Hello everyone out there,
thanks for being here. The new year 2021 has started, which gives me the chance to wrap up 2020 in terms of my calendar sale and my carbon footprint. I’m going to go into a few details on the calculations behind the footprint calculation, as well as how that converts into trees planted.
Calendar Sale 2020
My annual Calendar sale went amazing this year. Thanks to the great help of a good friend in Germany I was able to organize the production and distribution of 64 A3 and 24 A4 calendars, all of that while living in New Zealand. That’s some massive numbers for me – and I’d like to send out a massive THANK YOU to everyone who supported me and bought a calendar during the sale.
The final tree count for the calendars is 760 trees that I’m going to plant with my partner, Trees For The Future.
Now, here’s a topic that’s a bit harder to talk about. The calculation of my carbon footprint (together with the calculation of my ecological footprint). If you feel like you would like to know your own numbers, check out the footprint calculator from www.footprintcalculator.org.
Long story short, airplane travels as well as long roadtrips do not go well with my emissions. On the other side living in a car that produces it’s own electricity for charging all my devices does improve my footprint as I don’t need to heat up and run an apartment (for example). Not eating meat that often (1-2 times a months) does a big job on keeping the footprint down.
So, here we go:
I’m sitting at a solid 8.5 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, or 4.1 global hectares per year. To put that into other words:
That does hit pretty hard. I’m definitely seeing an improvement from 2018 where I used to live in Canada. My carbon footprint that time was up at 21.5 tonnes. But nevertheless, there’s a lot of work to be done in order to change my global impact.
And that global impact does bring me to the third part of this article:
Trees For The Future
Now these guys have been around for a while. Instead of just planting trees (like most charities or services operate) Trees For The Future works with the farmers and their “Forest Garden” approach. With that, they aim to end hunger, end poverty, and end deforestation.
The Forest Garden is a combination of trees, shrubs, fruits, vegetables, and grains, strategically planted to support one another, the land, and farmers. Forest Gardens are an example of agroforestry, which incorporates trees to protect and improve the soil. As opposed to the common approach to agriculture known as monocropping (planting and harvesting one crop), Forest Gardens are home to a diverse array of species, including food crops and medicinal crops which allows a farming family to improve their nutrition and stabilize their income. Lastly, Forest Gardens optimize space used in an area and spread harvest across time so that the farmer can get the most out of their land and the growing seasons.
If you’d like to learn more about their work, check out their documentary: The Forest Garden Solution.
My carbon footprint offset for the past few years has been with Trees For The Future, and that’s going to be the same for my 2020 footprint. I’m going to be transparent with how my offset process works out. Feel free to use the same approach for your offset, or leave me some feedback in the comments:
I would like to offset my 2020 carbon footprint of 8.5 tons to the non-profit organization “Trees For The Future“, based on the following calculation:
First, I’m breaking down my footprint into two parts. The emissions that do happen through living/eating/clothings and such (lifestyle) and the emissions that do happen through travels. I’m tracking my moves with the app Polarsteps, that does give me a good indication on how many km’s I’ve travelled.
Note: 1km driven produces around 115-182grams of carbon dioxide in average.
15.000 km travelled by car are approx. 2.730 tonnes of carbon dioxide (with 182g carbon dioxide/km).
18.500km travelled by plane are approx. 3 tonnes of carbon dioxide (based on a www.myclimate.org calculation for the Zurich to Auckland flight).
= 5730 tonnes of carbon dioxide through travels
Knowing my emissions through car and plane travels does tell me that my normal lifestyle (minus travels) does produce 2.77 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
You may be wondering why I’m breaking down the travel-emissions – it’s a good reminder to myself to try to use the car less and less.
Back to the 8.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide:
Each tree planted sequesters 34 pounds or carbon = 15.4 kg according to trees.org
Time to convert the carbon footprint into trees: 8.5 tons / 0.0154 tons per tree
That’s the amount of trees that I would need to plant in order to offset my 2020 carbon dioxide footprint.
Calendar Sale + Carbon Footprint = Trees Planted
The calendar sales does round up with 760 trees, the carbon footprint with 552 trees. That’s 1312 trees.
The calculation that Trees For The Future does for their partners is USD 25 Cents per tree. This includes the seeds, training, tools, and operations needed to plant each tree. Each tree is maintained and cared for by the farmer that plants them on their own land.
1312 trees, based on the above mentioned calculation, does round up at $328 USD (€270). I’m covering the transaction costs to, my TREES donation for 2020 does round up at €291,76 or $354,14 USD.
First of all a massive thank you to everyone that supported my Calendar sale. You guys are legends and it does feel amazing to plant such an impactful amount of trees!
I do hope that some of you do find this writing helpful. Let’s do an impact together as humans.
Thanks for reading and being here. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments.