Schools and Businesses across Northern Ireland are being invited to join Northern Ireland development charity, Self Help Africa, in planting a million new trees both in Northern Ireland here and in Africa, while offsetting their carbon footprint.

The initiative will see trees being planted that could remove more than 20 million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere every year, for decades to come.

It follows the hugely successful One Million Trees campaign that saw the Northern Ireland charity plant a million trees in Africa and a further 100,000 new native trees at home in Ireland last year, supported by yogurt brand Glenisk.

In this new initiative, Self Help Africa NI will work with Schools and businesses to calculate carbon consumption, based on utility bills and other information provided. The organisation will then provide participating organisations with an estimate of the number of trees needed to plant for offsetting purposes, and a plan to meet these carbon targets by planting trees in Ireland and in Africa.  

Tree planting as a means of carbon sequestration isn’t expensive. Self Help Africa calculate that each tree planted, once mature, will remove approximately 25kg of carbon from the atmosphere every year, and the total cost for a small business of offsetting its total carbon footprint can be as little as a few hundred pounds a year.

The campaign provides local businesses and Schools with the chance to not just offset their carbon footprint, as their investment in trees will also benefit rural poor households in Africa.  

For a development charity working in agriculture, tree planting has always played an important part in the work, as trees are a key part of the mix of activities on small-farms, where they provide a source of food, income and much more.

Carbon offsetting ezine

With the right advice, offsetting your carbon footprint by planting trees can be simple, and cost effective.

Trees in Africa are also being planted in large-scale land rehabilitation projects, to arrest soil erosion, and as sources of shade and shelter. Recent planting activities have taken place in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi and Burkina Faso.

A tree that is planted anywhere will benefit people everywhere. The fact that we’re planting trees in sub-Saharan Africa, where rural communities who are least responsible for climate change are feeling some of its worst effects, makes this proposition even more attractive to business owners.

Our organisation has partnered with ‘GreenFeet’ who provide consultancy services to organisations seeking to devise more comprehensive sustainability strategies. GreenFeet’s easy to use app allows corporate clients to quickly calculate their carbon usage, and reduce their carbon emissions. 

Organisations participating in Self Help Africa’s One Million Trees initiative receive certificates and other resources to promote the partnership, and will also receive GPS coordinates allowing them to track where their trees have been planted in Africa and share the information with their customers and clients online.

If you are interested in finding out more about offsetting the carbon footprint of your School with Self Help Africa, please contact me on telephone 07799 346997, or by email.

More information is available here.