Are you ready to get planting? Asks Intrepid Foundation general manager Robyn Nixon
Imagine a subscription service that helped the planet. It’s a potentially world-changing idea. Because part of what makes climate change such an insidious problem is the sheer scale. It’s a planet-wide catastrophe shaped by huge, shadowy, tectonic forces.
But scale works both ways, and thousands of small efforts can add up to meaningful change. That’s why Intrepid Travel, the world’s largest provider of small group adventures, are partnering with Offset Earth to create something different: we want to grow a travel-powered forest. And we want you to help us!
Who is Offset Earth?
Excellent question. Offset Earth is an organisation that partners with climate projects all over the world to offset carbon emissions and – as an added bonus – plant trees. It works a bit like Netflix. Users can ‘subscribe’ to Offset Earth (for less than £1.15 per week) and their money goes straight into emission-reducing projects in places like Madagascar, Malawi, India and Kenya. Each project has been independently certified by Gold Standard, an environmental integrity body established by WWF and in 2003. Just £4.50 a month offsets the average carbon footprint (a whopping 22 tonnes) and plants twelve real trees – you can watch them grow in your digital ‘forest’.
Where does Intrepid come in?
Intrepid (along with our not-for-profit arm, The Intrepid Foundation) have partnered with Offset Earth to encourage partners and travellers to offset their own carbon footprint. This is the first travel-powered reforestation project in the world. And some would say it’s long overdue: although Intrepid has been proudly carbon neutral since 2010, the travel industry still accounts for about eight per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. If we’re going to slow down the climate crisis, we need to speed up positive projects. We need to take action!
How does the subscription work?
It’s simple. You go online to the Offset Earth x Intrepid page and pick your subscription plan. Intrepid will then match you tree for tree (so you’re effectively doubling your own reforestation efforts). It’s the beginning of a real life Intrepid forest – grown by partners and travellers, but for everybody.
Where will the trees go?
It’s important to be transparent about this stuff, because carbon offsetting and even reforestation aren’t always what they seem. Offset Earth does everything possible to make sure their reforestation projects are up to snuff. They’ve partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects – a well-respected not-for-profit committed to the longevity of forests and the livelihoods of people around them.
Intrepid’s trees will be planted in Kenya’s Kijabe Forest, a short drive from Nairobi, in partnership with the local Kijabe Forest Trust. We’re hoping to include visits on select 2020 Kenya itineraries. And it’s not just the trees themselves that matter: the project will also employ many local people to help plant the trees and keep the forest safe.
How do I get involved?
The beauty of Offset Earth is that it’s easy. You don’t need an environmental science degree. Just head over to the Intrepid x Offset Earth page and sign up. It takes about three minutes. Once you’ve signed up, you can also set goals in to reduce your annual carbon footprint.
Ready to get planting? You’re just a few clicks away – find out more here.
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