By Heather Burns-DeMelo
A few weeks ago I read an article in the Danbury News Times about a man named Dr. Herster Barres whose program, Reforest the Tropics, partners with farmers in Costa Rica to plant and manage trees in order to offset personal and corporate CO2 emissions.
While working for the United Nations and as Director of the applied research program, Reforest the Tropics, Dr. Barres has studied the fastest growing and best carbon-gulping tree species in order to sequestor 25 tons of CO2 per year, per 2.5 acres. To date, 54 New England emitters have sponsored 263 acres of new forests in Costa Rica.
Carbon offsets are a hot topic these days, especially with corporations frantically trying to "green" their image. Credit companies like GE are offering card holders the opportunity to purchase carbon offsets, but as this Yahoo! article points out, the carbon offset market isn't regulated, so there's no way to be certain if your carbon is truly being offset. That is, of course, unless you purchase your credits from Reforest the Tropics, where a real person answers your questions, addresses your concerns, and they work hard to keep each sponsor in touch with their forests.
As a sponsor, you will receive:
Help preparing an inventory of your annual CO2 emissions. Just like stepping on a scale, it can be scary to find out your contribution to the climate crisis, but without a number, there's no telling how many trees will offset your lifestyle;
A prominent sign showing your name as a sponsor, the name of the partnering farm, the total area of forest, and the date planted;
Official registration with the United Nations Environmental Programme Billion Tree Campaign;
Regularly taken photos and;
A GPS map with the longitude and latitude of your forest--for viewing on Google Earth.
For more information about how you can sponsor a forest for a school, friend, loved one, new baby, or small or large business, contact Dr. Herster Barres, Director, Reforest the Tropics, Inc., P.O. Box 601, Mystic, CT 06355 at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-572-8199.