast majority of our village employees, their work with Eden is providing them with the first cash paying job they have ever had and this income is transformational for them. Those who were once victims of indentured servitude have been able to pay their debts and earn their freedom. People who were once desperate and unable to provide for their families are now sending their children to school, starting micro enterprises, and planning and saving for their futures.
Eden care very deeply for those who work at their project sites and they have wonderful relationships with them. Therefore, when we hear of needs within our planting communities, they do whatever we can to provide assistance. They have dug wells to provide clean water, provided food, provided blankets and emergency assistance following torrential rains and extreme flooding, equipped villages without access to electricity with solar panels and fuel efficient stoves, and provided emergency medical assistance to people experiencing life threatening conditions. They have even built two schools to educate children who no longer have to work on a daily basis to help their parents make ends meet. In addition, the improvement of traditional income generating activities such as fishing and farming also helps the community understand the direct benefits they receive from a healthy forest.
By working directly with each community to establish planting sites and planting strategies, Eden ensures that the local communities feel a sense of commitment and they build a relationship with their environment. Through employment, the need to cut down the forest and trees is eliminated which therefore allows the community to focus on restoring their environment while still being able to earn a liveable wage. Over time, the impact of the restored land continues to increase as fisheries improve, water tables replenish, and biodiversity returns.