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Planting Trees to Offset Carbon - Envirotels Origin and Mission

The tourism industry's global carbon footprint accounts for 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions. While 8% may feel like a daunting figure, it shouldn't cause you to throw your hands up in exasperation and ask, "why should we travel at all?!" Here at Envirotels, we are one of the leading carbon offsetting companies in the travel industry, helping you to travel with a clear conscience. 

Planting Land
The plot of land we plant our trees on in the Brazilian Amazon.

We believe that traveling around this planet shouldn't harm it, and exploring every corner of the Earth doesn't have to come at a cost to our environment. Our vision is to create an option where you don't have to choose between your travel plans and the health of this planet. And we do that through carbon offset travel.


Carbon Offset Travel

Our vision is simple, and the way we complete it is even more straightforward, in principle. We aim to offset the carbon footprint of as much tourism and travel as we possibly can - at no extra cost to you.

Every time that you travel with us, we will plant a new tree in the Amazon. It doesn't matter if you are booking a hotel for a staycation or flying halfway around the beautiful world we live in: Our carbon offset project will ensure there is a new tree every time. The reason for that is simple; planting trees is one of the very best ways to reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere. There is a famous Chinese proverb; the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now. 

Furthermore, agroforestry provides people with jobs to increase crop yields, increases biodiversity, and reduces erosion. So, not only does planting a tree offset carbon footprint, but it also increases the ability to do so in the future by providing people with the ability to continue the project. 

Brazilian Farmers
The farmers in Brazil that we work with.

Our main priority is to offset the carbon footprint of as much travel as we can. However, we also want to provide you with the transparency of how and why we do it. There are many carbon offset projects in the world, but we feel like we offer something unique. Most sustainable travel models will only take action towards offsetting carbon when they are the operator, at an increased cost. However, here at Envirotels, we offer the same low prices as other travel websites but include the carbon reduction initiative for everyone. 

We have over 100,000 hotels all over the world, whether you are looking for a big-name chain hotel, all-inclusive luxury resorts, boutique lodging, and anything in between. No matter what location or type of vacation you book, our pledge remains the same; to plant a new tree in the Amazon for every single booking. 

Furthermore, we are expanding our services to offer flights and all-new, exciting enviro-activities (environmentally friendly activities). Doing so will allow you to still stay in breath-taking hotels, go on fun excursions, enjoy the world that we live in, and make it a greener place to live.  


What We Do to Offset Carbon Footprints

We partner with local, Brazilian farmers and landowners to help them plant more trees on their deforested land. We have an agreement that outlines the tree planting process and ensures the trees and land is protected. When you book with us, we send the farmers enough money to plant the tree. The money covers the cost of the tree, land, labor, preparation, and maintenance for the first three years. After three years, the tree is considered sustainable. We release the funds to the farmers over a set time to ensure that each tree is adequately budgeted and cared for during that time.

Not only do we plant trees to offset carbon, but every tree planted is a revenue-generating species, too. That means that they all produce fruits, nuts, bark, or other natural materials to support the local economy and the farmers' families for generations to come. By planting resource bearing trees, the farmers are encouraged to partner with us instead of deforesting their land and selling the lumber for a one-time cashout.

Batch of Seedlings
Our first batch of trees, ready to be planted!

Why Does Carbon Offset Travel Matter?

Too much CO2 trapped in the Earth's atmosphere is causing the global temperatures to rise. These higher temperatures are altering Earth's delicate and harmonious natural state. 

The Amazon rainforest, which is responsible for capturing over 180 billion tons of carbon and releasing 20% of the world's freshwater into the atmosphere via water vapor, is being cut down rapidly. Over the past ten years, over 10.3 million American football fields have been cut down. The primary motivation for deforestation is to make room to raise cattle and grow their food. Although animal agriculture is an extremely lucrative business, studies show that the "Amazon could generate more than $8 billion a year from the sustainable nut and rubber industries if just left alone" (Vittert 11). That is why we plant resource-rich trees in the Amazon, and why carbon offset travel matters to the whole planet!

Preserving the Amazon rainforest will significantly reduce the effects of global warming by trapping CO2 in trees. One of the best ways to sequester CO2 emissions is via agroforestry practices because of how close the crops, trees, and soil work together. Agroforestry systems have a "potential to offset immediate greenhouse gas emissions associated with deforestation and shifting cultivation" (Vittert 2). It is for this reason that Envirotels is dedicated to replanting trees in the Amazon using the agroforestry method.

Our main species of tree is Euterpe oleracea, also known as acaí! Acaí is a popular fruit all over the world, and its cultivation will bring sustainable and consistent income to the local community. Another species that we plant is Bertholletia excelsa, otherwise known as Brazil's nut tree. The Rondônia State's government protects this species, and it is illegal to cut down (Reforestation 3). This law greatly supports the sustainability of our project and its future.

Plant Trees to Offset Carbon – Envirotels Conclusion

Our carbon offset projects have already funded 720 trees to be planted in Paru, Brazil! However, the goal for the year is to plant 30,000 trees. Our specific location in the Amazon is perfect for agroforestry because of the 247.8 hectares of farmland available, 95.8 hectares are native forests, and 82.6 hectares are being used for fishing farming. On the rest of the 40 hectares available, we will use a more sustainable agroforest method of planting trees. We foresee that through our sustainable and profitable agroforestry method, other local farmers will be inspired to change their "current monoculture/ cattle farming to more sustainable models" (Reforestation 4).

Planting Trees
Planting the first of our 720 trees.

Envirotels' dedication is changing how we view travel and sustainability. We don't want to change the way you travel, just the way you book. And this small change in how you book can have huge, positive effects on the Earth!

    Sources:
  1. Denchak, Melissa. "Are the Effects of Global Warming Really That Bad?" NRDC, 6 Aug. 2019, nrdc.org/stories/are-effects-global-warming-really-bad.
  2. Vittert, Liberty. "Vittertv: Amazon Rainforest Being Stripped at Record Rate." com - News and Information for McMinnville and Yamhill Valley, Oregon - Wine Country Newspaper, newsregister.com/article?articleTitle=vittertv-amazon-rainforest-being-stripped-at-record-rate--1581649168--36052--commentary.
  3. Sheikh, Afeefa. "Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration as a Climate Change Mitigation Activity." Journal of Pollution Effects & Control, 2014.
  4. "Reforestation Project Paru, Brazil." Tree, 2020, tree-nation.com/projects/paru/about#header.

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