2020 – My Carbon Offsets, Donations and Volunteering
2020 – what a year.
I was lucky enough to be working throughout 2020 which meant that I could keep to my commitments to environmental non-profits through donations and volunteering.
I calculated my annual carbon emissions to be approximately 7.6 tonnes for me as an individual and my business.
I invested in carbon offsetting projects through Ecologi.
Ecologi help people and businesses to become carbon positive by offsetting your carbon footprint through Gold Standard verified carbon offsets, and – separately – planting trees. Young trees do not soak up much carbon but do provide future carbon sequestration and many biodiversity benefits.
This is where the separate carbon offsets are so beneficial as these include funding clean energy projects around the world, which have a benefit in the short term.
As part of my ongoing commitment to the environment, I donate at least 1% of my sales income to environmental non-profits.
In 2020 I partnered with Trees for Life – an environmental charity who are:
working to rewild and restore the globally unique Caledonian Forest which once covered much of the Scottish Highlands
I also started my own grove, where native trees such as alder, aspen, birch, bird cherry, hazel, holly, rowan, Scots pine and willow will be planted. These will be carefully planted in protected sites in the Scottish Highlands where they will create homes for wildlife and forests for the future.
I now plant a tree in my grove for every project I complete and it will be exciting to see it grow over time.
I also donated to Stump Up For Trees who are aiming to plant 1 million native trees in the Brecon Beacons in Wales. The charity undertake the planting and include 12 years of aftercare for the trees, to ensure the highest rates of survivability.
Volunteering in 2020 was difficult due to the pandemic restricting gatherings and hindering charities’ ability to arrange volunteers and keep people safe.
So I decided to undertake my own river clean on the River Avon here in Bristol. On a cold and frosty morning I drove down to the river armed with gloves and rubbish bags.
There was a handy ladder leading down to the river bank which I climbed down (and back up and down again many times!) to get to the side of the river.
There was, as ever, a huge amount of plastic and other rubbish – some ‘highlights’ included:
- Lots of tennis balls
- Many babies’ dummies
- Beer and cider cans
- Crisp packets
- Styrofoam and polystyrene
- PPE – facemasks, gloves etc
The introduction of PPE into the mix was a new, but entirely expected, piece of rubbish found on the river bank.
This year I also got more into listening to podcasts to help inform me on sustainability. I have now compiled a list of these in this blog post about environmental podcasts.