Why we're planting trees
Talking Tables is working with Ecologi, the carbon offset initiative, on tree planting. We’re already offsetting the paper we use in our napkins and games and we’re keen to do more.
Ecologi was initially founded by a group of environmentalists in Bristol. They were frustrated that many of us feel we are not able to contribute enough to the colossal climate problem.
It’s now common knowledge that one of the best tools to tackle the climate crisis and keep our temperatures from rising above 1.5C is to plant trees. They are also crucial in preventing ecological collapse.
Ecologi believed that by coming together we can make a difference. And that’s certainly been the case, in just three years Ecologi has attracted 32,500 members - both companies and individuals. Between us we have planted 39.6m trees, equating to 1.7m tonnes of CO2e reduction. Talking Tables’ contribution so far is relatively modest, but that’s the joy of Ecologi, it’s about bringing many people together for a common cause.
We also love Ecologi’s transparency. We can choose where we want the trees planted and see the exact impact of our contribution. We are planting trees in Madagascar and Kenya. In recent years, vast areas of Madagascar’s original forests have been destroyed, displacing entire animal species and diminishing local people’s ability to farm and live on the land. Entire mangrove estuaries are also gone, leaving the bare earth to wash away into the sea. These mangrove forests are not only highly effective at storing carbon, they also provide habitats for a wide range of marine species that live in the shallows, and provide vital coastal protection from floods and storms.
Deforestation which has taken place in the Mau region of Kenya - to support agriculture, charcoal production and livestock – has caused widespread degradation of the land, and when combined with recent droughts in the region has caused severe hydrological damage throughout local watersheds.
Using an ‘employ-to-plant’ practise provides a consistent income in sustainable land-use practices for the local people who are employed as planters, nursery staff, and forest guards as part of the project activity. This consistent income allows the local community to achieve greater levels of access to education, nutrition and healthcare.
A wide variety of native species are being planted in this site, including trees that will provide new food sources for local people, including avocado, lemon and papaya trees.
Both projects are run by are run by Eden Reforestation Projects – a non-profit whose mission is to provide fair wage employment to impoverished villagers as agents of global forest restoration.
In addition to offsetting our paper napkins and games, we’re encouraging our teams to build their own personal forests. On every birthday staff receive a gift of 25 trees and we also have a monthly tree hugger award for the person who has made the most positive environment impact. And we’re encouraging our customers too – for every newsletter sign up we donate tree. And on special events we plant extra trees, for example, to mark Earth Day this month, we are planting a tree for every order over a weekend.
Next steps? We've begun to work with Ecologi on carbon reduction projects, for example, wind power projects in Honduras and Mexico and, protecting peat forests in Indonesia.
Today Ecologi avoids the equivalent of 25 million road miles every day. And its impact is growing. It's proved we can all make a difference.