Personally I began paying to offset the carbon emissions on my flights pretty early on – until I read so many bad reports about corrupt or inept offsetting tree planting projects which were doing more harm than good that I lost my way. And stopped.
Then in 2020, at Soul & Surf we began working on a Sustainable-ish strategy, targeting a few key Sustainable Development Goals. Let’s be honest though, it’s questionable just how sustainable development can be – even putting these two words together is an oxymoron. Which is why we’ve chosen to shoot for sustainable-ish – acknowledging the fact that so long as tourism relies on using fossil fuels and emitting carbon dioxide we will never be truly sustainable. But we committed to do our best and to keep getting better.
One of the things we are doing in order to reach our own Sustainable-ish targets, is to partner with Mossy Earth and plant trees for every customer that comes to stay with us. We don’t see this as simply ‘offsetting’ Soul & Surf’s or our customers’ emissions, because that’s not enough. And this shared point of view is one of the reasons we chose to work with Mossy Earth.
First and foremost they are a team of passionate conservationists with one mission in mind: to restore wild ecosystems, support wildlife and biodiversity and help fight climate change. Their reforestation and rewilding projects in Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Scotland, Ireland and now Madagascar are already having a huge impact. And with plans to develop blue carbon projects in the future, restoring mangroves in Sri Lanka and kelp forests in Portugal amongst other places we feel really well aligned ideologically and geographically.
The other reason is because they are a small team of people, people we have got to know, people that our sustainability consultant Nat has actually worked with, people we can communicate with, discuss ideas with, choose projects with and fundamentally people we can trust.And whatsmore the beautiful by-product of working with them on these rewilding projects is that it also helps to drastically reduce our carbon footprint. Win win.
Their main aim is to restore ecosystems, promote biodiversity and mitigate the impacts of climate change. They are not only interested in increasing tree cover, but look for projects that take into account species diversity and functionality, how trees can provide ecosystem services like soil stabilisation and water purification, and their role in providing habitat for local flora and fauna.
Recent studies have even shown that rewilding is key to restoring biodiversity and fighting climate change. Restoring just 15% of degraded lands in critical areas could avoid 60% of expected species extinction and capture 30% of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution.
Mossy Earth’s goal is to build the necessary infrastructure so that every individual that contributes to our projects can verify their impact themselves. This includes using photos, GPS coordinates, polygons, open databases, and satellite monitoring
If you want to go a step further, head over to their website, check out all the resources (such as the carbon calculator and low impact living guides) and sign up to their membership platform, but be sure you let them know we sent you!