Our Carbon Offsetting Guide

When it comes to carbon offsetting there is a lot of suspicion with regards to what actually gets done. Instead of ignoring this elephant in the room we openly address this proverbial mammal by providing an ultimate level of transparency.

Black on White: this is where we stand

It is our belief that every attempt should be made to reduce one's carbon footprint before carbon offsetting is an option, and that offsetting cannot be an excuse to continue polluting.

For individuals and businesses alike, there is always going to be a limit on how much carbon emissions can be reduced. If we can say, hand on heart, that we have done everything in our power to minimize our own carbon footprint, then carbon offsetting must be seen as the next logical solution to effectively negate our impact on the environment.

For this reason we have chosen to work exclusively with businesses in a voluntary offsetting framework. Our focus is restoring ecosystems and wilderness across Europe and North America, and so we only work with businesses that share the same interest at heart. We refuse to work with large corporations interested only in carbon offsetting for regulatory compliance purposes.

This means we do not issue carbon credits or use any carbon certification.

Transparency is paramount to us and this is why we have taken it into our own hands and made it available to you, our members and customers, that plant trees with us.

Reducing your emissions

Our focus is on impact. 

The main goal for Mossy Earth is to restore wilderness and help tackle the climate crisis by planting millions of native trees. This also includes educating people on how to live in a more sustainable way. This is why we developed our Low Impact Living Guides.

Before considering carbon offsetting please calculate your footprint and reduce your impact.


Calculate Your Footprint Low-Impact Living Guides

Reducing your Emissions

Our focus is on impact.

The main goal for Mossy Earth is to restore wilderness and help tackle the climate crisis by planting millions of native trees. This also includes educating people on how to live in a more sustainable way. This is why we developed our Low Impact Living Guides.

Before considering carbon offsetting please calculate your footprint and reduce your impact

How Mossy Earth does it differently

The carbon offsetting sector has come under fire from both environmentalists and consumers for its ambiguous accuracy and vague transparency.

We are not a carbon offsetting company, our focus is to restore wild ecosystems. However, we see carbon offsetting as an functional tool to help people convert something negative into a positive impact. As such, we want to do it the right way.

We wish to do away with the smoke and mirrors surrounding this sector and objectively discuss each of its critiques as well as explain how Mossy Earth does it differently. 

Native Species Reforestaion

Large carbon offsetting schemes often plant non-native, monoculture forests that overtime degrade the land, are devoid of wildlife, contribute to the acidification of soils and rivers, while posing as potential flooding and fire hazards.

We’re sadly all too aware of this problem, and so we are committed to planting only native tree species with the goal of creating richly biodiverse forests that provide habitats for wildlife, are more fire resilient and naturally retain water to prevent flooding.

Proving Additionality & Addressing Leakage

Would projects funded by carbon offsetting have happened anyway regardless of the investment from carbon offsets?

At Mossy Earth, we do not invest in protecting existing forests for carbon offsetting purposes, we do so only through our rewilding impact projects which have no CO2 capture targets. Instead, we plant trees on damged ecosystems managed by our conservation partner. By planting native tree species, and fully financing the management and replanting of those areas we are able to guarantee additionality for the trees you plant with us.

To date, we have planted 40,000 trees that would have never been planted otherwise. What’s more, we are not only creating additional carbon sinks but we are helping to accelerate our partners’ rewilding efforts.

Accuracy

How accurately can you measure emissions and the amount of CO2 that is sequestered by a project?

Calculating carbon emissions and sequestration rates is an area in which we seek to be as accurate as possible, so we’ve done our homework.

We have found no absolute scientific consensus with regards to carbon emissions. However, using the best estimates available from a wide range of scientific literature, we believe that we have achieved a high level of accuracy. With this information we have have developed our own carbon calculator. You can will find a complete list of scientific references as well as the methodology on our carbon calculator page.

Calculating carbon sequestration rates
is also a complicated process. The amount of carbon captured by forests depends on a variety of criteria including the tree species, densities and the climate. This makes it very difficult to get a global estimate for the CO2 sequestered by 1 tree. For example, the amount of CO2 captured by tropical forests is likely to be significantly different from the temperate forests we are restoring. Our best estimate at the moment comes from our project at the Scottish Highlands. Here, it is estimated that 4 trees will sequester approximately 1 tonne of CO2 in above ground biomass over a period of 100 years (estimate from Trees for Life). In the future we are working towards having accurate estimates for all of our projects.

Transparency is Paramount

How can I be sure that my trees are being planted?

We pride ourselves on our transparency. As part of this ethos we have developed a guide that outlines the ways in which we make sure our members and customers are able to hold us accountable.

Transparency Measures

Paying for our sins

A common claim is that carbon offsetting is used by rich societies to carry on polluting but without the guilt nor necessity to change their bad ways.

We agree with this statement in the case of carbon offsetting related to regulatory compliance (large polluters forced to reduce emissions by regulation which instead buy carbon credits).

This is why we work only on voluntary carbon offsetting. We genuinely believe that if people really had the least concern for the planet then they wouldn’t see carbon offsetting as an excuse to pollute. In fact, many of our customers and followers are consciously looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, and see carbon offsetting as just one piece of that puzzle.

Green Washing

I carbon offsetting just another form of green washing?

If referring to carbon credits created for businesses to meet regulatory demands which are raised by planting trees at arm’s length via large scale offsetting schemes of invasive monoculture forests, which do more damage than good, then yes, carbon offsetting is green washing.

However, what if this sustainability cliche were turned on its head, and trees were planted not only to create carbon sinks but to rewild degraded areas landscape, restore lost ecosystems and encourage native wildlife to return and thrive.

That’s a great opportunity for wildlife conservation.

It's not enough

Carbon offsetting is not enough! To confine the global temperature rise within 2C to avoid an environmental catastrophe, we need a 60% cut in global climate emissions by 2030.

From our point of view, once we have done everything in our power as individuals or businesses to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, carbon offsetting is the final, logical, step to leading a life that is as close to carbon neutral or even carbon negative as we can get.