Offsetting Carbon With Trees
There are many ways to offset your carbon usage. We believe the optimal method is reforestation. This is the restoration of forest on lands that have been used for a variety of non-forest purposes for decades (farming, mining, etc.).
Trees are amazingly efficient at offsetting carbon. The U.S. Forest Service has calculated that our forests as a whole currently sequester approximately 10–20% of the country’s emissions each year. This accounts for 90% of all the carbon sequestered in the U.S. today! But as our carbon emissions increase, the need to plant more trees continues to grow.
When you choose trees as a carbon offset strategy, keep in mind that this option will go well beyond carbon sequestration. Reforestation provides a number of benefits that other carbon offset programs cannot.
Improved Water Quality
180 million Americans depend on forest watersheds for their drinking water. The natural water filtration trees provide can lower costs associated with drinking water treatment.
Trees help improve water quality in streams, rivers and lakes and also protect these waterways from the impact of adjacent land uses.
Improved Air Quality
Trees remove pollution from the atmosphere, improving air quality.
Forests reduce floods, therefore minimizing sediment, nitrates and phosphorus runoff into critical waterways.
Trees reduce the effects of erosion caused by water and wind.
Large populations of wildlife rely on forests for food, shelter and water.
Forest restoration and maintenance means the creation of new jobs as well as the sustainability of existing jobs.