Inga alley cropping stops slash and burn farmers from destroying rainforests. Slash and burn farming contributes about as much to our carbon emissions as aviation, once you take account of the increased effect of aviation emissions at high altitude. In terms of the actual amount of CO2 released slash and burn far exceeds aviation.
Saving the forests is one of the most cost effective ways to cut our carbon emissions, as well as all the other benefits, like preserving biodiversity and, in the case of Inga alley cropping, helping to lift subsistence farmers out of poverty.
So if you have had a good holiday please send us a donation! Just click the Donate button at the top of this page, and donate with any major credit card.
Cangrejal River and rainforest. Photo by Tiiu Miller 2009
But how much should you give?
As we are talking about entirely voluntary contributions you are free to give whatever you like. However, if you would like us to give some guidance, we suggest £7 for each tonne of CO2 that each person on your trip is responsible for.
There are many carbon calculators on the internet to help you work out what your emissions are. Just remember that one carbon dioxide molecule (CO2) is made up of 1 carbon and two oxygen atoms. Hence I kg of carbon emitted is equal to 3.67 kg CO2. Some carbon calculators use carbon and others use CO2. Both are equally valid, just be careful not to mix them!
1 ton = 0.90718474 tonnes and 1 tonne = 1000kg.
If you want a quick and easy carbon emissions calculator, try this one (1):
CALCULATION of TRANSPORT EMISSIONS (as emissions of CO2, not C)
a) Car drivers
For each 1000 miles you drive each year:
If you drive a petrol car using 8.5 litres/100km score 415kg
For a diesel car using 6.5 litres/100km score 380kg
For petrol cars if most of your trips are below 3 miles add 25% (extra fuel for cold starts).
If you drive a 4x4 or large people mover add 50% (100% for biggest engines) to your figure so far but for a small car (e.g. Clio or new Mini), subtract a third.
Divide by the number of people in the car (but don't include those just coming along for the ride) to get your car score for the year.
b) If you use public transport:
For every 1000 miles/year you travel by bus or diesel train, add 90kg
For every 1000 miles/year by electric intercity train or Underground add 50kg
For every 1000 miles/year by light rail or tram add 25kg
c) For each hour you spent flying, short or long haul, in the last year, add 350kg
Your transport score for the year is (a+b+c) in kg CO2-equivalent.
You can of course use these figures to calculate for just one journey only,
like your holiday trip.
Beach in Honduras for a holiday mood. Photo by Tiiu Miller 2009
Feel free to give whatever seems right to you and what you can afford. We are grateful for each and every donation. However, if you want to follow our guidance, we suggest that you first work out how many tonnes of CO2 you emitted. Then for each tonne of CO2 a reasonable offset to Rainforest Saver would be £7.
Please donate either by the secure PayPal facility on this site, or post us your cheque. See http://www.rainforestsaver.org/support-our-projects/ for details. Also if you are a UK taxpayer we would be grateful if you would also fill in the Gift Aid form at http://www.rainforestsaver.org/gift-aid-form/
Thank you very much.
For a fuller discussion, (with references), of Inga alley cropping for carbon offsetting please see our newsletters 17 and 18. One thing that emerged from many hours of study, thought and calculation was that saving the forest is indeed one of the cheapest and most cost effective ways of offsetting carbon. Even now, when the present calculation of what you might give is based on the initial costs of setting up the Inga alley plots, which are relatively high, it compares favourably with several other schemes.
(1)Copyleft: Laurie Michaelis, Living Witness Project, 7 December 2009. Copying and use unrestricted. www.livingwitness.org.uk