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January 2021

"Carbon offsetting" sounds great: continue to use fossil fuels and simply "balance out" the carbon emissions by planting trees and protecting forests. Business as usual. No wonder that airlines and oil companies love talking about them! Problem solved, right? Wrong. Carbon offsetting projects using trees and forests simply don't deliver what they promise, and worse, they're a distraction from the real solution to climate change - that is, a real reduction in carbon emissions entering the atmosphere. Carbon offsetting schemes are simply public-relation schemes for increasingly eco-conscious consumers, and shift the focus off carbon-polluting industries. Here's the problem. Carbon in fossil fuels is "fixed" underground for the long term whereas the carbon in vegetation is in a constant carbon cycle. Using fossil fuels releases more carbon into the atmosphere which can be used by trees, *but* when a tree dies the carbon contained in

At Reforest Tea, our story is very simple: we sell great teas and use all the profits to plant trees and conserve forests. A simplicity which is fundamental to our business model. Our business success is measured in our impact –to make the world a better place– and not through status or money. We believe that this sets Reforest Tea apart from other companies. People who buy our teas are not just our customers, they are also our supporters. For them, Reforest Tea is more than just another good cup of tea; when they drink our tea they become part of our mission. Our customers believe in what we are doing and like to tell other people about our company and our mission in a way that no other tea company’s customers would ever do. Not only that, Reforest Teas really are

In 2015, I took some time off work and travelled to Guatemala. The name “Guatemala” comes from the indigenous Náhuatl word meaning “land of many trees”, so it seemed like an obvious place to start. I arrived in the highland city of Quetzaltenango and made contact with a non-profit there, the “Proyecto de Reforestación Chico Mendes”, and started volunteering in their native tree nursery. After a few days it was obvious that the project was limited by finances and, more generally, that this was the limiting factor for most such projects. Tree-planting and forest conservation work is expensive: if one tree costs a dollar or two to plant, then a million trees is going to cost one or two million dollars. Conversely, I viewed this as an opportunity: the more funds available, the more trees it would be possible to plant