Global warming & Carbon Dioxide
We are allocating 1.00 Euro of every membership fee to our tree planting/carbon offsetting program.
So far approx. 3400.oo euro have been raised and 1090.oo Euro have been allocated to approved planting programs.
Trees exchange gases with the atmosphere, resulting in an absorption of carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a significant greenhouse gas and the massive CO2 emissions due to the profligacy of our modern consumer-oriented society are a major contributor to the Greenhouse Effect - the warming of the Earth's climate. If present trends continue, global temperatures will rise significantly this century, leading to widespread flooding of coastal areas, changes to rainfall patterns and an increase in stormy weather.
Through the impact of our personal lives, we each contribute to the build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere, so we each have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to do something positive to solve the problem. Government-level initiatives, such as the Kyoto Protocol, will only slow the rate of warming, so we each need to take personal action to achieve a real solution.
Facts about carbon 'offsetting'
1. It's not possible to truly 'offset' carbon emissions, as the burning of fossil fuels releases carbon that has not been in the carbon cycle for millions of years. It is a net increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
2. However, planting trees does absorb carbon, and is still an important way in which we can help tackle global warming. By supporting tree planting, we will be helping to reduce the effects of our carbon emissions on the climate, as well as providing habitat for a wide range of very special wildlife.
The most important solution to global warming is to reduce CO2 emissions, and this can be done at a personal as well as a national level. Minimising the use of fossil fuels, and living more lightly on the Earth are eminently feasible - all that is required is the individual and collective commitment to put those principles into practice.
However, it is not possible to eliminate all CO2 emissions immediately, so in the interim the next best thing is to reduce the impact of those emissions which are unavoidable by planting trees. Trees absorb CO2 as they grow, and therefore the work of forest restoration is also a positive step to counter global warming.
As transport is one of the main sources of CO2 emissions, WWOOF Italy is planning to plant trees, on behalf of WWOOFers and Hosts, to help buffer the effects of travel on global warming. Approximately one third of the CO2 we pump into the atmosphere comes from car exhausts, but all forms of travel that use fossil fuels emit CO2 into the atmosphere. The best option is to travel less, and, for journeys that are necessary, to use public transport.
Based on a cost of Euro 8.oo to plant each tree, the following figures* show how much is required to plant the appropriate number of trees to absorb (over the lifetime of each tree) the CO2 produced by an individual's different methods of travel, i.e. on a 'per passenger' basis:
* Air travel - Each hour or 930 km produces CO2 which may be absorbed by a quarter of a tree = Euro 2.oo
e.g. for 5 hours of air travel, the cost of planting trees to help reduce the impact of the CO2 emissions is 5 x Euro 2.oo= Euro 10.oo
* Car travel - Each 1,000 kms. produces CO2 which may be absorbed by a half of a tree = Euro 4.oo
e.g. if you travel 10,000 km. in your car in a year, the cost of planting trees to help reduce the impact of the CO2 emissions is 10 x Euro 4.00 = Euro 40.00
* Train/Coach travel - Each 1,000 kms. produces CO2 which may be absorbed by a tenth of a tree = Euro 0.80
An idea for WWOOF Italia
It seems to us to be counterproductive that 2400 WWOOFers a year come to Italy by aeroplane to help on organic farms whilst at the same time causing damage to the environment with carbon emissions. We of course do not want to stop people coming here so we have thought up a possible solution.
WWOOFers coming from abroad could plant a tree/s on the farms they go to and we allocate 1 euro from each membership we receive to pay for the trees.
So when possible WWOOFers can plant a tree themselves on the farm that they go to and the host farm then takes responsibily for caring for the trees for the first five years until they are established and WWOOF Italia will cover the costs.
We already have farms where trees have been planted and the hosts are caring for them.