Thursday, January 3, 2008

Save the Planet and Improve My Garden

I heard a story on the radio today about these things called "carbon offsets." The way it works is, you figure out how much carbon dioxide you are responsible for spewing into the atmosphere and buy an "offset" from a carbon broker who assures you that your money goes toward some project that will reduce greenhouse gases by that amount.

One of the projects is planting trees.

Why didn't I think of this before? Like an idiot, I've been working three jobs to earn money for plants (plus incidentals like food and mortgage payments) when I could be charging money for the privilege of buying shrubs for my "project site.". (I don't really need any more trees, but I'm pretty sure that Viburnums and Beautyberries absorb carbon dioxide too.)

Now, how do I set up a Paypal account?


Carol said...

What a great idea! Someone might just be willing... I think you are on to something here!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Carolyn gail said...

Hey, David,

Isn't that something like the fellow who posted a giant puzzle on his website and sold each tiny space ? He made a cool million.

I agree with Carol that you may be on to something. Just find the someone now that is willing to support your tree purchases.

matt said...

Tree planting is not one of the best offset projects. Trees need to live 99 years to get the full effect of the offset. Trees often die from bugs, fire, and draught before they reach the one ton rate. When trees burn in a fire they release more carbon then they store

karen said...

And I heard a radio show that described how "carbon brokers" are ripping off the peasants. "If you'll give me $x, I'll find someone to plant trees that will offset your carbon emissions." Except that the second part never happens.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

A good idea to plant bushes as well as trees. Very green of you.

jim/ArtofGardening said...

I'm very suspicious of the whole carbon offset purchasing. I'm sure there are reliable non-profits out there, but once they have your money, you cannot know if a tree actually gets planted in return.

I thank many of us offset our carbon footprints, in part, by gardening and supporting botanical gardens, parks, garden restorations, community gardens and so on - within our own communities. As opposed to someone that drives an SUV in from an outlying suburb to work and spends the weekend mowing a lawn on their riding mower.

David in Greensboro, NC said...

Carol--Sort of like the guy who said, "I'm going to put tap water in a bottle and sell it."

I haven't gotten your check, Carolyn Gail. It must have gotten delayed in the mail because I'm sure you sent it as soon as you read this!

Matt--no fire worries here; I've got a hose. Of course, Greensboro has no water, so if we have a viburnum fire, I'm doomed!

See, Karen, that's the beauty of my plan. You can give me, say, $12.99 for that Beautyberry and come over and see exactly where I planted it. Just call first, and don't come during a Carolina game.

Yep, Lisa, the trees would put too much shade on my butterfly garden.

Hey Jim--your lawnmower comment got me thinking of yet another opportunity. How would you like to purchase the naming rights to my next flowerbed? That's several more square feet of lawn that I'll get rid of and not have to mow. But act fast, or else it will be the "Greenbow Ellipse" or the "May Dreams Bird Thicket," or the "Sweet Home Fragrance Garden!"

Carolyn gail said...

Hey David,

Sure the check is in the mail . I was born in the dark but it wasn't last night.